## by Saul Stahl

### An easy start to a lifetime of intriguing strategies

### June 2001

This book is an appropriate gift for a teenager with a taste for mathematics. Highly
accessible, requiring some algebra, but not much more, the book introduces the
deceptively simple mathematical subject of game theory. First of all, it indicates
what is
=meant= by a game -- something more akin to rock, paper, scissors, than monopoly or
chess. Game theory (in a way like chaos theory) is seriously mis-named; the games
played tend to be ones that are simple models of economic choice or political
strategizing.
This is why research in game theory has led to the Nobel Prize in Economics for more
than one person.

In any case, I used this book as a resource in a discrete math class for teenaged
students
who were extremely interested in math. It was intended for non-math majors in college,
but I think it would work very well as enrichment in the high school classroom (or
even
middle school -- one can use it in developing an application for algebra). After
learning
the rudiments of game theory, I thought to apply the concept to =The Weakest Link=,
and
found that, as a game, it is far more complicated than what you'll find in this book.

Still, this is just a starting point. There are plenty of avenues to explore
beyond
what is
covered in here, but one can get bogged down with all the different types of
situations that
have been treated in game theory.

Back to Reviews page

Mary Pat Campbell, last updated
11 June 2001