MS 395 - Seminar in Game Theory

Professor: Erich Friedman

About the course:

We will meet MWF at 9:00 in Elizabeth 202. We will be using two textbooks, "Lessons in Play" by Albert et al, and "An Introduction to Game Theory" by Osborne. This course is an advanced course on mathematical decision making in competitive situations. Although it can be considered a continuation of MS 152, it can also stand alone as a rigorous introduction to combinatorial and classical game theory. Most days I will answer homework questions from the previous material for 10--15 minutes, and discuss new material for the remaining time. You can find out what we will be doing each day in class by consulting the syllabus. Game Theory is a relatively new field of mathematics. The material we'll be learning was developed less than 75 years ago. I hope you enjoy learning it with me.

About me:

My e-mail address is My web page can be found at My office is Elizabeth 214-2, and my office extension is 7552. My office hours this semester are:

This means that I am always in my office during these times, and you can drop by without an appointment. If you cannot make my regularly scheduled hours, let me know and we can set up another time to talk. Please come by if you need help, or if you just want to chat. You will soon see that my lecture style is informal. I will be calling you by your first name (or a nickname if you prefer), so please call me Erich.

About you:

You will need some mathematical sophistication to succeed in this course. We will be using matrices, but you will not need to remember any traditional linear algebra. We will be taking some partial derivatives. You will be expected to understand and write proofs. If you choose to come to class, come on time, and please don't socialize in class.

About the honor code:

Stetson has an honor code. You are not only expected to do your own work, but to tell me if another student is not. The punishment for cheating is an F in the course.

About cell phones:

I hate them. If one goes off in class, for any reason, it's mine for the rest of the day.

About your grade:

The Homework for each day and answers to each problem have been handed out. The homework will not be collected, but I will answer homework questions in class as time permits. Since these problems will help prepare you for the quizzes and tests, you should do them. Feel free to work together on the homework problems, but make sure you can do them by yourself by test time. Make sure you ask about homework problems that you can't do.

Quizzes and Tests will be given on the 7 dates announced on the syllabus. Please check your schedule now to see that there are no conflicts. If you are going to miss a quiz or test, please arrange something with me beforehand. If you miss a quiz or test without telling me beforehand, you will lose 10\% of your grade per day, no exceptions. On the quizzes and tests, you will be expected to show your work and explain your answers. Each quiz is worth 50 points, and each test is worth 100 points.

Projects concerning some topic in Game Theory can be done either individually or in groups. The possible topics are available first come, first served. Each group will be responsible for a presentation some evening near the end of the course, and a paper on the chosen topic. The presentations should be about 10 minutes long per person in the group. The paper should be approximately 5 pages long per person in the group. The presentation and the paper are each worth 50 points. The material presented is fair game for the final exam, so should be explained well, and have the appropriate handouts.

The Final Exam is comprehensive and is worth 200 points. There are a total of 800 points.