Jerusalem Mathematics Colloquium

Thursday, 16th March 2006, 4:00 pm
Mathematics Building, Lecture Hall 2

The Jerusalem Mathematics Colloquium is happy to host the first of three lectures given as part of the annual Erdos lecture series.

Jozsef Beck

"Tic-Tac-Toe theory -- an escape from the combinatorial chaos"

Abstract: I just finished a more-than-600-page long book (Tic-Tac-Toe theory) about combinatorial games, focusing on tic-tac-toe like games. In this talk I will discuss the main theorems and the main techniques in a rather informal way. I will attempt to answer basic questions like:

  1. why are games so difficult?
  2. what are the hopeless problems?
  3. what can contemporary combinatorics do?
  4. what are the surprising consequences of ``tic-tac-toe theory"?

There will be a reception before the lecture at 3:30 outside the lecture hall.

There will be two further talks in the series, held in the Jerusalem Combinatorics Seminar and the Computer Science Seminar.

Part II: Tic-Tac-Toe theory -- results, proofs Monday, March 20th Math 110 11.00-13.00

Abstract: I will discuss the exciting connections and differences(!) between the so-called Probabilistic Method (``Erdos'') and the Fake Probabilistic Method (``potential technique''), the basic tool of this type of game theory. Why are games so much more challenging than the Random Model? What is the mysterious duality between Achievement and Avoidance games? I try to answer these questions. I will outline some proofs.

Part III: Tic-Tac-Toe theory -- results, proofs, and open problems Wednesday, March 22nd Math 110 10.30-12.00

Abstract: I will mention the 10 most exciting open problems, and the partial results that we know about them (I will outline the proofs).

Light refreshments will be served before the talks.

List of talks, 2005-06
Archive of talks