Back to Game Theory

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4,576 ratings

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...

SC

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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.

RC

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The course is generally good. The exercises however are not very well explained. Furthermore, it would be nice to have a pdf from the course in order to be able to study independently.

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By Robert S

•Nov 20, 2018

Great introduction to game theory, especially for those with some mathematical background. Good examples of using models presented in the course to analyze real-world situations.

By Jingyi G

•Oct 10, 2016

Actually, this course is a great one to take. Professors have explained these concepts and main ideas very clearly, therefore students can understand it very easily, even if they do not have previous knowledge about game theory. I want to say “thank you” to all the three professors for making such a concise and intelligible course.

However, I would like to give some suggestions about this course. There is an obvious gap between the quizzes and graded assignments. Sometimes the quiz is very easy and it just requires you to have a basic understanding of the concept, while the assignment is even more difficult than the examples included in the videos. I think this course would be better if the staff can improve the difficulty gap between quizzes and assignments. And for people who want to enroll this course, an exercise book with detailed solution would be helpful for you to learn it better.

As for the content of this course, there are lots of formulas from Week 5 to the end, which are a little difficult to understand. I fully understand this because math is always abstract, and formulation is an essential part of it. I think this problem can be solved by providing more ungraded quizzes for students to practice. They can have a better comprehension of the content through practicing.

Anyway, this course is worth taking. Through learning it you will gain not only the knowledge about game theory, but also a new way to understand relationships around you. Happy learning!

By Alberto F

•Sep 28, 2016

Really interesting course but I have some recomendations:

1)I've missed that the professors would have done more example exercises on every lesson

2)The value of the certificate to others (ie to find a job) is how hard is to pass the course or the minimum knowledge that the student adquires. The evaluation system makes it very easy to cheat (with 3 attemps every 8 hours for the practice sets or the exam). With test-type answers it is very easy to pass the course even if you haven't watched any lesson video or learnt anything.

3) For point 2 I recommend that the check system on practice sets and the exam could be able to accept numeric or simbolic answers (not test-type) so that it will have infinite answers and nobody could cheat the system (in Edx I've done some courses that have this system). Another option could be that every attempt that you make substracted 10% on the calification of that practice set, so if you've already done the practice set twice you could only get 70% tops on the third attempt.

Thanks to the staff!

By Akbar S

•Sep 11, 2021

I think this course has been delivered in a very comprehensive way. Virtually everyone with a keen interest in game theory can enroll in this course, although I think a basic comprehension of maths is still needed (inequalities, sigma function, etc.). However, I can say that there are two problems I faced while completing the course. First, sometimes (if not most of the times) the lecturers didn't go into detail especially with the step-by-step solution in each problem case, making it hard to understand how they can come up with such solutions. Second, the quiz in each week can be totally different from what was told in the videos. Most of the times, I can only do the quizzes correctly by also looking up for other references online or going to the discussion forum. Most of the questions in the quizzes aren't the ones taken as examples in the videos.

Overall, again, this is a comprehensive course in game theory. I think I'm gonna try to enroll for the advanced course of the same topic.

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 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 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 Fumagalli F

•Aug 26, 2021

As someone who knew almost nothing about Game Theory beforehand I've really enjoyed this course. I just wish there were more exercises, especially about the Shapley Value. Leyton-Brown's lessons were my favourite, and I enjoyed the bits of mathematical history here and there and the simple examples. For reference, it took me around 20 hours to follow the lessons taking notes and complete the exercises, although I'll have to review further a lot of the theory. Thanks!

By Jesse F S

•Dec 14, 2020

This course is incredible. If you are interested in understanding the principles of Game Theory, this is the course for you. This is the best online course I have ever taken.

By Aldrich W

•Sep 18, 2020

This course is pretty challenging and involves some complicated math, but it is really helpful! Nice concepts explained by three professors!

By Yuchi Z

•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 Rajesh C M

•Jul 16, 2018

Excelente curso!

By Renato A S

•Mar 10, 2018

Very, very good.

By Roland R

•Nov 29, 2017

Good course for

By Cường N L Q

•Sep 28, 2022

Nai xừ ba lần

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 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 Alexander F

•May 8, 2023

The learning material is very weak, it doesn't give you knowledge sufficient for solving practical tasks and tests at the end of each week. Be ready for many frustrations and googling. Be ready to find Game Theory 101 by William Spaniel on YouTube.

Pros: Practical tasks at the end of each week are really helpful in studying game theory in practice.

Cons: The video course doesn't give you the necessary knowledge to pass the practical exercises.

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).