• Class Number 7635
  • Term Code 3060
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Simon Grant
    • Prof Simon Grant
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 27/07/2020
  • Class End Date 30/10/2020
  • Census Date 31/08/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 03/08/2020
SELT Survey Results

In many - perhaps most – economic, political, legal and social interactions, there is potential for strategic behaviour, a term, “intended to focus on the interdependence of the adversaries' decisions and on their expectations about each other's behaviour.” (Schelling, 1960, The Strategy of Conflict).   Recognising and understanding such behaviour is an essential part of any analyst’s toolkit and this course is designed to enable just such recognition and understanding. Game theory has successfully been applied in a diverse range of fields, such as economics, political science, military analysis, law, biology and computer science.

The aim of this course is to provide an introduction to strategic thinking and analysis through the basic techniques of game theory and to illustrate the range of its applications in almost all fields of social interaction.  While the level of the course will be introductory, and mathematical prerequisites are minimal, the presentation of the material will rely on precise logical arguments.  This course should be of interest to students from any part of the University.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of how game theorists approach a strategic problem.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the tools taught in class and be able to recognise their application to the analysis of real world situations.
  3. Recognise the strategic issues in a problem and demonstrate an understanding of how a game theorist might decide on the appropriate tools to analyse it.

Research-Led Teaching

The lecturer is a user and developer of game theory in his own research. Consequently, students will be exposed to the use of game theory and strategic thinking in current economics research, time permitting.

Required Resources

You will need access to a calculator to complete exercises required for this course.

No textbook is formally required but students should find the following useful (in this order).

Watson, J. (2013), Strategy: an introduction to game theory 3e. Norton. ISBN 978-0-393-91838-0.

Dixit, A., S. Skeath & D. Reiley (2015), Games of strategy. 4e. Norton. ISBN 978-0-393-91968.

Osborne, M. (2009), An introduction to game theory Intn’l Ed. Oxford UP. ISBN 978-0-19-532248-4.

Texts will be available in the library on short term reserve. Any older editions of these books will do.

Availability of on line versions of the texts are currently being investigated and information will be advertised when known.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

It is hoped that the lectures will involve a lot of discussion, questions and answers. We will provide a verbal review of each tutorial exercise and review of the quizzes (in tutorial time) and thus feedback to the class as a whole. All in-class questions will be discussed directly in class.

The Wattle site contains a forum for ongoing (anonymised) discussion and feedback and there will also be a small, optional survey mid-way through the course. I will be appointing a couple of student class representatives and they will be an important source of (anonymised) feedback too – more details in class.

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information


This is a remote (that is, on-line) delivery course. Lectures will be supported by weekly tutorials commencing in week 2. I will upload to Wattle tutorial questions based on the previous week’s lecture material. During the week I will upload on Echo360 a tutorial video in which I will work through the problems. Students are strongly encouraged to attempt to answer the tutorial questions before viewing the tutorial video. In addition to lectures and tutorials I will hold a weekly consultation session (Thursdays 1-3pm) for discussion of the material, tutorial questions and other questions students may have about the course.The final exam questions will include tutorial style problems as well as those on the assignments. You will only learn problem solving skills (necessary to pass the final exam) through practice, NOT by simply writing down answers from my tutorial videos or from the answer keys for the assignments. You learn by doing and practicing.


Students taking this course are expected to commit at least 10 hours a week – on average – to completing the work, comprising:

·       3 hours a week of lectures

·        1 hour a week of tutorial

·       6+ hours a week: reading, writing and tutorial preparation Some weeks will demand less time than this; some more.


Your final mark for the course will be based on the raw marks allocated for each assignment or examination. However, your final mark may not be the same number as produced by that formula, as marks may be scaled. Any scaling applied will preserve the rank order of raw marks (i.e. if your raw mark exceeds that of another student, then your scaled mark will exceed the scaled mark of that student), and may be either up or down.

Technology, Software, Equipment

I plan to use Wattle extensively and as my main means of getting material to you: https://wattlecourses.anu.edu.au/. Please ensure that you have access and that you check it regularly.

Prior to a number of lectures you will be asked to participate in some “on-line experiments” which will help you to focus on games and decision problems which we will discuss later in class. Taking part in this is optional, but recommended. Once you complete a set, it will be recorded. I will have access to the information about which sets you have completed. There are no “right” and “wrong” answers to the posted problems and each set will take only a few minutes to complete. Please respond to the problems as naturally as possible. I will have the aggregated statistics of the class’ responses and we will use these in class discussion. To get the 5% assessment allocated for this component of the course you must do all of the assigned question sets from week two onwards (4 weeks all up.) You will get somewhere between 0% and 5% in this element, depending on what share of the total number of assigned question sets you answer.

·        Please log in here. (You’ll need cookies enabled on your browser to log in.)

·        Our Course Number is 2916.

·        The initial class password is 5749 but you will have to select a new password after login.

Please remember the login name and the personal password you select. (You will be able to retrieve the password if you lost it). After registration you will be automatically directed to the first problem set, an exercise set that I have posted for you to practice but which does not count for assessment purposes. Please respond to all problems. Only after you have completed the set will you receive confirmation (with a red tick) and the fact that you have done it will be recorded. In case you are interrupted before you finish the set you will be able to login again and resume the set from the point at which you stopped.

Finally, we will be using some in-class surveys run through PollEverywhere. To participate in these you will need, ideally, some form of internet access while in class: a smartphone, tablet or laptop. More instructions will be provided in class.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction. Prisoner’s dilemmas; coordination. Ingredients of strategic form games. Dominance and iterative deletion. Domination & iterative deletion: applications. Reading W:1,6,7.
2 Best response and rationalizability: Applications Introduction to Nash equilibrium. Application: Imperfect competition. Reading W: 7, 8, 9 & 10
3 Nash equilibrium applications continued. Voter-candidate model, Schelling location game. Reading W:10 Assignment 1 due.
4 Mixed strategies: applications. Tests of MSE play. Reading W: 11, 12.
5 Evolution and Game theory. Reading: Osborne Chapter 13 (especially 13.1 & 13.2)
6 Introduction to sequential games: backward induction, commitment. Reading W:21. Assignment 2 due.
7 Games of perfect information: credibility, reputation. Reading W:21. Mid-semester exam.
8 Bargaining, introduction to imperfect information, information sets, subgame perfection. Reading W:19, 14, 15
9 Applications of SPE: strategic investment game, wars of attrition. Reading W:16 and Ghemawat (1997) Games businesses play (ch 7). Assignment 3 due.
10 Repeated games: cooperation in prisoner’s dilemma, infinitely repeated games. Reading W:22, 23
11 Games of incomplete information. Perfect Bayesian Equilibrium. Signaling. Reading W: 24-29
12 An alternative approach - best compromise alternative and perfect compromise equilibrium. Reading Schlad & Zapechelnyuk (2020) "Compromise, don't optimize: a prior-free alternative to perfect Bayesian Equilibrium." Assignment 4 due.

Tutorial Registration

All students attend a one hour tutorial starting in the second week. Enrolment in tutorials will be completed online through Wattle. Further details will be provided on Wattle in O-week.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Assignments 30 % 10/08/2020 30/10/2020 1,2,3
Mid-semester exam. 20 % 21/09/2020 09/10/2020 1,2,3
Final Exam 50 % 05/11/2020 03/12/2020 1,2,3

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


This is a remote (that is, on-line) delivery course. Lectures for each week will be uploaded to the Wattle page for the course. 

Lectures will be supported by weekly tutorials commencing in week 2. I will upload to Wattle tutorial questions based on the previous week’s lecture material. During the week I will upload on the Wattle page a tutorial video in which I will work through the problems. Students are strongly encouraged to attempt to answer the tutorial questions before viewing the tutorial video. In addition to lectures and tutorials I will hold a weekly consultation session (Thursdays 1-3pm) for discussion of the material, tutorial questions and other questions students may have about the course.


Regardless of the weights given above, the final exam is a hurdle assessment and students must achieve at least 40% in the final exam to pass the course.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 10/08/2020
Return of Assessment: 30/10/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3


There will be four assignments that contribute 30% of the final mark. The 30% will be based on the best three marks received for the four assignments. Sometimes, problems will be based on material that extends the lecture material; it's all right if you make mistakes, you will learn a lot from them. Each student must hand in an individually written answer to each assignment, but group discussion is encouraged.

Given the fast turnaround for grading and returning the assignments (that is, within 1 week), it will not be possible to give extensions for any reasons. Please note that since only the best three marks count, if for any reason a student is unable to submit their answers for one of the four assignments, that will have no effect on their overall mark.

Assignments will be due Monday 5pm, Weeks 3, 6, 9 and 12. Your answers should be submitted via Turnitin. Please keep a copy of your submission for your own records and for your own protection should there be any query regarding the on-time submission of your answers. Assignment questions will be made available on Wattle two weeks prior to due date.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 21/09/2020
Return of Assessment: 09/10/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Mid-semester exam.

Mid-semester exam will contribute 20% of the overall mark. An online ninety-minute open book exam, it will cover all course material covered in the first six weeks of lectures and tutorials as well as the first two assignments. More details will be provided in week 6.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 05/11/2020
Return of Assessment: 03/12/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Final Exam

The final exam will contribute 50% of the overall mark. Please note this is an hurdle assessment in line with the student assessment coursework policy (see https://policies.anu.edu.au/ppl/document/ANUP_004603). You must achieve at least 40% in the final exam to pass the course. The exam will be an online three- hour comprehensive exam comprising two sections. Section A will have 5 short answer questions (true/false plus short explanation). Section B will have 2 or 3 longer more in depth questions. More details will be provided in lectures and on Wattle in week 10. Past exam papers are a good guide to the type of questions that will be asked.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

Via Turnitin

Hardcopy Submission


Late Submission

If an assessment task is not submitted by the due date, a mark of 0 will be awarded. Given the fast turnaround for grading and returning the assignments (that is, within 1 week), it will not be possible to give extensions for any reasons. Please note that since only the best three marks count, if for any reason a student is unable to submit their answers for one of the four assignments, that will have no effect on their overall mark.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

We will endeavor to mark and return the assignments around one week after the submission and before the due date of the next assignment.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments


Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Prof Simon Grant

Research Interests

Decision theory, game theory

Prof Simon Grant

Thursday 13:00 15:00
Thursday 13:00 15:00
Prof Simon Grant

Research Interests

Prof Simon Grant

Thursday 13:00 15:00
Thursday 13:00 15:00

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions