Map Coloring and Blokus

IMG_20170511_120003These two – Map coloring and Blokus – were the most popular activities at last Thursday’s morning math circle. Other games that I brought were SpotIt – it provides a nice break from problem-solving, but also I hope one day to do a circle that would explore this game deeper.

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Izzi was another popular puzzle. It’s very meditative and, no matter what you do there, you end up with something beautiful and unique. That’s another idea for the future – explore the real big numbers with Izzi.

There was also a spirited game of Mine Shift going at some point. Among other ideas, you can investigate the commutative property with it.

Other puzzles I prepared were the Knight’s Tour (you can play the 8×8 version of it online or draw your own any size version) and the map coloring puzzle.

Since the map coloring was the more popular of the two, here’s the description:

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I drew a bunch of “maps”, but you can draw your own. 3×5 cards are perfect for this. Your task is to color you map using as few colors as possible and following the Rule:

THE RULE: No two areas that touch each other (have a common boundary) can be the same color. EXCEPTION: Areas that touch at only one point can be the same color.

After coloring a few maps, see if you can draw a map that only requires 2 colors? How about 3 colors? Perhaps a 4-color map? Can you create a map that would require at least 5 different colors?

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