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Hello. Welcome to the game theory online class. My name is Yoav Shoham. I am a professor in computer science here at Stanford University. And I'll be teaching it jointly with my colleague, Matt Jackson, from the Economic department.

Let's start by first saying a word about the subject matter. What the class is about, and perhaps starting with what the class is not about, or not only about.

When we think about games, we often think in terms of sports games, soccer and what have you. We also think about things like chess and poker, and we think also about online games, and video games. These certainly are included in the space of games, of game theory. But we also, and sometimes much more think about "serious games": What causes countries to go to war with one another? What is the background for corporations entering into commercial agreements? How do you decide to bid in an EBay auction? Even how animals interact with one another. In general, whenever you have independent agents, multiple agents, that have individual information and individual motivations, major action between them is the subject matter for game theory. The material is mathematical. It's not difficult mathematics, but you need to know what a matrix is, you need to remember basic calculus and basic probability theory. So this is what the course is about. And let me say a few words about how the course would be structured.

We'll have, several weeks, and during the course of the weeks we'll do the following: Each week we will have lectures that will be in the form of videos, broken up into chunks, ranging in length from maybe 8 or so minutes to probably at most 15 minutes. And inside the videos, we will often have some quizzes, interactive quizzes embedded. These are simple questions that are really geared to making sure that you understand the basic definitions. At the end of the week we will have a weekly quiz consisting of another collection of similar simple questions, just by way of review. We will also have what we call the Game Theory Lab, and this will be an opportunity for you to actually play, interactively, some of these games that we'll be describing, to get a visceral feel for those. And, after you've played those we'll be able to collect their results and give you some statistics about what transpired. Finally, every week we will have a "screenside chat", as we call it.

This is an opportunity for Matt and me to look back at what happened during the week. We hope that our lecture will be clear and the material will be bug-free, but it's possible that maybe we won't be as clear or as error-free as we'd like to be and this will be an opportunity to correct it. We'll also see some of the interaction that took place in the discussion forums, and I'll speak about those shortly and it'll be an opportunity to refer to what happened there. The material you have available will consist of these video lectures. The lectures refer to some slides and we will make these slides also available for you to download. And finally there is a booklet that covers really all of the material and a little more than we'll cover in this course. And we've made arrangements with the publishers to make it available for you for a relatively inexpensive download. This is not something that you have to do to succeed in the class. But you might want to avail yourself of it as well. So what in your role in this class? Besides watching the videos, and answering the quizzes, and participating in the lab games, there will be problem sets and a final exam.

Let's start by first saying a word about the subject matter. What the class is about, and perhaps starting with what the class is not about, or not only about.

When we think about games, we often think in terms of sports games, soccer and what have you. We also think about things like chess and poker, and we think also about online games, and video games. These certainly are included in the space of games, of game theory. But we also, and sometimes much more think about "serious games": What causes countries to go to war with one another? What is the background for corporations entering into commercial agreements? How do you decide to bid in an EBay auction? Even how animals interact with one another. In general, whenever you have independent agents, multiple agents, that have individual information and individual motivations, major action between them is the subject matter for game theory. The material is mathematical. It's not difficult mathematics, but you need to know what a matrix is, you need to remember basic calculus and basic probability theory. So this is what the course is about. And let me say a few words about how the course would be structured.

We'll have, several weeks, and during the course of the weeks we'll do the following: Each week we will have lectures that will be in the form of videos, broken up into chunks, ranging in length from maybe 8 or so minutes to probably at most 15 minutes. And inside the videos, we will often have some quizzes, interactive quizzes embedded. These are simple questions that are really geared to making sure that you understand the basic definitions. At the end of the week we will have a weekly quiz consisting of another collection of similar simple questions, just by way of review. We will also have what we call the Game Theory Lab, and this will be an opportunity for you to actually play, interactively, some of these games that we'll be describing, to get a visceral feel for those. And, after you've played those we'll be able to collect their results and give you some statistics about what transpired. Finally, every week we will have a "screenside chat", as we call it.

This is an opportunity for Matt and me to look back at what happened during the week. We hope that our lecture will be clear and the material will be bug-free, but it's possible that maybe we won't be as clear or as error-free as we'd like to be and this will be an opportunity to correct it. We'll also see some of the interaction that took place in the discussion forums, and I'll speak about those shortly and it'll be an opportunity to refer to what happened there. The material you have available will consist of these video lectures. The lectures refer to some slides and we will make these slides also available for you to download. And finally there is a booklet that covers really all of the material and a little more than we'll cover in this course. And we've made arrangements with the publishers to make it available for you for a relatively inexpensive download. This is not something that you have to do to succeed in the class. But you might want to avail yourself of it as well. So what in your role in this class? Besides watching the videos, and answering the quizzes, and participating in the lab games, there will be problem sets and a final exam.

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