Course Policies and General Course Info

**Time and Place:**- Tuesday, Thursday, 1:25-2:40, Goldwin Smith 132

**Lecturers:**-
Joe Halpern, Gates 414, halpern@cs.cornell.edu, 5-9562
- Office hours: Wednesday, 4-5, or by appointment
- Admin: Randy Hess, Gates 401, rbhess@cs.cornell.edu

Bruno Salcedo, 480 Uris Hall, 5-7965- Office hours: TR 3-4:30

**TAs:**- Derek Lougee (dml266@cornell.edu)
- Office hours: MW 9-10, Uris 447

- Alex Arcuri (aa2336#cornell.edu)
- Office hours: MW 3-4, Uris 447

- Derek Lougee (dml266@cornell.edu)
**What the course is about:**- The course introduces
approaches to decision theory from computer science, economics, and game
theory. It's intended for advanced undergraduates and graduates
students in computer science, economics, mathematics, philosophy, and
cognitive science.
The course has several objectives, reflected in the topics on the
reading list. First, we will cover basic decision theory, also known as
``rational choice theory''. Second, we will cover the limitations and
problems with this theory, both as it applies to computers and to human
agents. (The problems are not the same in all cases.) Issues to be
discussed here include decision theory paradoxes revealed by
experiments, cognitive limitations, and computational issues. Third, we
will cover new research designed in response to these difficulties.

**Prerequisites:**-
Having some mathematical sophistication is more important for this class
than specific mathematical technique. The required technical background
is the basic elements of probability theory --- random variables,
expectations, and conditioning. This is typically covered in the first
few weeks of a probability course. ``Mathematical sophistication''
means some experience reading and writing mathematical proofs. You
will see a lot of proofs in the course, and will be required to do
some for homework and for the prelim/exam. Students who have not had
experience with writing mathematical proofs have had difficulty with
the course in the past.

**Grading:**- There will be one midterm, to be held roughly March 15, either in class or in the evening, and a final, given at the Cornell-scheduled time.
We believe that doing homework regularly is the best way to
learn the material, and the grading reflects that. Homework will be
handed out every other week. Students taking Econ 6760 and CS 5846
will have extra problems. Homework, midterm,
and exams will be weighted roughly as follows:
- Problems sets: 30%
- Midterm: 25%
- Final: 45%

**Late Homework Policy:**Homework will only be accepted*in class and on time*unless a prior arrangement is made with one of the instructors. To compute the final homework grade, we will drop your lowest homework grade.If you miss handing in an assignment (for emergency, illness, whatever), this will be the one dropped.**Academic Integrity:**It's OK to discuss the problems with others, but you**MUST**write up solutions on your own, and understand what you are writing. You may not copy any part of someone else's code or written homework. To do so is a violation of the Academic Integrity Code.

**Text:**There is no required text. Here are some useful background texts, which are on reserve at the library: Usefuls text for background include Kreps'*Notes on the Theory of Choice*and Resnik's*Choices: An Introduction to Decision Theory*. Various additional readings will also be handed out and posted.

**Piazza Site:**piazza.com/cornell/spring2017/econ3810cs5846econ6760/home