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John Nash

1928 - 2015

John Nash

John Nash was an American mathematician whose work in fields like Game Theory was revolutionary. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1994.

  • Nationality
  • American

  • Subject
  • Mathematics

  • Fields
  • Economics, Game Theory, differential geometry, complex systems, evolutionary biology, computing, cryptography

  • Distinctions
  • John von Neumann Theory Prize, 1978.

    Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences 1994 (shared with game theorists Reinhard Selten and John Harsanyi).

    Double Helix Medal 2010.

    Abel Prize, 2015, for his work in non-linear partial differential equations.

  • Posts
  • Mathematics lecturer, MIT, 1951. His position was tenured in 1958.

    Senior Research Mathematician, Princeton University.

  • Publications
  • Papers:

    Equilibrium Points in N-person games", 1950

    The Bargaining Problem, 1950

    Non-cooperative games, 1951

    Real algebraic manifold, 1952

    2-Person cooperative games, 1953

  • Theories
  • Nash Equilibrium

    Real algebraic geometry

    Nash embedding theorem

    Nonlinear parabolic partial differential equations

    Singularity theory

    Nash worked on the Riemann hypothesis

    Nash also worked on economic theories, including the role of money in society. He criticised applications of Keynes economics in which overly focussing on money leads to irrational thinking. He proposed a system of 'ideal money'.

  • Experiments/Discoveries
  • Nash proposed ideas concerning evolutionary psychology, and on mental illness and its treatment. He analysed his own case, and wrote about the potential benefits of nonstandard behaviour, noting that his own work could excel when he was not 'normal'.

John Nash suffered from acute schizophrenia and paranoia. His struggle with his mental illness was the subject of the 1998 Sylvia Nasar biography, which was made into the 2001 academy award-winning film 'Beautiful Mind'.

John and Alica Nash, 1957
John and Alica Nash, 1957

John Nash and Alicia married in 1957, but were divorced in 1963. They remarried in 2001 (the year the film their relationship is depicted in was released). they were killed in a car accident in May, 2015. They had two children.

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