American Go E-Journal

John F. Nash Jr., Math Genius Defined by a ‘Beautiful Mind,’ Dies at 86

Sunday May 24, 2015

John F. Nash Jr., a mathematician who shared a Nobel Prize in 1994 for work that greatly extended the reach and power of modern economic 2015.05.24_25NASH1-obit-master675theory and whose long descent into severe mental illness and eventual recovery were the subject of a book and a film, both titled “A Beautiful Mind,” was killed, along with his wife, in a car crash on Saturday in New Jersey. He was 86.

2015.05.24_beautiful_mind-movieDr. Nash was widely regarded as one of the great mathematicians of the 20th century, known for the originality of his thinking and for his fearlessness in wrestling down problems so difficult few others dared tackle them.

He invented a game, known as Nash, that became an obsession in the Fine Hall common room at Princeton, where he also played go. He also took on a problem left unsolved by Dr. von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern, the pioneers of game theory, in their now-classic book, “Theory of Games and Economic Behavior.”
Adapted from Erica Good’s obituary in The New York Times. photo (right): John F. Nash Jr. at his Princeton graduation in 1950, when he received his doctorate; (left) Russell Crowe, as Nash, playing go in the 2001 film “A Beautiful Mind”

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