Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2023

Course Description

Welcome to Game Theory in Society. Game Theory is a mathematical theory that studies strategic interactions between people. This course will take an interdisciplinary approach to game theory that combines mathematical and philosophical perspectives. Topics may include prisoner's dilemma, strategic voting, the evolution of morality, Hobbes's state of nature, cheating, as well as many others. Throughout, emphasis will be placed on thinking about how mathematical models relate to reality and whether a model is helpful or unhelpful for aiding our understanding. This course assumes no mathematical or philosophical background. The catch-phrase for the semester will be “Active Learning.” Studies have shown that students in college classes learn better, retain the material longer, and have a more positive experience when they are actively engaged during class time. For example, a recent comprehensive study of college math classes around the country has found a positive correlation between student success in the course and both the amount of active engagement and interaction with the instructor. We will be maximizing your active engagement with the course material by “

Student Outcomes

At the end of this course, students will be able to: ● Analyze 2-player games using the mathematical tools of game theory. ● Apply game theoretic models to real life situations and evaluate how well the models enhance our understanding of those situations. ● Evaluate some arguments for and against the assumptions made by game theory. ● Explain some of the mathematical insights from game theory to an audience of non-experts.