Photograph of darts pinning a dollar bill to a dartboard. (Image courtesy of Daniel Bersak.)
Game Theory is a misnomer for Multiperson Decision Theory, the analysis of situations in which payoffs to agents depend on the behavior of other agents. It involves the analysis of conflict, cooperation, and (tacit) communication. Game theory has applications in several fields, such as economics, politics, law, biology, and computer science. In this course, I will introduce the basic tools of game theoretic analysis. In the process, I will outline some of the many applications of game theory, primarily in economics and political science.
Game Theory has emerged as a branch of mathematics and is still quite mathematical. Our emphasis will be on the conceptual analysis, keeping the level of math to a minimum, especially at a level that should be quite acceptable to the average MIT student. Yet bear in mind that this still implies that you should be at ease with basic probability theory and calculus, and more importantly, you should be used to thinking in mathematical terms. Intermediate Microeconomics is also a prerequisite (simultaneous attendance to one of the intermediate courses is also acceptable). In any case, if you are taking this course, you should be prepared to work hard.
*Some translations represent previous versions of courses.