Game Theory and Applications I

Econ 166A, TIM 166A, CMPS 166A

Fall 2015

 

Announcements:

The answer key (and grading criteria) to the final is posted.

 

Lectures:   

           Tuesdays and Thursdays 12:00 - 1:45 pm

           Physical Sciences 114

 

 

Instructors:

Dan Friedman

Office: E2 417

Office Hours: 1:30 3:30 Wednesdays

Email: dan@ucsc.edu

 

John Musacchio

Office:  E2 Room 557

Office hours: 12:00-2:00 Wednesday (subject to change). No office hour on Dec 2.

Email: johnm@soe.ucsc.edu

 

Teaching Assistant:

Jijian Fan

Office: E2 Room 403F (office hour only)

Office Hours: 9:30-11:30 Thursdays (No office hour on Nov 26 due to public holiday)

TA sessions: Mon 9:30-10:40 Oaks Acad 106, and Wed 3:30-4:40 Earth&Marine B210

Email: jifan@ucsc.edu

 

                   

Course Description:            

The course introduces students to modern game theory, including applications in social science, biology and engineering. Students are expected to have declared a major in Engineering, Physical and Biological Sciences, or Social Sciences, and to be able to use the tools of differential calculus and basic probability theory.

 

Text Book:

           Games, Strategies and Decision Making, by Joseph Harrington, 2nd edition, Worth Publishers, 2015.

(Note: We are using the new 2nd edition of this textbook. Prior offerings of this class used the 1st edition.)

 

Other Suggested References on Game Theory:

There are by now hundreds of books on game theory, ranging from popular to graduate student level, many of them very well written. Among those aimed at undergrads, some of my favorites include:

 

Binmore, Ken. Fun and Games or (revised edition) Playing for Real. A major contributor to the field, Binmore is entertaining and idiosyncratic even when he get into more technical material.

 

Dixit, Skeath, Reiley. Games of Strategy. Originates in a lower division course at Princeton, hence a bit less technical, but well written and in its own way fairly deep.

 

Osborne. An Introduction to Game Theory. This one is a bit more technical but also well written and clear.

 

Nasar. A Beautiful Mind. The bestselling biography of John Nash, on which the movie was based. You'll learn more about schizophrenia than about game theory as such, but it is a first rate intellectual history.

 

McMillan. Games, Strategies and Managers. Nontechnical, for folks who like to read books on business.

 

Nowak. Evolutionary Dynamics. An introduction to some aspects of evolutionary game theory.

 

Watson. Strategy: An introduction to game theory. Previously used as the main text in 166a, this book sometimes gets a little more technical than Harrington, and is not as broad, but includes a nice start on contract theory.

 

 

Tentative Lecture Plan: 

 

Class #

Date

Topics

Required Reading

Instructor

Assignments

(from Harrington unless

(subject to change)

otherwise noted)

 

1

24-Sep

Class introduction

Chapter 1

John Musacchio

Project Guidelines Out

Homework 1 Out

Data - Tragedy of the commons

2

29-Sep

Extensive form and strategic form games

Chapter 2

Dan Friedman

 

3

1-Oct

Weak and strong dominance

Chapter 3

Dan Friedman

Homework 2 Out

 

 

4

6-Oct

Nash equilibria of bimatrix and trimatrix games

Chapter 4

 

Dan Friedman

Homework 1 Due

Homework 1 Answer

5

8-Oct

N-player, discrete games symmetric and asymmetric

Chapter 5

John Musacchio

Homework 3 Out

 

Data Minimum effort

6

13-Oct

Nash eq. in continuous games

Chapter 6

John Musacchio

Homework 2 Due

 

7

15-Oct

Nash eq. in continuous games

Chapter 6 (continued)

John Musacchio

Homework 2 Answer

Midterm Practice1 and Practice2

Data - Matrix

(Applications)

8

20-Oct

Randomized strategies

Chapter 7

Dan Friedman

Homework 3 Due

Project Prospectus Due

 

9

22-Oct

Sequential games w/ perfect info

Chapter 8

Dan Friedman

 

Homework 3 Answer

  

10

27-Oct

Sequential games w/ imperfect info

Chapter 9

Dan Friedman

Midterm Practice Answer (Part I, II, III)

11

29-Oct

MIDTERM

Answer Key/Grading

 

12

3-Nov

Evolutionary Games

Chapter 16

 

 Barry Sinervo

Homework 4 Out

13

5-Nov

Evolutionary Games

Chapter 17

Barry Sinervo

 

14

10-Nov

Games with Private Info

Chapter 10

John Musacchio

First Draft of Project Due

Homework 4 Due

Homework 5 Out

15

12-Nov

Signaling games

Chapter 11

John Musacchio

Homework 4 Answer and Spreadsheet

16

17-Nov

Cheap Talk Games

Chapter 12

John Musacchio

Homework 5 Due Answer Part 1 Part 2

17

19-Nov

Repeated Games

Chapter 13

Dan Friedman

Homework 6 Out

 

18

24-Nov

Repeated Games Applications

Chapter 14

Dan Friedman

 

26-Nov

THANKSGIVING HOLIIDAY

Homework 6 Answer

Practice Final Exam Answer Key

19

1-Dec

Project Presentations

 

 

Group:2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 15, 16, 17

 

 

 

20

3-Dec

Project Presentations

 

 

Group: 1, 3, 8, 10, 12, 13, 14, 18

(Group 9 is merged with Group 1)

 

 

 

7-Dec

(Mon)

 

 

 

Group Project Final Due

 

8-Dec

FINAL EXAM

 

 

 

(Tues)

Time: 8AM-11AM

 

Grade Breakdown

Homework 20%

Midterm Exam 20%

Final Exam 35%

Participation 5%

Project 20%

 

Project Group Assignment

See here.

 

Resources

Spreadsheet for HD game and others

For dynamic simulation

West Coast Megagames (Sengoku 2)

For students who are interested in playing games out of class

 

Students with Disabilities
If you qualify for classroom accommodations because of a disability, please submit your Accommodation Authorization Letter from the Disability Resource Center (DRC) to one of the instructors as soon as possible, preferably within the first week of the session. Contact DRC by phone at 831-459-2089 or by email at drc@ucsc.edu for more information.