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Back to Game Theory

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4,352 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...

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 j

•Dec 5, 2016

Very formal and difficult to follow. Not for beginners. Not recommended for pros.

By Hannes V

•Jul 4, 2018

Not practical, difficult to see how you would implement in everyday life

By Kshitij B

•Sep 10, 2021

This is clearly not a beginner level course

By Souptik M

•May 24, 2018

monotonous

By Moisés A C d A R

•Feb 9, 2023

Didactics leave a lot to be desired and make the content much denser and more complex than it could be. If you don't have a great affinity for mathematics, understanding is difficult. There are better courses on the subject.

By Derek J D

•Mar 11, 2018

Much too academic for a layman - I thought it would offer more interesting insights into real-life issues instead of endless abstraction.

By Evangelos G L

•Nov 12, 2021

Definitely not for begginers. Goes deep from the very start, with lots of maths, without proper explanation of the terms used.

By FELIPE B R

•Jan 24, 2021

Difícil compreensão das equações e fórmulas matemáticas apresentadas

By Kongkona T

•Sep 5, 2021

the professors are so boring

By ARNAV

•Sep 2, 2020

Very obscure course!!!!!

By Daniel M

•Feb 21, 2022

Pesimas explicaciones

By sarthak g

•Jul 29, 2020

didnt understand much

By Takahide M

•Oct 3, 2022

No good.

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 Can d

•Jul 4, 2022

Dear publishers and everyone who put effort on this course,

It was an amazing training, I had learned a lot of things from basics to complex definitions. Complete course structure, games, quizes, exams are so detailed organized , it just somehow let you stay in the course and keep you in there until you complete it. There were some areas which are really not clearly understandable for example Shapley value but 98% of the course was easy to track, understandable but of course challenging.

Thank you very much that you created such an amazing thing and let us join for free.Amazing Job!

Greetings from Stuttgart,

Can Dönmez

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.

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