Sample Game Theory Documents

Currently, I am a teaching assistant for an online political science game theory course. My responsibilities include leading a discussion section on Fridays, holding office hours, and answering student questions about the materials. 

In-Class / Section Activities (Online)

The students have recently been introduced to Backwards Induction and the concept of a Subgame Perfect Nash Equilibrium (SPNE). For my discussion section following the introduction of the materials, I wanted to do several things.

  1. Review some of the important terminology from throughout the class. One of the most difficult parts of learning Game Theory (or any math-based material) is the new language associated with it. 
  2. Review what subgames and proper subgames are.
  3. Cover different methods of solving for SPNE.

So, I put together several game-theory games to work through together as well as an activity for breakout rooms. 

First, I used breakout rooms during the Zoom section for the students to work through a document that reinforced important vocabulary. The students had 5 minutes to work through as many of the questions as they could. We then reconnected and worked through the correct answers together. 

Next, to remind students about subgames and proper subgames, I provided two different extensive form game trees that we talked through (and which I was able to annotate to demonstrate relevant points). One student was especially wondering about how to solve games without a proper subgame; I therefore provided typical Prisoner’s Dilemma payoffs for the game on the left to help illustrate the similarities between solving extensive form games of incomplete information and normal form games. 

The game on the right in that document also facilitated discussion of the combined use of backwards induction and converting subgames to normal form. 

And then, to help illustrate the difference between PSNE and SPNE further, we worked through a longer extensive form game with its corresponding normal form

Emailed Instructional Materials

On one of the recent homework problems where the students were required to find all Nash Equilibria for a game, one player was indifferent between two strategies, which leads to an infinite number of Mixed Strategy Nash Equilibria (MSNE). This type of scenario (and the notation for this type of scenario) was causing difficulties for my students. In section, I walked through how to find MSNE when one player is indifferent. After section, I created a pdf write-up of MSNE notation, and how best to format any homework answers that contain infinite MSNE.