Developing Mathematical Reasoning using Attribute Games
By Anne Larson Quinn, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Edinboro University, Quinna@edinboro.edu
Frederick Weening, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Edinboro University, Fweening@edinboro.edu
Robert M. Koca, Jr., Ph.D.
Reproduced with permission from the Mathematics Teacher, copyright 1999 by the NCTM.
The game of SET® has proven to be a very popular game at our college mathematics club meetings. Since we've started playing, the membership has grown every month. In fact, one of our members brought her six year old son to a meeting, and he now looks forward to playing SET® with us every month. As a result of playing the game in our club and thinking about the results, we created and solved a variety of mathematical questions. For example, we wondered about possible strategies for winning and conjectured about phenomena that happened when playing. These questions involve a wide variety of traditional mathematical topics, such as the multiplication principle, combinations and permutations, divisibility, modular arithmetic, and mathematical proof.