my thought, my perception, my sense

Posts tagged “yale university

Game Theory Course

This idea has been lingering in my mind since the beginning of this semester. During the last holiday (January) I watched a lot about Game Theory course in online videos from Yale University. They provided the videos freely at youtube. If you want to watch it there, you can watch it here

I strongly suggest to watch it directly on youtube for larger view or you can download it and watch on your video player. I did the latter in order to get the best audio of it.

There are totally 24  videos you can watch with each video having 1 hour duration. I haven’t watched all of them, and I also skipped about 3 videos, but I think it’s better to blog it here. The reason is because I find out that this course is really useful whatever major you come from. It’s quiet fun and will make your life brighter in decision making.

All contents of the course belong to Yale University (I’m not Yale’s student, I’m just someone who watched the course from Open Yale Course program) and you can check it at The lecturer of this course is Ben Polak (picture shown below) who is an expert on decision theory, game theory and economic history. I don’t know him personally but I think his style of teaching is very understandable.

The content of the video that I’m about to provide is really what I perceive from watching this video. I will try to be as objective as possible in delivering the material. Should any of you come from Yale and took this course (or perhaps participated on the videos), feel free to give any correction if you find any.

So let’s start the journey. The first question that may ring in your mind is “what is game theory?” Well, Ben said that game theory is a method of studying strategic situation. So what is strategic situation? Ben mentioned the example of non-strategic situation of economy (this course is taught at Economic major but it’s applicable in many parts of our life) about perfect competition in which firms (companies) don’t have to worry about what their competitors doing. Monopoly also an example of non-strategic situation because monopolist doesn’t have any competitor to worry about. But when we have imperfect competition that means we have strategic situation in which the decision taken by a particular company depends on what its competitors do or might do. A good example is Ford must be worried of what GM is doing and what Toyota is doing. Indeed many businesses in the world are in the form of strategic situation. So to put it on more general meaning, strategic means a setting where the outcomes that affect you depend not only on your action alone but also on action of others.