John F. Nash
John Nash is a well known American scientist devoted to Economic Sciences. He spent most of his career in refining the Game Theory, differential geometry and partial differential equations. His works improved the outlook on how the chances and events govern the intricate life systems. He was recognized and awarded the 1994 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, sharing with other game theorists Reinhardt Selton and John Harsanyi. The Hollywood also promoted Nash through a film titled A BEAUTIFUL MIND, winning four Academy Awards, including the best picture. This film was based on a book by the same name.
John Nash—— Early life
He was born on 13th June 1928. In his early days he was considered a bright youngster by his family. Since his early days he preferred to do things in his own way and avoided mixing up with others. He started scientific experiments at 13 years of age.
He was greatly inspired by E.T. Bell’s book on Men of Mathematics. He often attended classes at Bluefield College while studying at Bluefield High School. He graduated in 1945 and was admitted in Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburg on Westinghouse scholarship. He continued there to get his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 1948. At this stage he created two popular games ‘Hex’ (1947) and ‘So Long Sucker’ (1950).
His Post-graduate Life
His colleagues considered him a Genius. The Harvard University underrated his qualifications so he joined Princeton to complete his equilibrium theory. He became a doctor in 1950 with a thesis on dissertation on non-cooperative games. This thesis was later renamed ‘Nash Equilibrium’ and comprised of four articles:
- ‘The Bargaining Problem’ (1950)
- ‘Equilibrium Points in N-person Games’ (1950)
- ‘Two –person Cooperative Games’(1953)
- ‘Non-cooperative Games’ (1954)
Nash performed real good work in Algebraic configurations. His profound contributions in mathematics is the Nash embedding theorem that clarifies that any abstract Riemannian manifold can be isometrically realized as a sub-manifold of Euclidean space. The nonlinear parabolic partial differential equation and singularity theories were also supported.
His personnel life ———– Glimpse
Nash pursued a non-marital relationship with a nurse named Eleanor Stier, who bore him a son but later were abandoned. Nash joined the mathematics faculty of Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a Moore instructor in 1955. He married his physics student Alicia Larde in 1957. They had a son. Nash was now suffering from schizophrenia and admitted in hospital in 1959. The couple divorced in 1963 and started living together again from 1970, unmarried.
When at Princeton he became “The Phantom of Fine Hall”. In 1978 he was awarded the ‘John von Neumann Theory Prize’ for discovering Nash Equilibrium. Nash won the Noble prize in Economics in 1994. Besides these he received many honorary degrees from world Institutes.
John Nash ——- Latter Career
Nash continued work on the advanced game theory and the partial agency. He had published 23 scientific studies in about 50 years of his career all based on his independent thinking. He forwarded the evolutionary psychology thought on the value of human diversity and apparent nonstandard behaviors and their potential benefits. He termed mental illness as ‘thinking in an unacceptable manner’ and different from usual social function. He observed the role of money in society as a factor used to motivate and control people. He was a critic of interest based quasi-doctrines that manipulate short term inflation and debt tactics. He floated the idea of “ideal money” based on ‘industrial consumption price index’, to promote mutual trust and stable monitory system.
John Nash ———- Schizophrenia
John Nash’s wife, Alicia admitted him in hospital to treat his erratic behavior. He had started seeing hallucinations and characters that wore red ties and were chasing him and forcing him to work for some political organization. The doctors diagnosed common schizophrenia. The symptoms produce imaginative images and activities following fixed beliefs, whether real or false, causing something seemingly happening around the patient, to him or prompting actions by him. In real life nothing is present and no actual activity is taking place.
He was really disturbed in the absence of any motivation. He withdrew from MIT and sought political asylum from France and East Germany. Being denied, he was arrested and deported to USA at government’s request in 1961. He was admitted in New Jersey State Hospital at Trenton. For nine years he stayed under different types of treatments, including insulin shock therapy.
Nash had become tired of the long medication and inactivity. He himself reduced medicine intake. His recovery was slow. Nash commented “the medicines are over-rated and their side-effects are often ignored in mentally ill patients. He summed up his condition by observing that probably his delusional thinking was due to his unhappy life and his continued strife to prove his obscure theories as correct and practically recognizable and acceptable. He also claims that had he been thinking normal, he may not have had these scientific ideas and intuitional leads. He also agreed that he resisted going to hospitals and finally found relief by his mental adjustment and acceptance of his disease. He forced rational behavior on himself and rejected his delusions intellectually as ‘wasteful thoughts’. That improved his condition steadily.
In 2002 a film was produced and titled “A Beautiful Mind” based on Nasar’s biography of John Nash’s life. The critics raised many controversial objections on various aspects detailed in the film. They claimed that some material facts are distorted to customize with the cold war period. Others say that the irrational details of his loose moments have been high lighted for audience appeal that amounts to his degradation. More of his life and career should have been shown. However the film proved very successful and was nominated for Eight Academy Awards, winning four including the Best Picture. The film is centered around Nash’s mathematical genius and his long strife with paranoid schizophrenia.