MA402      Half Unit
Game Theory I

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Thomas Lidbetter


This course is available on the MSc in Applicable Mathematics, MSc in Financial Mathematics and MSc in Management Science (Decision Sciences). This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

It is not available to students who have taken Game Theory (MA300) or Game Theory I (MA301).


Students must know basics of linear algebra (matrix multiplication, geometric interpretation of vectors) and probability theory (expected value, conditional probability, independence of random events).

Course content

The course studies the theory of games and its applications in economics: Game trees with perfect information, NIM, combinatorial games. Backward induction. Extensive and strategic (normal) form of a game. Nash equilibrium. Commitment. Zero sum games, mixed strategies. Maxmin strategies. Nash equilibria in mixed strategies. Finding mixed-strategy equilibria for two-person games. Extensive games with information sets, behaviour strategies, perfect recall. If time permits: The Nash bargaining solution. Multistage bargaining.


22 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the MT.

Formative coursework

Weekly exercises are set and marked.

Indicative reading

Lecture notes will be provided. Supplementary reading: K Binmore, Playing for Real: Game Theory CUP, 2007; E Mendelson, Introducing Game Theory and Its Applications, CRC 2004


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.

Key facts

Department: Mathematics

Total students 2014/15: 27

Average class size 2014/15: 13

Controlled access 2014/15: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills