Game Theory- John Nash RIP

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Famed ‘A Beautiful Mind’ mathematician John Nash, wife killed in taxi crash

Explaining a Cornerstone of Game Theory: John Nash’s Equilibrium

John F. Nash Jr. was best known for advances in game theory, which is essentially the study of how to come up with a winning strategy in the game of life — especially when you do not know what your competitors are doing and the choices do not always look promising.

The film “A Beautiful Mind,” based on Dr. Nash’s life, tries to explain game theory in a scene in which Russell Crowe, playing Dr. Nash, is at a bar with three friends, and they are all enraptured by a beautiful blond woman who walks in with four brunette friends...

Dr. Nash did not invent game theory; the mathematician John von Neumann did the pioneering work to establish the field in the first half of the 20th century. But Dr. Nash extended the analysis beyond zero-sum, I-win-you-lose types of games to more complex situations in which all of the players could gain, or all could lose....


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I teach them all the good I can, and recommend them to others from whom I think they will get some moral benefit. And the treasures that the wise men of old have left us in their writings I open and explore with my friends. If we come on any good thing, we extract it, and we set much store on being useful to one another. - Socrates, Memorabilia
What we maintain is that in none of the problems of life can men afford to lose sight of the storehouse bequeathed to them by the ancients. In the complexus of everything which differentiates man from the brute creation, the voice of antiquity must be heard...

-H. Browne, quoted in "Classics and Citizenship" The Classical Quarterly, 1920