The Mathematics of Optimal Strategies: Introduction to Game Theory (MAT2250.01)

Kathryn Montovan

We typically think of games (like football, scrabble, and bridge) as entertaining competitions where each player or team tries to outsmart, outrun, or generally be better than their opponent. In this course, we will broaden this definition of a game to be any interaction between individuals where there are well-defined rewards that depend on what the opponent decides to do. In this context, we will learn how to frame social, economic, political, and evolutionary dilemmas as a mathematically defined game, then we will analyze these games to determine the best way to respond. We will also use this framework to understand how we can create rewards and punishments that should produce certain desired behaviors from individuals. Topics will include dominance, backward induction, Nash equilibria, evolutionary stability, asymmetric information, and signaling. Students will apply algebra and optimization skills to problems, demonstrate different techniques for determining the optimal strategy for a situation, determine the most effective approaches to applied problems, and communicate their solutions orally and in writing.

Note: If you are accessing the course remotely you will need a tablet that you can write on so that you can participate in group work. Please talk to the instructor if this is a concern.

Learning Outcomes:
In this course, you will:
• Reframe real-world problems as mathematical questions
• Use algebra skills to determine optimal strategies
• Work collaboratively with classmates to solve unfamiliar problems
• Develop logical frameworks for assessing optimal strategies for interactions
• Communicate mathematics orally and in writing

Delivery Method: Remotely accessible
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 4
T/F 10:30AM - 12:20PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 20
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years

Categories: All courses , Mathematics , Remotely Accessible
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