The Center for Game Theory in Economics grew out of the former Institute for Decision Sciences (IDS), which was established at Stony Brook University in 1989. The Center has organized 83 international conferences and workshops, and has hosted over 2500 scientists since its establishment. These activities were mostly funded by the NSF. According to Nobel Laureate Kenneth Arrow, who reviewed the IDS some years ago, the resident and affiliated members of the Center constitute "a Game Theory group that is unequaled in the United States, if not in the world."
The impact of Game Theory on economics and other disciplines in the social and natural sciences is pervasive. Its concepts and techniques have become commonplace in the study of industrial organization, international trade, bargaining, and the economics of information, to name just a few economic applications. Uses of Game Theory in non-economic areas include studies of legislative institutions, of voting behavior, of communication and persuasion, of fashion, of revolutions and popular uprisings, of international conflicts, and of evolutionary biology. Its impact was reflected in the 1994, 2005, 2007 and 2012 Nobel Prizes in Economics, which were awarded to 9 game theorists.
Since 1990, the Center has organized yearly Summer Festivals on Game Theory, which brings together prominent game theorists and many leading economists from around the world. These festivals contribute to the international visibility of the Stony Brook Economics Department as a premier locus for teaching and research in Game Theory and its economic applications. A variety of academic departments and institutions, among them Bellcore, the University of Valencia (Spain), NATO, the National Science Foundation, and the Stony Brook Department of Political Science, have provided financial and organizational support to the Summer Festivals.
The Summer Festivals are normally composed of three parts: a general one-week international conference covering a broad spectrum of current research; and two workshops on special topics.
All of these activities draw a large attendance of major scholars. Approximately 200 participants come each year from Asia, Europe, and North and South America. Among them, we had the pleasure to welcome ten Nobel Laureates in economics: Kenneth Arrow, Robert Aumann, Gerard Debreu, Eric Maskin, Roger Myerson, John Nash, Alvin Roth, Thomas Schelling, Reinhard Selten and Lloyd Shapley; out of whom four are affiliated members of the center. The focus of the summer activities has been not only on Game Theory per se, but on its applications, particularly in Economics. Topics covered in past workshops include Auctions, Computer Science, Contract Theory, Evolutionary Biology, Experimental Economics, Finance, Incomplete Markets, Industrial Organization, Innovation and Patent Licensing, International Trade and Development, Law and Economics, Macroeconomics, Mechanism Design, Neuroeconomics, Political Economy and Political Science.