Back to Game Theory

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3,997 ratings

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807 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!

SC

Feb 7, 2022

I would have preferred a more mathematically rigorous treatment of the subject. Nevertheless, this was a great course — the instructors expounded all concepts with exceptional clarity and engagement.

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By 赵祺

•Jun 7, 2017

视频correction的地方太多，有些知识点没有b描述得hen'qing很清晰，整体课程质量中上

By Muhammad S

•Dec 3, 2020

More examples should be covered during lectures

By Abhishek

•Apr 13, 2020

More reading resources could have been provided

By Jennifer

•Nov 23, 2019

useful information. The math was over my head

By paridhi m

•Dec 18, 2020

explanation of topics could have been better

By Elihu S

•Nov 21, 2016

tricky concepts and long equations yet fun

By Raphael T

•Jan 6, 2019

quite slack, it lacks scientific rigor

By Loo W M

•Nov 25, 2016

Lecturer not conversant with subject.

By ank j

•Jan 13, 2021

good but needs more example practice

By Faya M F A

•Jan 12, 2021

Somehow I only understand from Matt.

By Do H A

•Sep 15, 2021

It's harder than my expectation.

By ROHIT S

•Sep 21, 2021

Not very hard to pass it.

By Jingxin Z

•Oct 19, 2018

a little bit confusing

By Josh T

•Jul 11, 2020

The examples with the tables and trees and calculations (i.e. the stuff on the problem sets and quizzes) were all fine, though during lecture there should have been far more examples worked through. And problem sets should be: 1or2 problems (max), then explanation in between, then another problem or two, etc... not just one big set with answers explained at the end. Students need a chance to learn from mistakes! But still, I'd give four stars if that were the whole issue. But the real issue was with the presentation of the theory (all the formal definition stuff - and there was a whole lot of that.) It was not done well. Very difficult to follow and even more difficult to connect to the real world examples, which were far easier to follow than the theory. My eyes glazed over often during those more formal parts of the lectures. And there were so many mistakes, both mis-spoken in the lectures and on the written slides and even on the problem set and quiz answers (confusing typos, not actual wrong answers) . Many of the lecture mistakes were caught and rectified using side notes, but that didn't help matters when one was already having trouble grasping concepts and vocabulary and such. Why not just re-record those sections without mistakes? And why not correct all the written issues? Left wanting, in the end...

By Grace L

•Aug 9, 2020

For those lacking the fluency of mathematical notation and definitions, many will find this course difficult. Primarily, I think my main bafflement is why this course is severely lacking in intuitive examples and easy-to follow explanations. The instructional format/style of 2 of the 3 (not you, Matt) stereotypical, ivory-towered math-savvy academics has not been well-developed to overcome the Curse of Knowledge, perpetuating the inaccessibility of the material for public knowledge. A bit disappointing. I basically had to supplement the entire course with more approachable lectures (go check out Yale's fantastic lectures on the topic - an example of instruction at its finest) to really gain an understanding of game theory's implications, an aspect virtually completely sacrificed to make room for all of holy symbols and rituals of formal notation.

By NIKHIL K

•Mar 25, 2017

For a beginner, it is a fair start but definitely many things could have been better. The course does cover the main subject concepts in fair amount of depth and with decent rigor. The course videos are sometimes kind of less engaging. Many a times I felt my interest waning off. Many a times, the mathematical equations looked daunting. I think more focus should be put on including more number of real world examples and solving them within the videos.

Also, the concept of three Professors for one course was hard to digest, which led to the whole course feeling discontinuous and disconnected at several instances.

By Stephen C

•Apr 17, 2020

This course has interesting concepts. But I found Yoav Shohan to be extremely difficult to follow. He skips points which would connect one thought to another and does not explain other things clearly. I had to go over his lectures several times each week to be able to understand what he was trying to convey. He should be teaching only more advanced courses. The other 2 instructors were engaging and much clearer. But they could not compensate for Dr. Shahan's negative impact. (for me). I have completed many coursera courses, but I dropped out of this one after Week 3.

By David W

•Sep 21, 2020

The lectures are filled with mathematical terminology and theory and have minimal examples to help you build a concrete foundation of understanding. The lecturers obviously know their stuff but didn't explain things in a way that I could understand. I wound up having to read a book about game theory to understand what the Coursera videos were saying, and then I realized that my time would better be spent reading the book and working through the exercises there myself rather than spending any further time on the Coursera course.

By Pablo E

•Mar 27, 2018

The course could be more didactic. I miss many more examples, exercises and complementary readings to the videos. The videos are not always easy to understand. The games could be explained better and the teachings that can be drawn from them are not usually commented. It is a very interesting subject in which I would like to come back into the case that there were more suitable materials. Thank you very much for offering this course.

By Кирилл К

•Feb 20, 2022

It is said that it is for beginners but it quite hard and complicated. More over i think that sometimes lecturers make it harder than it is (especially the one from computer since...). There is A LOT of math and lack of deep explanation, and good examples (especially with their formulas that they use a lot). Found lessons on game theory on youtube and they are way easier to understand.

By James K

•Aug 4, 2017

I'm sorry but I had to drop out. The course presentation is simply too static ( why do you bother to have the lecturers in the frame if all they do is talk to their little laptops?)

And while I've managed to complete a number of other courses which require a basic understanding on higher maths, the assumed knowledge in this course was beyond my limits.

By Jess

•Jul 8, 2021

Thanks coursera for providing this course, unfortunely I have quit without finishing, because the structure of this course was confusing to me, the subject of contents are incoherent or at least not for student who is new in this field. Another opinion is that the quality of videos has quite some room to be improved.

By Manuel G R V

•Aug 8, 2020

Game theory tries to solve an interesting subject with methods that rely on assumptions of optimization that are not necessarily true in real life. Instructors gave practically zero examples of cases where the application of these methods worked.

By Alan D

•Jan 27, 2020

This course was pretty terrible: there was actually very little content outside of a bunch of definitions and overly-complex formalism for the sake of formalism (i.e. the formalisms provide no actual mathematical insight into the topics).

By Alessandro S

•Jan 1, 2021

I could not solve the first questionnaire because the topics were treated shortly during the first week of course. In particular, I have not received specific instructions on how to find precisely a dominant strategy.

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