This advanced course considers how to design interactions between agents in order to achieve good social outcomes. Three main topics are covered: social choice theory (i.e., collective decision making), mechanism design, and auctions.
The course covers the basics: representing games and strategies, the extensive form (which computer scientists call game trees), repeated and stochastic games, coalitional games, and Bayesian games (modeling things like auctions).
Ever since modern game theory—the scientific study of interactive, rational decision making—achieved prominence in the mid-20th century, it has proven instrumental in helping us understand how and why we make decisions. Game theory plays a crucial role in our lives and provides startling insights into all endeavors in which humans cooperate or compete, including biology, computer science, politics, agriculture, and, most importantly, economics.