I am a political scientist who studies war, nuclear proliferation, and terrorism (mostly) using formal models. Currently, I am an assistant professor in the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Political Science. Before that, I was a Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation. I received a PhD from the University of Rochester in 2015.

If you want to know more, you can check my CV page. You can also email me at williamspaniel@gmail.com.

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Hi,

I’m in high school at the moment and am really intrigued by what you’ve posted on game theory. How much math is required to study game theory at a high level? What kind of math courses did you take in university?

I stopped at pre-calc when I was in high school. If you want to be more responsible than I was back then, you should go through calculus. Depending on what you are interested in, real analysis and topology can help when you get to college.

Hi again,

Thank you for the response. Along the same line of thinking, how important do you think raw intelligence and talent are with regard to (a) attaining a PhD and (b) achievement in mathematics? I ask because I enjoy mathematics and would like to pursue a career that is math-intensive but I suspect that my mathematical aptitude is average-ish.

My sense is that it is 50/50. You need to be able to do things that few people can but you also need to actually put in the time.