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October 6, 2010

Nobel Laureate John Nash Jr., Subject of Film A Beautiful Mind, Will Give Talk Oct. 18

John Forbes Nash, Jr.

John Forbes Nash Jr., a Nobel Prize-winning mathematician and the subject of the 2001 film A Beautiful Mind, will deliver a lecture 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 18, in the Williams Center for the Arts.

His talk, “Ideal Money and Asymptotically Ideal Money,” is sponsored by the policy studies program and hosted by the First-Year Seminar In the Media, in cooperation with the economics department and mathematics department.

Nash was awarded the 1994 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his landmark work, first begun in the 1950s, on the mathematics of game theory. He shared the prize with economist John Harsanyi and German mathematician Reinhard Selten. At the age of 22, Nash completed his doctorate at Princeton University, publishing his influential thesis “Non-cooperative Games” in the journal Annals of Mathematics.

It helped establish the mathematical principles of game theory, a branch of mathematics that examines the rivalries among competitors with mixed interests. Known as the Nash solution or the Nash equilibrium, his theory attempted to explain the dynamics of threat and action among competitors.

The Academy Award-winning film A Beautiful Mind, staring Russell Crowe, was loosely based on Nash’s life. The 1998 book of the same name by Sylvia Nasar is an unauthorized biography of Nash. It received the 1998 National Book Critics Circle Award for biography and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for biography.

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