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Game Theory




Admissions requirements

Classes of 2017 and after: Passing grade for the first-year Statistics and Mathematics Intermediate courses. (But also see Remarks).
Classes of 2016 and before: Passing grade for the first-year Numeracy course.


Every interaction between two or more individuals can be considered as a game being played. Thus, everyone of us is daily involved in mating games, auction games, negotiation games, information games, territorial games, etc. Game theory is the field of mathematics that models such interactions and aims to predict their outcomes. It is hard to overestimate its importance in widely different fields, such as economics, politics, finance, sociology, and biology. In recent years game theory has provided significant insights in the dynamics of human-environment interactions, and it continues to deliver valuable contributions to this increasingly important field of study.

In this course we will address classical games such as the Hawk-Dove game, and the Prisoner’s dilemma. These at first sight simple models lead to unexpected results, which greatly enhance our insight in the behaviour of humans as well as other species. Starting from these basic models we will consider generalizations such as dynamical games, where the consequences of choices that are made change in time, and probabilistic games, where outcomes depend on chance.

Course objectives

After this course students should be able to:

  • Discuss the importance of game theory in different contexts;

  • Derive and interpret results from classical game theoretic models;

  • Develop not-too-complex game theoretic models;

  • Study and critically evaluate texts on game theory and applications thereof independently;


Once available, timetables will be published here.

Mode of instruction

Lectures, group presentations, assignments, class discussions.


  • Class participation: 10%

  • Take home exams: 10% each (Friday midnight, weeks 2, 3, 4, 5 )

  • Portfolio on course assignments and theory: 30% (Friday midnight week 7)

  • Group project final report: 20% (Friday midnight week 8)


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list

  • William Spaniel (2011) : Game Theory 101: The Complete Textbook; CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; ISBN-10: 1492728152, ISBN-13: 978-1492728153

  • William Spaniel (2014): Game Theory 101: The Rationality of War; CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; ISBN-10: 1500685658; ISBN-13: 978-1500685652


This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Curriculum Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact


Dr. P. Haccou:


  • Recommended prerequisites: Calculus course

  • Please note that Game Theory is a branch of mathematics. Participants should therefore have a sufficient proficiency and interest in mathematics, and be prepared to amend their mathematics skills when necessary. Students with poor mathematics skills are advised not to choose this course.

  • Under special conditions, students who have a passing grade for the Statistics and the Mathematics Basic course may be able enroll in this course. If you wish to do so you should contact the instructor for an intake interview at least one month before the start of the course.