About this Course
4.6
723 ratings
186 reviews
This course provides a brief introduction to game theory. Our main goal is to understand the basic ideas behind the key concepts in game theory, such as equilibrium, rationality, and cooperation. The course uses very little mathematics, and it is ideal for those who are looking for a conceptual introduction to game theory. Business competition, political campaigns, the struggle for existence by animals and plants, and so on, can all be regarded as a kind of “game,” in which individuals try to do their best against others. Game theory provides a general framework to describe and analyze how individuals behave in such “strategic” situations. This course focuses on the key concepts in game theory, and attempts to outline the informal basic ideas that are often hidden behind mathematical definitions. Game theory has been applied to a number of disciplines, including economics, political science, psychology, sociology, biology, and computer science. Therefore, a warm welcome is extended to audiences from all fields who are interested in what game theory is all about....
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Calendar

Flexible deadlines

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Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Clock

Suggested: 3-4 hours/week

Approx. 11 hours to complete
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English

Skills you will gain

Game TheoryNash EquilibriumCooperationStrategic Planning
Globe

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Calendar

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Clock

Suggested: 3-4 hours/week

Approx. 11 hours to complete
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

1

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

Why Do We Need Game Theory, and What Does it Tell Us?

Is it possible to analyze a wide variety of social and economic problems using a unified framework? In the first module, we address this question. We will see that the concept of rational decision making is useful, but it is not quite sufficient to provide governing principles. Motivated examples and some history of game theory will be provided. You will also be asked to play a simple card game to see how it feels to make your decisions strategically....
Reading
12 videos (Total 91 min), 4 readings, 4 quizzes
Video12 videos
1-1 What is Game Theory? 8m
1-2 Modelling Social Problems as a "Game" 12m
1-3 In Search for the Governing Principle10m
1-4 Concerns About a Mathematical Theory of Human Behavior 7m
1-5 Let's Play a Game 6m
Card Game Tutorial (No Audio)2m
1-6 John Nash Discovered the Governing Principle 6m
1-7 Nash Equilibrium9m
1-8 Traffic Game in Reality 7m
1-9 Location Game 6m
1-10 Policies of Two Parties 10m
Reading4 readings
Course Description10m
Syllabus10m
Card Game Challenge Instruction10m
(Supplementary Reading Material) Convergence to Nash Equilibrium in the Traffic Game10m
Quiz4 practice exercises
Practice Quiz 1.12m
Practice Quiz 1.24m
Practice Quiz 1.32m
Graded Quiz 114m

2

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Understanding Nash equilibrium

The basic solution concept of game theory is Nash equilibrium. In Module 2, we try to understand this central concept through various examples and ask the following crucial question: how do players come to play a Nash equilibrium?...
Reading
10 videos (Total 89 min), 4 quizzes
Video10 videos
2-2 Coordination Game and Self-Fulfilling Prophecy 9m
2-3 Market Competition 11m
2-4 Why Do People Come to Play Nash Equilibrium? Part I7m
2-5 Why Do People Come to Play Nash Equilibrium? Part II 7m
2-6 Why Do People Come to Play Nash Equilibrium? Part III 7m
2-7 Stylized Facts and Nash Equilibrium 5m
2-8 Make Yourself Unpredictable: Mixed Strategy Equilibrium 7m
2-9 Sports Games and Game Theory 10m
2-10 Nash Equilibrium Exists in All Games 11m
Quiz4 practice exercises
Practice Quiz 2.14m
Practice Quiz 2.24m
Practice Quiz 2.34m
Graded Quiz 214m

3

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Rationality, Knowledge, and Evolution in Games

In Module 3, we will dig deeper into the relationship between rationality and Nash equilibrium. We will consider the whole spectrum of possible intellectual capacities of players, spanning the range from unlimited ability for sophisticated reasoning to absolute zero intelligence. In the end, you will see that Nash equilibrium can emerge under a fairly wide range of intellectual capacities of players....
Reading
9 videos (Total 94 min), 1 reading, 4 quizzes
Video9 videos
3-2 Digression: How You Played the Card Game and Addressing the Concerns about Game Theory15m
3-3 “Payoffs” in a Game: What Exactly Are Those Numbers? 9m
3-4 What Does it Mean That a Player is Rational? 6m
3-5 Domination: Strategies That Are “Obviously Good or Bad”10m
3-6 Common Knowledge of Rationality 10m
3-7 Low Rationality: What Happens if Players Are Not Very Smart?7m
3-8 Game Theory Under Zero-Intelligence: Biological Evolution 10m
3-9 Fig Wasps Play a Nash Equilibrium 11m
Reading1 reading
Aggregated Result of the Card Game Challenge10m
Quiz4 practice exercises
Practice Quiz 3.12m
Practice Quiz 3.24m
Practice Quiz 3.34m
Graded Quiz 314m

4

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

Sustaining Cooperation

The final module is devoted to the most important and most general message of game theory: rational behavior quite often leads to a socially undesirable outcome. We will first try to understand the basic reason for this, and then see how this insight of game theory has made fundamental impacts in the natural and social sciences. Finally, we will learn some general methods to overcome this problem....
Reading
11 videos (Total 123 min), 1 reading, 4 quizzes
Video11 videos
4-2 Why is Group Rationality Different From Rationality of Individuals? 10m
4-3 Group Rationality vs. Rationality of Individuals in Biological Evolution 11m
4-4 Group Rationality vs. Rationality of Individuals in Social Thought 11m
4-5 How to Enforce Socially Desirable Outcomes13m
4-6 Cooperation of gas Stations in Long-Term Relationship Part I: Need For Cooperation 12m
4-7 Cooperation of Gas Stations in Long-Term Relationship Part II: Mechanism of Cooperation11m
4-8 Reputation and Brand Name10m
4-9 Cooperation in Loosely Knit Organization14m
4-10 Summary of the Course 13m
Final Message4m
Reading1 reading
(Supplementary Reading Material) Why People Discount Future Payoff ?10m
Quiz4 practice exercises
Practice Quiz 4.12m
Practice Quiz 4.22m
Practice Quiz 4.32m
Graded Quiz 414m
4.6
Direction Signs

33%

started a new career after completing these courses
Briefcase

83%

got a tangible career benefit from this course
Money

25%

got a pay increase or promotion

Top Reviews

By LLJan 20th 2016

This is a very good introduction to game theory having never before studied this subject I have found that the Lectures are easy to understand and flow very well from one to the other.

By LYDec 17th 2017

Simple to follow, focuses on introducing basic concepts rather than the math. Could be more in-depth though. Nonetheless, great precursor to the Game Theory course from Stanford.

Instructor

Michihiro Kandori

Professor
Faculty of Economics

About The University of Tokyo

The University of Tokyo was established in 1877 as the first national university in Japan. As a leading research university, UTokyo offers courses in essentially all academic disciplines at both undergraduate and graduate levels and conducts research across the full spectrum of academic activity....

Frequently Asked Questions

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