Sunday, May 24, 2015

RIP John Nash (1928–2015)

Mathematician John Nash and his wife were killed yesterday in a taxi accident.

Nash won the 1994 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics for the work in his 27-page PhD thesis that invented the theory of non-cooperative games. Not bad. (As Joe Jewell pointed out, Nash's thesis also only has 2 references.)

Nash had recently accepted his Abel Prize (the mathematics equivalent of a Nobel Prize) for entirely different work.

Sylvia Nasar's 1994 article about John Nash, which is based on her book, is a fascinating read. Nasar's book formed the basis for the movie A Beautiful Mind.

Nash is also one of the people who invented the game Hex.

If you want to read more about Nash, go to FAQ maintained by Princeton University.

(Tip of the cap to numerous people, and thanks to Carlos Castillo Chávez for posting the article by Sylvia Nasar.)

Update (5/26/15): As I suspected, this was the final leg of their journey home after Nash was in Norway to receive his Abel Prize.

Update (5/29/15): Here is an article in the popular press about Nash's work on isometric embeddings.

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