Pedagogical Possibilities for the Dice Game Pig

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Publication Date



Computer Science


Simple examples are teaching treasures. Finding a concise, effective illustration is like finding a precious gem. When such an example is fun and intriguing, it is educational gold. In this paper, we share the jeopardy dice game of Pig, which has extremely simple rules, engaging play, and a complex optimal policy. We describe its historical uses in mathematics, and share ways in which we have used the game to teach basic concepts in CS1, and intermediate concepts in introductory artificial intelligence, networking, and scientific visualization courses. We also describe the rich challenges Pig offers for undergraduate research in machine learning.


Original version is available from the publisher at: http://www.ccsc.org/publications/pubsJournal.htm