Welcome to ESP

Splash Biography

JALEX STARK, Caltech junior studying mathematics

Major: Mathematics

College/Employer: Caltech

Year of Graduation: 2017

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Brief Biographical Sketch:

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Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

M101: Combinatorial Game Theory in Splash Spring 2016 (Feb. 27, 2016)
Alice and Bob have a pile of 10 berries to split between them. They don't really care how many berries they get to eat, but they would each like to eat the last berry. Bob proposes that they take turns eating the berries: first Alice eats one berry, and then Bob eats one berry, and so on until all the berries are gone. Alice objects, noting that Bob will surely get to eat the last berry this way. Alice makes a counterproposal: on each person's turn, they get to choose whether to eat one berry or two. Should Bob accept this proposal? That is, would Bob have some strategy for eating the last berry if they play by Alice's rules? (Play the game with a friend! You should be able to find a winning strategy for one of the players if you try hard enough.) In this class, we'll learn general methods for solving any game that looks enough like this one.