This person won a Nobel Prize

John Forbes Nash, Jr.

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John Forbes Nash Jr. in 2006

John Forbes Nash Jr. (June 13, 1928 – May 23, 2015) was an American mathematician who worked in game theory and differential geometry.[1][2] He was born in Bluefield, West Virginia. He shared the 1994 Memorial Prize in Economics with two other game theorists, Reinhard Selten and John Harsanyi.

Early life[change | change source]

Nash was born on June 13, 1928, in Bluefield, West Virginia. He studied at Princeton University and at Carnegie Institute of Technology.

Career[change | change source]

The winner of a Westinghouse scholarship, he attended the Carnegie Institute of Technology, where he received both his bachelor's degree and his master's degree in 1948. From Pittsburgh he went to Princeton University where he worked on his equilibrium theory. He received a Ph.D. in 1950 with a dissertation on non-cooperative games. The thesis, which was written under the supervision of Albert W. Tucker, contained the definition and properties of what would later be called the Nash equilibrium. His studies on this subject led to three articles:

Nash also did important work in the area of manifolds (complex spatial structures):

  • "Real algebraic manifolds", (1952) Ann. Math. 56 (1952), 405 – 421. (See also Proc. Internat. Congr. Math., 1950, (AMS, 1952), pp. 516 – 517.)

This work led to Nash embedding theorem: "Two real algebraic manifolds are equivalent if and only if they are analytically homeomorphic." [1]

Personal life[change | change source]

He is best known in popular culture as the subject of the Hollywood movie, A Beautiful Mind, about his mathematical genius and his struggles with schizophrenia, with which he was diagnosed.[3]

Nash married Alicia Lopez-Harrison de Lardé in 1957. They had two sons. In 1963, the couple divorced. They later remarried in 2001. Nash lived in West Windsor Township, New Jersey for a long time.[4]

Death[change | change source]

On May 23, 2015, Nash and his wife Alicia were killed in a car accident near Monroe Township, New Jersey.[5] A taxi that they were riding in was struck by another vehicle and the pair was ejected from the taxi.[6] Nash was 86 years old.

References[change | change source]

  1. Nash, John F. (May 1950) Non-Cooperative Games, PhD Thesis, Princeton University.
  2. Osborne, MJ (2004). An Introduction to Game Theory. Oxford, ENG: Oxford University Press. p. 23. ISBN 0195128958.
  3. Extensive John Nash biography
  4. "John Forbes Nash May Lose N.J. Home". Associated Press. March 14, 2002. Retrieved February 22, 2011. "West Windsor, N.J.: John Forbes Nash, Jr., whose life is chronicled in the Oscar-nominated movie A Beautiful Mind, could lose his home if the township picks one of its proposals to replace a nearby bridge."
  5. Joel Landau (May 24, 2015). "John Nash, 86, inspiration for the film 'A Beautiful Mind,' and wife die in car accident on New Jersey Turnpike: police". New York Post.
  6. Ma, Myles (2015-05-23). "Famed 'A Beautiful Mind' mathematician John Nash, wife killed in taxi crash, police say". Retrieved 2015-05-23.

Other websites[change | change source]