Your chance to get to know Game Theory!

Good evening,

There is a section in this blog that I haven’t been able to fill with new content for a long time: the part dedicated to Game Theory. The main reason is that I’m not using that field in my day-to-day job, so it’s a bit difficult to find good and accessible topics to discuss here.

However, I have good news for those of you who are eager to discover more about this topic. A few months ago, I told you about Coursera in this post. For those of you who missed it, Coursera provides users with free high quality online classes from top-tier universities.

By now, you probably guessed what this post is all about! As a matter of fact, starting January 7th 2013, there will be a Game Theory from Stanford University available to us. You can check out all the details and register for the class on the official page. Here is the abstract of the class:

Popularized by movies such as “A Beautiful Mind”, game theory is the mathematical modeling of strategic interaction among rational (and irrational) agents. Beyond what we call ‘games’ in common language, such as chess, poker, soccer, etc., it includes the modeling of conflict among nations, political campaigns, competition among firms, and trading behavior in markets such as the NYSE. How could you begin to model eBay, Google keyword auctions, and peer to peer file-sharing networks, without accounting for the incentives of the people using them? The course will provide the basics: representing games and strategies, the extensive form (which computer scientists call game trees), Bayesian games (modeling things like auctions), repeated and stochastic games, and more. We’ll include a variety of examples including classic games and a few applications.

For those of you who haven’t seen the movie “A beautiful mind” yet, I strongly encourage you to do it, and if you’re not yet convinced, here is the trailer:

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3G9lnyXJGU&rel=0]

About the class itself, the description says it is based on a book I extensively used for my paper on Penalty Shots in Ice Hockey, and which is available on Amazon:

Essentials of Game Theory: A Concise, Multidisciplinary Introduction (Synthesis Lectures on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning)

Both authos, Kevin Leyton-Brown and Yoav Shoham are two leading contributors of the game theory field and they are both professors of the class. Hence, I can’t emphasize enough how good I think this class will be.

I do not expect I will be available to take all the exercises because my spare time will be mainly dedicated to the CFA Level II (see the countdown at the top of the menu on the right), but if you wish to do so, don’t forget you can get a certificate of completion.

That’s it for now! Please let me know what you think of the class!

See you next time!

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