Lessons from Leading Minds
Chapter 5: Game Theory
Benjamin Polak Benjamin Polak was born in London, England in 1961 and graduated with a BA in economics from Cambridge University in 1984 before obtaining an MA in history from Northwestern University in 1986 and a PhD in economics from Harvard University in 1992. He joined the Yale faculty in 1994, where he currently serves as the William C. Brainard Professor of Economics. At Yale, Professor Polak teaches an undergraduate course in Game Theory, PhD courses in Microeconomic Theory and Advanced Microeconomic Theory and MBA courses in Game Theory, Decision Analysis and Game Theory and Business History. He has been honored with three major university teaching prizes: Yale College’s Lex Hixon ’63 Prize for Teaching Excellence in the Social Sciences (2006), the Department of Economics’ Graduate Teaching Prize (2005) and the William Clyde DeVane Medal for undergraduate teaching and scholarship at Yale College (2005). Professor Polak’s research interests include the interface between economics and history, game theory, economic inequality and individuals’ responses to uncertainty. His articles have been published in Econometrica, Journal of Economic Theory, Rand Journal of Economics, Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization and Journal of Theoretical and Institutional Economics, among others. 79 M2372 - BOWMAKER TEXT.indd 79 29/9/10 11:36:33 80 The heart of teaching economics I interviewed Benjamin Polak in his office at the Department of Economics at Yale University. It was the middle of the afternoon of Monday, May 11, 2009. BACKGROUND INFORMATION Why did you decide to study economics as an undergraduate? For...
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