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CUR 412: Game Theory and its Applications

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Course Information

Syllabus (pdf)

Online Teaching:

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, we will spend some part of the course online. Please take the following steps:
  1. If you are not a member of the WeChat group CUR412-2020 already, contact me and I will add you.
  2. Please go to and register (it's free). Note that there should be a ".cn" at the end. We will be using this app for live video meetings. After registering, you can download the app for mobile, Windows or Mac. My meeting ID is 642-597-7540; please copy this down.

Course Description:

Game theory is the study of rational behavior in strategically interdependent situations, that is, situations where the results of your actions depend on what other agents do (and vice versa). It is the foundation of economic theory and has many applications in economics, business, political science, and biology.

This course is an introduction to the ideas and concepts behind game theory. We will study the ways in which economists formally specify a multi-agent situation (called a game), and the ways of determining the outcome of the situation, assuming all agents are behaving rationally. We will see examples of game theory applied to a variety of fields.

The language of instruction for this course is English.

Textbooks and Learning Resources

The primary textbook is An Introduction to Game Theory by Martin Osborne, published by Oxford University Press. (textbook website) You can download chapters 1-3 from there; click on the links titled "Introduction", "Nash equilibrium: theory", and "Nash equilibrium: illustrations".

There is a Chinese translation of the book; it is highly recommended that you get the Chinese version if you find you are having trouble with the English in the textbook.

Games of Strategy, 2nd Ed. by Avinash Dixit and Susan Skeath is useful as a secondary textbook; it is less mathematical and provides more intuition.

For the interested student, has an extensive list of books and online lecture notes related to game theory.

Lecture Slides


Current Semester's Exams

Past Exams

Course Outline

Not all topics may be covered, depending on time constraints.