Kutztown University Spring 2015 Section 4 POW Winner!

I was awarded as the sole recipient of KU’s Problem of the Week Challenge. Although it’s called that, it is NOT a weekly process. This semester there were only 4 opportunities to win. I only started competing during the final round and was ruled to be the only one with a (nearly) complete solution.

Here’s some information below for anyone that is interested in the scope of this competition. (Only Kutztown University students can participate).


There are four piles of coins on a table. The first pile has three coins, the second has four, the third has four, and the last has five. A game is conducted between two players, Alice and Bob. Each turn, a player must make one of the following moves.

  • Remove one coin from a pile, provided at least two coins are left behind in that pile.
  • Remove an entire pile of two or three coins. This can not be done if pile consists of four coins.

The player who takes the last pile wins. If both Alice and Bob play optimally, who will win? Why?

Solution will be posted soon.

See KU’s Math Department for details and winners (me, hehe).

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