Math 398 - Game Theory - Course Policies

Overview | Evaluation | Individual Problem Sets | Final Exam | Group Project
Group Homework | Notes on Writeups | Reading Journal
HRUMC | Attendance | Getting Help

Last modified: Thursday, March 16, 2000, 11:07 AM


In this course, a game is any situation where there is a set of participants who can make alternative choices and where for each outcome there is a designated payoff to each participant. While this definition includes traditional games like chess or poker, it is also broad enough to include scenarios that arise in business, politics, and even biology.

Game Theory is the study of how the different participants should rationally play the game. Our goal is to develop a set of principals that will help us to determine the most plausible outcome of the game. As we will see, for even seemingly simple games, this can be quite complicated.


Your final grade will be determined by
    Three Individual Problem Sets 25%
    Comprehensive Final Exam 25%
    Group Presentation and Project 25%
    Group Homework 15%
    Reading Journal 10%

Individual Problem Sets

You will have three Individual Problem Sets that you should treat with the same seriousness as Takehome Exams. This means that you may not discuss these problem sets with anyone other than me. Remember that we are operating under the Honor Code.

See the Tentative Syllabus for the due dates of the Individual Problem Sets. You will always have at least one week to work on these problem sets.

Comprehensive Final

The final will be due Wednesday May 10, at the scheduled final exam period for the class.

Group Presentation and Project

A major part of the course will be a semester-long project where you will study an application of game theory that we have not discussed in the course. The project will culminate with an expository paper giving a general explanation of your topic that the other students in the course will read before your 15-20 minute presentation during the last two weeks of the semester.

You will work in groups of two or three on this project. I will give you more information about my expectations for the project later in the semester, but some of the important dates are listed on the Tentative Syllabus.

Group Homework

You will also have three group homework assignments due during the semester. These problem sets will be substantial in length, and I will grade a selected subset of problems from each assignment.

A Few Notes on Your Problem Sets and Homework

Here are a few guidelines for the presentation of your problem sets and homework. If you do not follow these, I reserve the right to return your homework ungraded!
  • Your writing must be clear and legible.
  • Your homework should be well-written, using complete sentences to justify your results where necessary. A list of answers without explanation is not acceptable.
  • Here is a good rule of thumb to follow when writing up your homework: Write your solutions so that you could hand them to another student in the class and she could understand your explanation.
  • Do not turn in your first draft of the assignment. You should expect to neatly recopy and organize your work.
  • If you write in pen, there should be no scratch-outs.
  • Do not turn in paper torn from a spiral notebook with ragged edges.
  • Clearly label each problem.
Be aware that
Late assignments are not accepted without a substantial penalty!!

Reading Journal

One of the most important skills you can develop during your undergraduate career is the ability to read and comprehend technical material. As a result, I expect that you will read the text before class. You may not understand the sections completely, but class meetings will be much more benefitial to you if are familiar with major themes and terminology that will be discussed in class.

I will put specific reading assignments on course web page, but unlike other courses where you have submitted responses via email, you you will keep a Reading Journal with a one-page (or so) entry for each class meeting. See the Guidelines for Reading Journals for details on the format of your Journal.

I will collect your journals twice during the semester. However, if I feel that the class has not been keeping up with the reading, I reserve the right to ask to see your Reading Journals with one-class period notice.

Hudson River Undergraduate Mathematics Conference

The HRUMC will be held on April 8 at Vassar College. I would strongly encourage all of you to attend, and you should also consider giving a talk. This is a really nice day to be involved with mathematics with other undergraduates. A good time will be had by all.

If you do give presentation, you will receive an extra 5% on your final grade. Each talk is attended by anywhere from 10 to 50 people, most of whom are other mathematics students from around New England. Before you submit an abstract to give a talk, we will need to discuss your topic and make sure that it is at the appropriate level. I have very high expectations for the quality of these talks so you should expect to devote significant effort to your presentation. I will, of course, work with each of you on your talks.

Class Attendance

Although class attendance is not a specified percentage of your grade, I will keep a class roll to help me determine borderline grades at the end of the semester. If you do miss class, you are responsible for the material that was covered.

Getting Help

Please come see me during my office hours! If you have a conflict and cannot make my office hours, please call or email me and we can set up an appointment for another time.

If you want to know check on your grade at any time during the semester, please ask me and I can give you a rough idea of your current standing.

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Last modified: Thursday, March 16, 2000, 11:07 AM