Whether you’re dumping chips in a poker game or negotiating rent with a landlord, your success hinges on how well you anticipate the decisions of those around you. Starting this week, a new online tutorial teaches quantitative approaches to understanding game-like interactions between multiple decision makers.

Game Theory I – Static Games is the first of two free tutorials offered by Complexity Explorer, SFI’s online education portal. Available year-round, the self-paced tutorial introduces canonical game theory scenarios along with central concepts such as strategies, payoffs, expected utilities, and the Nash equilibrium.  The tutorial emphasizes logical approaches to classic problems and requires no mathematics beyond basic algebra. Learners who complete Game Theory I will be prepared to advance to Game Theory II.

The second tutorial, Game Theory II – Dynamic Games, will extend beyond “one-shot” static examples to games that take place over time. Game Theory II will introduce a dynamic modeling approach that can be used to investigate complex socioeconomic systems.

“Humans are constantly interacting, making decisions and anticipating how other humans will act,” explains instructor Justin Grana, an SFI postdoctoral fellow. “If we want to understand such systems, we need to understand how the incentives humans face shape their actions. Game theory provides us a tool for doing just that.” 

Access Game Theory I – Static Games through Complexity Explorer’s website.

Game Theory II – Dynamic Games will be posted in two to three months.

Read Complexity Explorer’s interview with instructor Justin Grana.