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Regular version of the site
Campus inNizhny Novgorod

Renowned Professor Guillermo Owen Gives Lecture to Students at HSE Nizhny Novgorod

In his open lecture, Professor Guillermo Owen, one of the founders of contemporary game theory, gave an overview of and introduction to the theory, and discussed different problems arising in game theory with the audience, offering concrete examples. The lecture took place in English.

In his open lecture, Professor Guillermo Owen, one of the founders of contemporary game theory, gave an overview of and introduction to the theory, and discussed different problems arising in game theory with the audience, offering concrete examples. The lecture took place in English.

Guillermo Owen is Professor of Applied Mathematics at the Naval Postgraduate High School in Monterey, California, United States. He is a member of the Colombian Academy of Physical and Exact Sciences, a member of Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences of Barcelona, and a member of Third World Academy of Sciences. He is also Junior Editor at International Game Theory Review, and was honorary president of the XIV Ibero-American Congress.

Hundreds of people gathered to hear him speak. After his talk, he answered students questions enthusiastically.

1. It is possible for the ‘negotiation point’ to coincide with the Shapeley value?

— No, that’s a different distribution, they do not coincide, generally.

2. What is modern game theory looking at, what questions are open?

— Graph games are being actively studied. Players can only join into a coalition with specified players, as neighboring peaks on the graph.

3. Is there a special family of graphs that deliver interesting solutions in game theory?

— Yes, after all the most simple graphs, are trees.

— Perhaps – a forest?

— Yes, the forest, too.

4. What happens if there is a limit on mixed strategy and the players’ choice of strategy probabilities are interlinked?

— Yes, mixed strategies can have non-null correlations. This is what happens in game graphs, and it changes the game resolution, For example, you can play poker with five friends, and at some moment the player shows their cards to one of their friends. Of course, the others are angry and it is harder for them to win.

5. Do you use game theory in your life?

— No, I always do exactly what my wife says.

6. Does game theory come up in running banks?

— Yes, for example, a specific type of game that models political party voting patters or voting patterns among the shareholders in a commercial company, or bank.

7. Game theory, is it more mathematics or more economics?

— Well, by education I am a mathematician, and my dissertation is in math, but I teach game theory to economists as well. So it is both.

8. Could game theory help win at gambling, e.g. at poker, using the game on doubling?

— I have a friend in Cartagena, Colombia, who gambles at a casino several times a week, using the doubling bets strategy, and each time he comes home with the same winnings – 20 dollars. However, one day he took his parents’ car and went to gamble at the casino. That day he lost and lost. Eventually he had to leave the car as collateral and take the bus 100km home. ‘You’re an idiot’ his father said. So if you have a rich father – then go ahead. Play and double.

9. I am from Italy, and we take the following approach to business interaction. Companies trade goods without using any currency. Only one company links the others in this barter arrangement, the insurance company, which covers all losses if one party defaults or can no longer continue. Does this system work well from a game theory perspective?

— But each party could lose a lot of money. However, it’s all working out, everyone is happy and friendly. But say one day you don’t have money, then everyone you owe money to is unhappy and hostile toward you. I hope that will never happen with that insurance company in Italy.