Department of Computer Science | Institute of Theoretical Computer Science | CADMO

Theory of Combinatorial Algorithms

Prof. Emo Welzl and Prof. Bernd Gärtner

Mittagsseminar (in cooperation with A. Steger, D. Steurer and B. Sudakov)

Mittagsseminar Talk Information

Date and Time: Thursday, November 01, 2007, 12:15 pm

Duration: This information is not available in the database

Location: OAT S15/S16/S17

Speaker: Gabriel Katz


Jenga is a popular block game played by two players. Each player in her turn has to remove a block from a stack, without toppling the stack, and then add it the top of the stack. We analyze the game mathematically and describe the optimal strategies of both players. We show that 'physics', that seems to play a dominant role in this game, does not really add much to the complexity of the (idealized) game, and that Jenga is, in fact, a Nim-like game. In particular, we show that a game that starts with n full layers of blocks is a win for the first player if and only if n=2 of n \equiv 1, 2 (mod 3) and n \geq 4. We also suggest some several natural extensions of the game.

Paper by Uri Zwick, Proceedings of the thirteenth annual ACM-SIAM symposium on Discrete algorithms, SODA'02, 243-246, (2002).

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