As a final project in their Finite Math class, seniors created games to showcase what they learned about game theory. In creating their own games of chance, students modeled strategic situations where players have the ability to make choices that impact the other players of the game. Students investigated how casinos play on the interests of the “house,” applying game theory to advance their own monetary interests.
Understanding game theory allows students to study well-defined mathematical objects. Each game must consist of a set of players, a set of strategies, and a list of payoffs for each combination of strategies. Students created a matrix for their game, showing the players, strategies, and payoffs. On the last day of classes, students invited others to come and test out their games to see if the players could pick up on the most successful strategies and win against the house. Needless to say, the odds were generally not favorable to the players!