Course syllabus

Course UGEB2530B
Title Games and Strategic Thinking
Units 3
Lecturer Dr. Liu Chun Lung Kelvin
Office : Rm 202A, LSB
Office number : 3943 7969
Email :

Teaching assistant Ms. Su Xin
Office : Rm 222C, LSB
Office number : 3943 8570
Email :

Language Cantonese and English
Course Description The aim of this course is to study games and strategies from the mathematical perspective. We investigate the manner in which rational people interact when there are competitions. This applies to parlour games and more importantly to economy, social psychology, politics and business. We will introduce the great discoveries of Von Neumann and Nash, and discuss their impact on society. Also, we will use examples of various types of games to illustrate how some basic mathematical methods can lead to optimal strategies for decision making.
Textbook Lecture Notes
P. D. Straffin, Game Theory and Strategy, Mathematical Association of America.
Major Topics
  1. Sequential games
  2. Impartial games
  3. Matrices and probabilities
  4. 2-person zero-sum games
  5. Nash equilibrium
  6. 2-person non-zero-sum games
  7. Pareto optimal
  8. Prudential strategy, security level
  9. Prisoner’s dilemma
  10. N-person non-cooperative games
  11. N-person cooperative games
  12. Shapley value
Additional Topics If time permits, we will also cover some of the following topics :
  1. Instant Insanity
  2. Partizan Games
  3. Surreal numbers
  4. Regret matrices
  5. Stable marriage problem
  6. Repeated plays
  7. Evolutionary stable strategy
  8. Drafting
Reading Reference books are :
Homeworks 10%
Games in classes 5%
Midterm 25%
Final 45%
Group project 15%

Examinations There will be one midterm exam and one final exam given during the classes; please see calendar for the dates of the exams. No notes (or books) will be allowed during the quizzes/exam. There will be no makeup.
Honesty in Academic Work The Chinese University of Hong Kong places very high importance on honesty in academic work submitted by students, and adopts a policy of zero tolerance on cheating and plagiarism. Any related offence will lead to disciplinary action including termination of studies at the University.
Although cases of cheating or plagiarism are rare at the University, everyone should make himself/herself familiar with the content of the following website :
and thereby help avoid any practice that would not be acceptable.