Back to Game Theory

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3,785 ratings

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779 reviews

Popularized by movies such as "A Beautiful Mind," game theory is the mathematical modeling of strategic interaction among rational (and irrational) agents. Beyond what we call `games' in common language, such as chess, poker, soccer, etc., it includes the modeling of conflict among nations, political campaigns, competition among firms, and trading behavior in markets such as the NYSE. How could you begin to model keyword auctions, and peer to peer file-sharing networks, without accounting for the incentives of the people using them? The course will provide the basics: representing games and strategies, the extensive form (which computer scientists call game trees), Bayesian games (modeling things like auctions), repeated and stochastic games, and more. We'll include a variety of examples including classic games and a few applications.
You can find a full syllabus and description of the course here: http://web.stanford.edu/~jacksonm/GTOC-Syllabus.html
There is also an advanced follow-up course to this one, for people already familiar with game theory: https://www.coursera.org/learn/gametheory2/
You can find an introductory video here: http://web.stanford.edu/~jacksonm/Intro_Networks.mp4...

WY

May 16, 2017

Great ! Interesting and abound at the same time. Hope Professors will clarify the strategic utility function more clearly because it's hard for students with poor math basic(forget most><) right now!

AS

Jan 26, 2019

Excellent course for beginners. Problem sets are very creative. No more further resources needed. I found this course specially useful if the purpose is to apply Game Theory in other disciplines.

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By Aakash P

•Oct 8, 2021

Its a really nice course, the maths has been taken care of properly, course is rich in sense of practical examples used to develop the intuition and background of topics and also in the end to show where the topics being taught can be readily seen in real life and slides are well designed with proper explanations provided.

The best thing is : course operates on block by block building structure.

By 张羽弛

•Jun 3, 2019

It's a good course and it would definitely better if the subtitles were not down some how. At most of the time I didn't get the point of the course immediately and I learn better with those practice questions. It would be better with more examples. The assignment and practice questions are too easy btw.

By Václav M

•Jul 4, 2020

The first weeks are very well structured and can be understood, but later on it gets more confused. I don't feel like I understand the cooperative games (weeks 6-8) after this course.

By YuanXi W

•Oct 3, 2021

An excellent course for those who has never learned game theory. However, I want it to be more in-depth to help me in my research.

By FSM

•Aug 31, 2021

Horrible course, filled with errors and typos, and the professors are not engaging, I fell at sleep during the course.

By sarthak g

•Jul 29, 2020

didnt understand much

By Aishwarya U

•Jun 14, 2017

I really enjoyed the course, which I pursued, at a time, I was commencing a project on multi-agent systems. Basically, two opponent robots and how they'd "strategise" against each other, for different tasks.

The lectures/quizzes/ course structure were a HUGE boost to formulating and well, I wouldn't' go as far as saying, solving, but moving towards solving the research problem, as this course helped me understand the technicalities of game theory as well as develop an intuition towards the approach.

One more point I'd raise in praise, is how, as the instructors are from diverse backgrounds, it lends a certain universality to thinking about the applications that come with every week's module - which, is contrary to my usual style of learning, but in this case, mind-expanding.

All in all, I really enjoyed the structure, and look forward to learning and applying further in my doctoral studies. Thanks a lot to the instructors and Coursera for giving me the opportunity to do so!

By Francesco G

•Oct 15, 2020

Very challenging and very interesting!

This is the hardest and most interesting course I have ever taken!

I have taken a few courses online in the last few months, as I believe in such a complicated time when even the most obvious logic is killed every day, we need to keep our brain sharp and our society united and tolerant.

Only a continuous dialogue and the awakening of human intelligence will save our societies.

After studying Game Theory again, I am more and more convinced that most of the so called "social distancing regulations" taken by Governments worldwide, are not only illegal, but also totally inefficient in the sense of not optimizing the outcomes for all stakeholders (either we consider the Pareto optimum or a Nash equilibrium), and creating strong economic and social distortions.

I will come back on this topic later on. Open about discussion with whoever is interested about the topic.

By Felix M

•Jan 17, 2020

I think this course covers the basics of Game Theory well. The three professors are competent and explain the topics well. I also enjoyed the assignments because of their practical nature.

If I had to name possible improvements I would suggest three things. One of the professors tends to talk very fast and is hard to follow sometimes. While I enjoyed the assignments more real world examples and applications would have been nice. Finally, I think the last week before the final assignment (week 7) about coalition games felt a little bit rushed and I had a hard time doing the assignment based on the video lectures alone. I had to use external materials to finish the assignment. Of course, that is totally acceptable, but I didn't have to do that for the prior weeks which were self contained.

By Manhar M

•Jun 22, 2020

While I think the course material is really good for someone who has had a taste of game theory in the past and works as an excellent prerequisite to the advanced topics, the mathematical proofs should have been given more weightage. In addition, Prof. Yoav should work a little more on improving his explanatory skills, and giving some background before getting into algorithms that are derived from the field of computer science. Some additional readings and citing sources for certain topics would be useful for people wanting to read up more (like Prof. Jackson did for the proof for the Shapley Value). All in all, a pretty resourceful course.

By Nikolaj M

•Oct 9, 2016

This course is great. The teachers provide excellent exposition of the problems, the formalization, and the solution concepts of generic agents and types of agents acting simultaneously, sequentially in games with complete and incomplete information. The math required is middle school probability calculation and equations. The formal definitions of games and concepts are more demanding, but a complete understanding of the formal definition is not required to solve the problem sets or the exam. The teachers are good at giving explanations and examples in a natural language to scaffold the understanding of the formal definitions.

By Kedar T

•Jun 18, 2021

This is an excellent course and great opportunity for learning in Game theory. Thanks to Stanford and Coursera for the efforts.

Course assignments get tougher as we go ahead, but thats the way to learn. At few times the the demonstrated examples are much simpler than the problem set assignments.

One problem in Problem set 7. Question number 6 needs to be addressed. The right answer mentioned contained option "d", where as in assignment problem statement option "d" is absent. So its as if hard coded with wrong answer :-(.

Overall it was great experience to complete this course in around weeks time.

-Kedar Tokekar

By DS C

•Aug 25, 2017

The course is superb. However, it would be nice to have more "first principles" examples and explanations, instead of frequently relying on convenient tricks such as iterated removal of strictly-dominated strategies, symmetry, and substitute-able MC answers. These tricks help tremendously in introducing new concepts, but not so much in solving generic problems. For example, while the Nash equilibrium is defined rigorously using best response, in quizzes it is often found by trial-and-error using the no-player-wishes-to-deviate concept instead of the definition.

By Rustam M

•Jun 13, 2020

Overall it was a very interesting and thought-provoking course with good explanations. The course conveyors break down some rather abstract concepts in a way that even an outsider can comprehend the logic and nature of Game Theory. However, I think that in general the course would benefit if more real life examples are provided, so to link the theoretical concepts with day-to-day examples, otherwise at times the content was slightly bland and tiresome to follow. But it certainly does not devalue the great job done by the Professors and Coursera.

By Yary R

•Oct 2, 2019

I decided to undertake this course to help my idealism and my loath for unfairness by seeing what mathematical justification wrong doers have to do what they do. I have gotten my answer, even though I have just scratched the surface of a subject which I would define "sacred". The front of Plato's Academy used to read: "No one [is admitted] who is ignorant of Geometry". Today would add Games Theory as a must, together with Evolutionary Theory. A kind advice to those who are adept of Mathematics and wish to tread this world: learn Game Theory.

By Kyle L

•Jul 1, 2017

I took this course as a refresher on Game Theory. I found it to be a solid way to refine my understanding of the fundamental concepts as well as to expand my exposure to more complex approaches. This course has a reasonable flow for beginner and intermediate learners, and also utilizes simulated games to create an interactive experience towards understanding the course content. I would recommend this course to anyone looking to develop a systematic (and quantifiable) outlook towards strategizing and decision-making.

By Mehul G

•Nov 27, 2018

It was a very informative and mentally stimulating course. I thoroughly enjoyed this course and now look at the world in a different light: considering the pros and cons of each decision I make, critically analysing it. Therefore, I take it upon myself to personally recommend this course to all prospective learners or interested persons. All in all this course will make you a more rational and logical thinker, enabling you to understand the intricacies of everyday decision making.

By Kyle C

•May 15, 2017

I would not say that my specialty is math, or logical mathematical thinking, but I wanted to challenge myself by taking this course. The material, while difficult, was taught in a way that was very approachable, even for someone like myself, who had not attended a math class since my undergraduate education nearly a decade ago. The concepts were very interesting, and I had fun working out a path to solving the strategies, be it pure or mixed strategies, to solve each problem.

By Voo T V

•Jan 10, 2017

5 out of 5!

I managed to finish this course in just 10 days. Pretty simple yet practical, providing a very good introduction of Game Theory.

Would totally recommend this to anyone who wants to start learning Game Theory. Assessments are easy relatively; focus more on practical calculations than theoretical questions (which I assumed will be asked in Advanced Level).

All 3 instructors are friendly and experienced in lecturing, which helps a lot in understanding the materials.

By juan m e b

•Mar 7, 2018

Great course to learn the fundamentals of game theory. My advice for an absolute begginer, as myself, it's studying before watching the lectures, given that not everything is going to be explained and some details and procedures may not be completely clear if you only watch the videos, therefore, is very important reading the recommended books in the syllabus, and some others, to get a better idea of what is a mixed strategy, bayesians games and the shapley value.

By Tze-Ern C

•Jul 23, 2019

This was my first acquaintance with game theory and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I was interested in the concepts rather than the mathematics and was pleased that this approach still allowed me to follow the lectures and pass the quizzes. I thought that the quizzes sometimes contained questions that weren't quite covered by the lectures, but appreciated the explanations that came with the answers. I would be glad of a follow-up course on behavioural game theory.

By Adam K

•Jan 8, 2017

Very interesting course. In my opinion in requires some mathematical background (e.g. to read mathematical notation) but more important is logical thinking. Sometimes you'd have to go an extra mile and find some external materials on particular topic to fully understand it but I'd say it's a good thing. I would recommend that course to anyone who knows that game theory exists but never really had a chance to explore it in more detail.

By Seth G L

•Jun 15, 2018

This course was highly informative, and covers essentially everything one should get in an introductory game theory class. However, I feel like there is a lot that is left unsaid in the section about cooperative games, particularly in regard to calculating the Shapley value over large games, non-transferable utility games, etc... Overall though, for one wanting to become acquainted with game theory, this is an excellent choice.

By Prabhupad B

•Dec 14, 2020

The course is well structured to give a holistic idea of the application of Game Theory in the real world. It also covers all the important concepts of the subject with a detailed explanation. However, some parts of the course need improvement. The instructors can use more practical examples to connect to the economic side of game theory. The overall experience was excellent and the course was very informative.

By joel b

•Sep 1, 2020

I thoroughly enjoyed this course! I learned a lot, and it was good to see some practical examples of how to apply these skills, as an IR student this will also come in handy for my own work. My only complaint is I wish there were more example problems provided, as it was difficult at some points to apply the theory taught to only one example problem where I think more examples would have been useful.

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