McKenzie Lamb speaks Nov. 10 about using math to increase chances of winning at Monopoly

McKenzie Lamb

McKenzie Lamb, associate professor of mathematical sciences and chair of the department at Ripon College, will present the talk “Modeling Monopoly: Discrete Approximations, Google PageRank, and Homotopies” Tuesday, Nov. 10. The talk will run from 3-4 p.m. in Todd Wehr Hall, Room 216, on the college campus.

He will speak about a joint research project with Mitchell Eithun ’17 of New London, Wisconsin, and Andrea Young, assistant professor of mathematical sciences and chair of the department, related to Monopoly, mathematics and how to increase one’s chances of winning a game of Monopoly.

They used a computer model to analyze strategy in the game of Monopoly. The emphasis is on the mathematical ideas used in the analysis, including discrete approximations of continuous spaces, a linear algebra-based ranking scheme, and the notion of a homotopy. The results suggest a set of simple guidelines that can significantly improve a player’s winning percentage.

Relatively little mathematical background is required to understand most of the talk, and all are welcome to attend.