MA402      Half Unit
Game Theory I

This information is for the 2017/18 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Bernhard Von Stengel


Dr Paul Duetting


This course is available on the CEMS Exchange, MBA Exchange, MSc in Applicable Mathematics, MSc in Financial Mathematics, MSc in Management Science (Decision Sciences) and MSc in Operations Research & Analytics. 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.


20 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the MT. 2 hours of lectures in the ST.

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 2016/17: 33

Average class size 2016/17: 17

Controlled access 2016/17: No

Lecture capture used 2016/17: Yes (MT)

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