Jun 17, 2024  
2023 Siena Heights University Catalog 
2023 Siena Heights University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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MAT 357 Game Theory

3 credit hours

In calculus you learn to maximize and minimize functions, for example to find the cheapest way to build something.  This field of mathematics is called optimization.  Game theory differs from optimization in that in optimization problems, your payoff depends only on your own choices.  Like the field of optimization, game theory is defined by the problems it deals with, not by the mathematical techniques that are used to deal with them.  The techniques are whatever works best.  Also, like the field of optimization, the problems of game theory come from many different areas of study.  It is nevertheless helpful to treat game theory as a single mathematical field, since the techniques developed for problems in one area, for example evolutionary biology, become available to another, for example economics.  

Game theory has three uses:

(1) Understand the world.  For example, game theory helps understand why animals somethimes fight over territory and sometimes don’t.

(2) Respond to the world.  For example, game theory has been used to develop strategies to win money at poker.

(3) Change the world.  Often the world is the way it is because people are responding to the rules of the game.  Changing the game can change how they act.  For example, rules on using energy can be designed to encourage conservation and innovation.

This course will cover topics such as Pure and Mixed Strategies, Nash Equilibria, Forms of games, Infinite games, Symmetric games, and Evolutionary dynamics.

Prerequisite: MAT 174 Data Analysis And Statistics  or PHI 311 Symbolic Logic  or PSC 270 International Relations   
Liberal Arts: Mathematics
Course is Offered: FA of Even Years

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