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Introduction to Game Theory



[BSc] PSc, ID, S,MM

Admission Requirements


Note: whereas high-school mathematics and the contents of the Numeracy course provide sufficient background knowledge for this course, you should also have a sufficient proficiency and interest in mathematics, and be prepared to amend your math skills where necessary.


Every interaction involves a game being played. Thus, everyone is daily involved in mating games, auction games, negotiation games, information games, territorial games, etc. Even the existence of human beings, and that of all other organisms, can be perceived as the result of an ongoing evolutionary game. Game theory is the field of mathematics that models 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.

Course Objectives

After this course students will:

  • Understand what game theory is.

  • Understand why it is important

  • Know how to apply game theory in different contexts

  • Be able to critically evaluate applications of game theoretic models

Mode of Instruction

Classes involve short lectures, quizes, student presentations, and problem sessions.

The work mode will vary, from working individually, in pairs, or in groups, to whole-class collaboration. You will be required to give short presentations and lead or participate in discussion sessions on contents of the textbook throughout the course. During the last week you will work on an individual project based on a selected chapter of the textbook.


Assessment: Six quizzes
Percentage: 30% (5% each)
Deadline: Week 2-7 Mondays

Assessment: Several in-class assignments
Percentage: 15%
Deadline: Weeks 1–6

Assessment: Exam
Percentage: 20%
Deadline: Weeks 8

Assessment: Two project presentations on selected text, of 5-10 mins
Percentage: 10% (5% each)
Deadline: Weeks 1–6

Assessment: Essay on selected text (2000 words)
Percentage: 25%
Deadline: Week 7 Friday 12 PM



  • Playing for Real – Coursepack Edition, Ken Binmore 2012, Oxford University Press, ISBN: 978-0-19-992453-0

Make sure you have this book before the course starts.

Additional materials will be provided in Blackboard.

Contact Information


Weekly Overview

  • Week 1: Introduction;

  • Week 2: Dynamical games and backward induction;

  • Week 3: Chance;

  • Week 4: Risk and utility;

  • Week 5: Extensive and strategic form of games;

  • Week 6: Randomized strategies;

  • Week 7: Selected chapter project;

  • Week 8: Exam.

Preparation for first session

Read sections 1, 2, 3, and 4 of chapter 1. Prepare a list of questions and points you want to discuss.

Go to http://cran.r-project.org/
Install R on your laptop according to the instructions given there

On that same website, go to Documentation and
Download and study ‘R for beginners’ (under: contributed)
Download and glance through the manual ‘An introduction to R’ (under: manuals)

Got to http://www.rstudio.org/
Install Rstudio on your laptop according to the instructions given there and look through
the documentation on how to use it.