15.025 | Spring 2015 | Graduate

Game Theory for Strategic Advantage


Problem Sets

Problem Set 1: Location Game; Penalty Shots; Splitting the Dollar (PDF) Problem Set 1 Solutions: Location Game; Penalty Shots; Splitting the Dollar Solution (PDF)
Problem Set 2: Preemptive Investment; Audition Game (PDF) Problem Set 2 Solutions: Preemptive Investment; Audition Game (PDF)

Team Project

The Team Project is a “team assignment with type-3 collaboration” (see below). You must provide strategic advice to a player of a “real-world” game. (You need not gather actual data. It suffices to consider a hypothetical scenario that could be real.)


Initial Proposal

A 1–2 page description of the question being investigated; the necessary game-theoretic tools and data (if applicable), and the player(s) receiving advice.

Crafting a detailed proposal is meant to serve as a study guide. As such, none of the proposal’s contents are binding for the final version of the project, and the proposal itself is not graded.

Final Project

A 3–8 page memo addressed to the relevant party, as well as a 2–5 page appendix addressed to a game-theory expert (supporting graphs, calculations, etc.).

A successful memo will clearly convey the “bottom line” of your motivation, assumptions, analysis, and conclusions to the relevant player. The very best projects, furthermore, will include a careful, correct, and creative application of game-theoretic ideas and techniques in the appendix.

Timeline: The team project has the following parts: (i) team formation by Session 5, (ii) project proposal by Session 10, (iii) project progress report by Session 21, and (iv) final project on Session 23. A progress report (which is not graded) is due in Session 21 because some projects will be selected for in-class presentations during Sessions 22 and 23.

MIT Sloan Academic Standards

The following is an excerpt from Sloan’s “Academic Standards” document, meant to clarify what the type of work I expect on the team project.

Team Project is “Type 3”

When you are asked to work in teams, there is a broad spectrum of faculty expectations.

Type-1 collaboration: The professor states that collaboration is allowed, but the final product must be individual.

Type-2 collaboration: The professor states that collaboration is encouraged but that each person’s contribution to the deliverable does not have to be substantial (taking a “divide and conquer” approach).

Type-3 collaboration: The professor states that collaboration is expected and that each team member must contribute substantially to the deliverable. An example of this might be the First-Year Challenge (FYC) or the Organizational Processes (OP) project.

  • Each team member must make a substantial contribution to the assignment. It is not, for example, acceptable to divide the assignments amongst the team members (e.g., part of the team does the FYC and the other part does another project), though the team may divide the work of any one assignment to complete it as they deem appropriate.
  • The team may not collaborate with other students outside of the team unless the professor explicitly permits such collaboration.

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2015
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Notes
Problem Sets with Solutions
Instructor Insights