Jerusalem high school students get Nobel Prize winner as teacher

Yisrael Aumann will explain game theory to teenagers in new pilot program

Aaron Kalman is a former writer and breaking news editor for the Times of Israel

Professor Yisrael Robert Aumann. (Flash90)
Professor Yisrael Robert Aumann. (Flash90)

Nobel Prize winner Yisrael Aumann is scheduled to teach Jerusalem high school students in the upcoming school year. The Hebrew University professor will teach game theory to students from all over the capital.

Game theory is a new discipline which will force students to think in original ways, the 82-year-old Aumann said.

The first year of the program is set to be a pilot run, conducted for 11th and 12th graders in Jerusalem, Maariv reported on Wednesday. If the results are successful the Education Ministry may open the program to students around Israel.

The world-renowned professor of economics, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2005, said students could implement ideas from game theory in many fields, including sociology, psychology, political science and international relations.

The program will be led by Dr. Ein-Ya Gura of Hebrew University. Among the topics scheduled for the 16-to-18-year-old students are the Prisoner’s dilemma, political power versus electoral power, the place of emotions in decision-making, and analysis of texts with scientific tools.

Game theory examines decision-making when there are a number of “players” — governments, large cooperation, individuals etc. — involved in the process.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said the city was proud to introduce a new and important subject into the country’s education system. He was also pleased to have “recruited the most renowned world expert, Professor Aumann.”

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