So far, my independent project has been a fascinating and instructive experience. I’ve learned so much about decision making which is really what game theory is all about. When studying dominated strategies, I learned about the idea of a strictly wrong choice. Through Nash Equilibrium I learned about the existence of a no regret choice for all players. And I’ve also learned about how outside factors can effect a Nash Equilibrium.
I’ve learned not only about game theory, but also about how I like to learn. I’ve come to realize that I far prefer the lectures that introduce a new concept, since when the professor goes in depth on the applications and retreads a concept the lecture tends to be a bit more of a slog. I think this is probably because I prefer the broader picture of things than the details. Luckily, there is normally a new concept every other lecture, so during a slow lecture I can always look forward to the next one.
My independent project has given me a chance to work on more than just my math skills. Writing has always been hard for me, but my blog posts have forced me to work on getting better at it. As you might of noticed, some of my blog posts have been confusing, especially my early ones. And as the topics I was trying to tackle got more complicated, so did my blog posts. However I needed to find a way to make sure my blog posts were understandable to people other than just myself. To get around that problem by having someone who knows pretty much nothing read through my blog before hand and point out every little part that doesn’t make sense or is confusing. I still remember having my mom read through my first draft about Nash Equilibrium, and she was completely lost. It’s never a good sign when the only words you get back are “START OVER,” in all caps. But she was more help than Dex, who skimmed through it on my laptop, handed it back, and simply said he already knew everything I was talking about. But with her help I was able to figure out the parts that were made sense to me since I already knew what a Nash Equilibrium was, but to others was completely incomprehensible.
Another beneficial part is that my independent has made me more comfortable asking for help from people I don’t know well. I was getting lost during a derivation for a Nash Equilibrium equation and didn’t quite know how to solve the problem. Fortunately for me I knew I could turn to my mentor Tobias. I brought my confusion up to Tobias and he explained it to me so that I understood each step towards the answer. Now I feel much more comfortable asking him for help, despite having never met with him in person.
But even with all of those things, I’ve still got a lot ahead of me. The relief of having finally finished my college application is so nice, and it’s given me a lot more time to work on my independent. For the next two months I will keep plugging away at my lectures and problem sets. My plan is to wrap up in early January and then I will turn my attention towards implicit bias and human research studies. I hope to create my own study combining implicit bias and game theory. I’m looking forward to the topics I have ahead, like Sequential Games and Backwards Induction, as well as sharing these new topics on this blog. I’ve got a lot more to learn.
Thanks for reading.
For anyone who wants to follow their own interest in game theory, here are a few resources: