This class teaches the fundamentals of game theory. Throughout the course, you will learn basic concepts and models widely used in different fields to analyze strategic interaction. The objective of the course is to endow you with the tools needed to dissect everyday problems into the most basic agents' interactions and incentives, make valuable predictions, and understand real-world outcomes.
The course covers essential economic concepts like rationality and choice under uncertainty. The canonical game forms are analyzed based on such ideas: static games, dynamic games, and games under uncertainty. For each type of game, you will learn about the essential incentives involved, the main insights leading agents' behavior, and the solution concepts required to make predictions (Nash Equilibrium, Subgame Perfection, Dominated Strategies, etc. Such game forms and solution concepts are applied to various problems, from electoral manipulation to price competition among firms and auctions. The covered material is comparable to an introductory undergraduate game theory course and will provide some review if you have a limited mathematical background.
Online course details:
The course is entirely asynchronous so that you can learn at your own pace. Each week, a set of five lectures is posted, along with one corresponding quiz and a small weekly project. In this way, you can reinforce their learning by thinking about questions that test the most elemental concepts from the lectures. Discussion is a central element of learning game theory. In this course, the instructor proposes a real-world weekly case and highlights aspects that might be at odds with popular belief. You will then discuss and offer possible explanations in discussion forums, moderated by the instructor. Finally, throughout the course and guided by the instructor, you will work on a personal project, analyzing a problem of particular interest using the tools you are learning in class.
In-person course details:
In addition to a daily lecture and a weekly problem set, you will learn interactively. First, the course offers bi-weekly "laboratory" sessions where students can test classic game-theoretical models in real life, analyze their outcomes, and contrast them with the model predictions. Second, throughout the course and guided by the instructor, you will work on a personal project, analyzing a problem of particular interest using the tools you are learning in class.
After this course, you will have accomplished the following. First, learned the basics of game theory and its applications. Second, understand the connections of economics with different disciplines. Third, learned the basics of researching an idea in the light of game theory. Finally, you will be better prepared for introductory undergraduate game theory courses and/or can focus on challenging mathematical aspects in more advanced courses.
This course is intended for students with a strong preference and aptitude for logic and mathematical reasoning. Although calculus is not required, a strong grasp of algebra is advised. Some adjustments can be made for those interested in learning the basic concepts with less math content. However, if you prefer behavioral sciences and psychology, the Behavioral Game Theory course is likely a better fit. The in-person course recommends a laptop for course-related programming, games/simulations, etc. Please note that some devices (e.g., Chromebooks) do not allow software downloads onto a desktop and so will not accommodate the specific needs of this course. If you have questions about this requirement please reach out to [email protected]
Online sections of Pre-College courses are offered in one of the following modalities: Asynchronous, Mostly asynchronous, or Blended. Please review full information regarding the experience here.