About the Program


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Specialization in the Study of Rationality

Decision-making processes and rational explanations of natural phenomena can be studied using a large variety of research tools from a wide range of disciplines. For example, concepts and tools from the field of mathematical game theory can be used to explore economic processes, biological evolution, and parliamentary legislation; experimental and theoretical techniques from the field of psychology can be used to explain errors in judgment; and methods from the field of statistics can be used to study processes of rational decision making.

The Center for the Study of Rationality is a multidisciplinary center whose members are concerned with these and related issues. Members of the Center come from the departments of Philosophy, Psychology, Mathematics, Computer Science, Economics, Business Administration, Law, Education, Statistics, Biology, and Political Science.

In 2006 the Center inaugurated a graduate program, in cooperation with the departments from which the Center's members are drawn. In order to be admitted to the Center's graduate program, a student must be admitted to and registered in the doctoral program or the master's program of one of these departments. The student must also meet the additional criteria set by the Center for admission to its program.

Every student in the program must have a background in mathematics at least at the level required for admission to the University's Department of Statistics: this includes differential and integral calculus, and linear algebra. The student must also have taken an introductory course in statistics and probability and a course in game theory. A certain amount of this background material can be acquired in the course of the student's studies at the Center, with the approval of the Center's Director of Graduate Studies.

Each student must satisfy all the academic requirements of the department in which he or she is registered plus an additional 10 units of coursework on rationality-related topics. Courses in fields related to rationality and decision making are offered at the Center itself, as well as in various departments throughout the University (for example in the School of Public Policy, in the Faculty of Law, and in the Departments of Mathematics, Economics, Psychology, Statistics, Life Sciences, and more).

The Center will award a number of fellowships to outstanding students.