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Honoursmodule: Games and Decisions

How to fairly allocate prize money or ad revenue? What is the power of political parties in a democracy? And how to decide whether a company should advertise or not?

Often, it is hard to make the ‘right’ decision. Especially in situations where you have to deal with others who have different goals and where the outcome of your choice is dependent on the choices the others make. Or in situations where fairness is not straightforward. In all of these situations you might want to rely on a solid foundation that can help you with your decisions and allocations and back up your choice.  

Game theory is such a solid and mathematical foundation. It provides a strong framework of mathematical models and tools to analyse and solve these interactive decision-making processes. Game theory is a mathematical theory and as such is not relying on a specific context. Therefore, it can be applied in all interactive situations where decisions and allocations have to be made. The aim of this course is therefore twofold: on the one hand, the focus is on the mathematical theory. We take a mathematical approach and study all the game theoretic concepts as part of the field of Mathematics. On the other hand, we cover several applications in terms of real-life situations.  

The course is divided into two parts: cooperative and non-cooperative game theory, the two main pillars of game theory. In the first part, the focus is on non-cooperative or strategic games. Among others, the following topics will be discussed: 

  • Strategic games: matrix (zero-sum) games and bimatrix games; 
  • Nash equilibria: pure and mixed Nash equilibria, best-reply strategies and optimal strategies;
  • Applications: evolutionary games and evolutionary stable equilibria. 

In the second part of the course, the focus is on cooperative games. Among others, the following topics will be discussed: 

  • Cooperative games: transferable utility games; 
  • Solution concepts: core, Shapley value and nucleolus; 
  • Applications: voting games 

Timetable

You can find the timetable on Datanose.

Registration

Registration is possible for Bachelor's students participating in an Honours programme. Registration will start on 6 June at 10 am and end on 11 June at 11 pm. You can register through the online registration form that will appear on Honoursmodules IIS (registration is NOT through SIS). Placement is at random and students will hear within two weeks for which course(s) they are registered. There is no guarantee for placement if you register after 11 June, so make sure you register on time! 

For questions about registration please email to: Honours-iis@uva.nl 

More information

Facts & Figures
Mode
Honours programme
Credits
6 ECTS,
Language of instruction
English
Starts in
October