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Stanford University

Game Theory II: Advanced Applications

Stanford University and The University of British Columbia via Coursera


Popularized by movies such as "A Beautiful Mind", game theory is the mathematical modeling of strategic interaction among rational (and irrational) agents. Over four weeks of lectures, 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 and voting systems), mechanism design, and auctions. In the first week we consider the problem of aggregating different agents' preferences, discussing voting rules and the challenges faced in collective decision making. We present some of the most important theoretical results in the area: notably, Arrow's Theorem, which proves that there is no "perfect" voting system, and also the Gibbard-Satterthwaite and Muller-Satterthwaite Theorems. We move on to consider the problem of making collective decisions when agents are self interested and can strategically misreport their preferences. We explain "mechanism design" -- a broad framework for designing interactions between self-interested agents -- and give some key theoretical results. Our third week focuses on the problem of designing mechanisms to maximize aggregate happiness across agents, and presents the powerful family of Vickrey-Clarke-Groves mechanisms. The course wraps up with a fourth week that considers the problem of allocating scarce resources among self-interested agents, and that provides an introduction to auction theory. You can find a full syllabus and description of the course here: There is also a predecessor course to this one, for those who want to learn or remind themselves of the basic concepts of game theory: An intro video can be found here:


  • Social Choice
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  • Mechanism Design
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  • Efficient Mechanisms
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  • Auctions
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  • Final Exam
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Taught by

Matthew Jackson, Kevin Leyton-Brown and Yoav Shoham


4.4 rating, based on 10 Class Central reviews

4.7 rating at Coursera based on 610 ratings

Start your review of Game Theory II: Advanced Applications

  • This course is certainly very interesting, but it's also quite challenging. The class forums seem to be active with quite a few confused people. The content is very full-on mathsy rather than being a dumbed down version. While it recommends completing a precursor course it doesn't seem to be absolutely necessary: they usually redefine the most important terms.
  • Profile image for Zoltan  Sánchez
    Zoltan Sánchez
    The course is great but quite challenging.
    The description is true "ADVANCE Game Theory".
    I dropped cause I was expecting a more descriptive course and less demostrations, so I didnt'have the requiered time to follow the course.
    You have to study and invest significant time.
  • Paulius D
  • Profile image for Morris Qiu
    Morris Qiu
  • Profile image for Paweł Klimczuk
    Paweł Klimczuk
  • Profile image for Matt Herich
    Matt Herich
  • Jörg
  • 劉 伯仲

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