Bao Ho

Bao Ho
Bao Ho

Tell us a little bit about yourself

I completed my PhD at La Trobe University after my master (science and technology education) also at La Trobe. I’m now based at La Trobe, as an honorary research fellow.

I’m working on two-player combinatorial games. Examples of these games include Go, Chess, Checker, and Tic-tac-toe. My research focuses on impartial games in which legal moves depend on the position rather than who is about to move. The game of Nim is an example, in which the two players alternately remove tokens from a row of piles until all tokens are removed. I have analyzed many variants of Nim, studying winning strategies, complexity, and numerical properties including periodicity. Studying games is enjoyable as I can see how mathematics exists in real life. For example, it would help to explain why some games look simple to play but are very hard to analyze.

What are your favourite applications of your work?
It is too early to point any application of my work since my research focuses on pure mathematics. However, as I mentioned, I can see how theory exists beyond real-life games. Hopefully, we can accumulate enough theory to solve games that human plays in real life.

Why do you want to attend the Heidelberg Laureate Forum?
This event is an excellent opportunity for young researchers to meet heroic scientist in mathematics and computer science. I believe this even is the best chance to meet so many renowned researchers who job is spending time to share their view with young people during a week. The event would also provide me a network opportunity. Meeting new people is enjoyable.

If you could meet any Fields Medalist or Abel Prize winner, which would it be and why

I read a book about Fermat’s Last Theorem when I was in the first year at university and Sir Andrew Wiles was so impressive to me. How surprising, I have chance to meet him in this event.