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The Game of Set Expands into Outer Space

How could contemplation of four-dimensional space and the introduction of “number comets” not make an already fun game yet more enjoyable?

In their article “Sets, Planets, and Comets,” which appears in the puzzle-themed September issue of The College Mathematics Journal, members of the American Institute of Mathematics Math Teachers’ Circle conceive of sets in the game of Set as lines in a certain four-dimensional space.

Running with this geometric characterization, they introduce planes into the game, and, from there, devise a variation of Set (which involves the number comets mentioned earlier). The authors promise that the new game—Planet—“proceeds at a more leisurely pace than the typical frenzy of a Set game.”

So, what are you waiting for? Read the paper and get playing!

Subscribers can read the complete article online. (Visit, log in in the upper right, and go to "My Subscriptions.")

This special issue of The College Mathematics Journal is available for individual purchase in the MAA Store.

About the September College Mathematics Journal
The September issue of The College Mathematics Journal is a full-color compendium of papers about the mathematics of games, from Set and mancala to Chomp and Boggle. Learn to navigate a triangular honeycomb chessboard; ponder the necessity of stupid dice; or contemplate the jaw-dropping—and perhaps salivation-inducing—prospect of a bar of chocolate that extends to infinity in all directions. Order your copy today!


News Date: 
Monday, September 9, 2013