Probability and Game Theory

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Probability and Game Theory
Math Course
Course CodeGAME
Year Opened1998
Sites OfferedCAR, GRE, LAN, LOS, SAR
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Course Description

Game theory is the field of study concerning conflict and cooperation between rational players, with applications in such diverse fields as labor bargaining, Rawlsian ethics, and evolutionary biology. In this course, students study the basics of strategic action. Subjects covered include decision theory, game matrices, optimization algorithms, auctions, fair division, and classic games including the Prisoner's Dilemma, Stag Hunt, Chicken, the Hawk-Dove game (the hotdog game) and Nim. Students sometimes play rock, paper, scissors or Risk in class as demonstrations.

Class History

You will come to know and love Colin, Rose, and sometimes Larry.

Game Theory teaches how to get what's best for you in certain situations, disregarding what's best for Player 2, and ironically, at CAR 06.2 this class was next to the Ethics class. The members of the Game Theory class at CAR 06.2 also produced the Cucumber Cult, and also spawned many games (more info on the Cucumber Cult page).

At Carlisle, members of the Game Theory class also consistently do well at Casino Night. However, at LMU, the boy halls of Game Theory do badly. In 07.2, the guys got 16th[?] and in 08.1, the boys did badly. In 08.2, the boys did extremely badly, ending up as the second to last placing hall. (this may have been because the GAME boys gave money to the GAME girls). The girl halls tend to do pretty well: in 07.2, the game girl[and the hall she was in] got 2nd, and in 08.2, the GAME girls got 6th.

  • Random Fact: in LMU, the GAME girls hall duct taped staff members to a tree in 07.2 and 08.2. (Although the 07.2 hall can hardly be called the "GAME girls hall," since it consisted of one girl from GAME and 10 from ETYM.)

At LMU 08.2, the students spent several classes playing online Deal or No Deal™. The game was often laced with heated arguments about which case to open (23!!!), and whether the expected value of the game was more important than winning money. In the casino that was run at the end of the session, there were two versions of Deal or No Deal, which people enjoyed because it was easy to win money from the game.

At Skidmore, all members of the Game Theory class hate it, if you are going to be at skidmore, you should NOT take this class. You may be proud afterwords, but it really puts a downer on everyone in class and you won't have a very happy group of people to hang out with.

Coming from a formal student of Game Theory at SAR 12.1, Game Theory itself is a very interesting. The materials taught is difficult, however it's shown how Game Theory and it's subbranches such as Linear Programming have many real-life applications. The teacher, David Vella, on the other hand... Let's just say I fell asleep a couple times during class. Anyone from that class reading this will instantly know who I am.

To the above person, I am sorry, but if you think you will ever apply this class to real life, you will never be able to, even if you try very hard. I took this is class 09.1 in Skidmore, with the same teacher, and I have yet to ever use this class in my life.

LAN 13.1 had an awesome teacher and had fun in class. However, it was often so cold in the classroom that the students brought blankets to class, resulting in several of them falling asleep.

SAR 13.1 represent. Amazing year.

LAN 14.1 was taught by Rohan. There were 3 girls (Roshni, Sophia, and Claire) and like 11 boys. Amazing class, amazing teacher, amusing days. Colin + Rose = OTP #Rolin #Yoloswag

SAR 14.1 The subject its self is fairly interesting but the teaching was sometimes hard to follow, the teacher (David Vella) went through the material quickly. the first week and a half is just teaching math like set theory to prepare the students for the game theory part. If you think that this course is all about playing games its not… You play about three different games. Although many expect the GAME students to do well on casino night, they are very wrong, their halls got close to last. Game theory had four girls and eleven boys. In the end, you feel very accomplished and tired after a whole three weeks of staring at a board covered with math.

LMU 16.2 GAME B was such an ...interesting class taught by Alan, an avid Dodgers fan who needs more hair, who also happened to have a fairly monotone voice which caused several to fall asleep literally everyday. The TA was Ryan who all the students secretly called mean behind his back because whenever he said anything it sounded like he was yelling at them, he really needs to take a chill pill. The course itself was pretty hardcore/intense (although there were some extremely smart students who already knew all the material) and actually being able to solve problems on the post-test was the most satisfying thing. The first two weeks was lectures and learning until your brain explodes so by the third week the students ran out of things to learn, resulting in heated debates about Donald Trump vs. Hilary and gun control laws (aka discussing topics completely unrelated to the course). A lot of the night sessions resulted in playing poker, random board games, and pass the pigs. The other courses expected the game theory classes to come out on top, but the boys hall ultimately failed at casino night unlike the girls hall who got the top girls hall and 4th overall. The girls hall had *legal* "scamming" tactics which the boys hall succumbed to. (Ex: tricking one guy into playing war against three girls in the same hall - easy money) Overall, entertaining class complete with the fake fobs and real fobs and Norwegian cruise lines and 5% of naturally high kids.

SAR 18.1 Despite the negative opinions stated above, this session, taught by Andres Sanches Jabba was unanimously thought of as exceptionally fun. Andres, rumored to be a Russian spy, posing as a Columbian spy, posing as a game theory professor was exceptionally engaging and made the session incredible. Andres' two most prized possessions were his Elder wand (which Stefan a.k.a Poi Boi accidentally hit it off the table) and his Sandwich recipe (known only by one other person). His lectures were fun and useful (unlike the explanations in the textbook). Only two people fell asleep (due to sleep deprivation rather than the content of the lectures). The one exception to the awfulness of the textbook are the footnotes (pay close attention to pg 76 and 297). Games were played throughout the session for prizes of glowsticks and breaks were occasionally taken indoors to watch the world cup or "friendly international matches". The final projects, despite devoting lots of time to them, were pretty awful (with the exception of one).