Tuesday, March 24, 2015

John Forbes Nash Jr.

Our book this week is a biography about John Forbes Nash Jr.  I don't want to get into it too much, because, well, the idea is that you'll go read the biography and learn more about him.

However, whenever I read a biography, I personally at least like to have a little information about the person that I'm about to read about.  Kind of like a preview, or a warning.  It's like knowing what I'm going to be getting myself into.

Nash was a brilliant mathematician, and he showed his intelligence at a
young age.  He was only 22 when he got his PhD at Princeton, a dissertation on Game Theory that, eventually, won him a Nobel prize.  He did revolutionary work on manifold also, along with Game theory.

Eventually, Nash fell descended into extreme schizophrenia.  For years he succumbed to the mental illness, wandering the halls of Princeton Mathematics department.  It wasn't until the early 90s that he began to recover from his delusions, he says because of the environment that he was in as opposed to a regiment of drugs (which he had stopped taking).

It was in 1994 that he received the Nobel prize for his work on Game Theory.  It was a big deal not just because he was being recognized for his work, but because he had made such an amazing recovery out of the depths of fully onset schizophrenia.

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