Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A collection of John and Alicia Nash articles

Some of these, in particular the Peter Woit article, have some wonderful additional contributions in the comments sections.

And thank you to those authors who took the time to recognize that there were two very special people in the back seat of that taxi.

  • John F. Nash Jr., Math Genius Defined by a ‘Beautiful Mind,’ Dies at 86
    Dr. Nash’s theory of noncooperative games, published in 1950 and known as Nash equilibrium, provided a conceptually simple but powerful mathematical tool for analyzing a wide range of competitive situations, from corporate rivalries to legislative decision-making. Dr. Nash’s approach is now pervasive in economics and throughout the social sciences and applied in other fields as well, including evolutionary biology.
  • John Nash 1928-2015
    During the years I was a graduate student in Princeton, Nash was often to be seen, especially in the mathematics/physics library, and I talked to him a few times. The first time was when he stopped me one day, told me he had seen my name on the physics department picture board, and was curious about the origin of my last name.
  • John and Alicia Nash, 1928,1933–2015
    Alicia’s life was one of boldness and courage from the day she emigrated with her family from El Salvador in 1944. Her father had followed her uncle fearing backlash against their aristocratic family from a popular insurrection. Hearing about the nuclear bomb on the radio inspired her to become an atomic physicist, and she worked hard to become one of only seventeen women in MIT’s class of 1955.
  • John Nash, mathematician portrayed in A Beautiful Mind, dies in taxi crash at 86
    Nash describes thinking himself out of his illness.

    “After my return to the dream-like delusional hypotheses in the later 60s I became a person of delusionally influenced thinking but of relatively moderate behavior and thus tended to avoid hospitalization and the direct attention of psychiatrists,” Nash wrote.

    “Thus further time passed. Then gradually I began to intellectually reject some of the delusionally influenced lines of thinking which had been characteristic of my orientation. This began, most recognizably, with the rejection of politically oriented thinking as essentially a hopeless waste of intellectual effort.”

  • John Forbes Nash, 1928–2015
    On the evening before the award ceremony John Nash was introduced to World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen. You can watch a video of the encounter in this NRK report. Nash says that he encouraged his son (who was also diagnosed with schizophrenia, to play chess and asks Magnus whether he thinks the game could be good for mental health. "I think it keeps the mind active, I suppose," replies Magnus, who goes on to sign a chessboard for Nash.
  • Eisgruber: Princeton saddened over reported deaths of John Nash and wife
    The University community is "stunned and saddened" upon hearing news reports that Princeton mathematician John Nash and his wife, Alicia, were killed in a traffic accident, President Christopher L. Eisgruber said Sunday.
  • A Beautiful Mind, an Amazing Couple: Community Mourns the Loss of John and Alicia Nash
    It was common for Princeton area residents to see John Nash taking his beloved Dinky train between his home in Princeton Junction and downtown Princeton. At 86, he was still a daily fixture on the Princeton University campus and was often seen in the Princeton U Store.
  • The Lost Years of a Nobel Laureate
    Then came what Professor Kuhn calls "a miraculous remission." And as happens, for reasons unknown, in the case of some people with schizophrenia, it was not, according to Mrs. Nash or Mrs. Legg, due to any drug or treatment.

    "It's just a question of living a quiet life," said Mrs. Nash.

    The most dramatic sign of that remission, perhaps, is that Mr. Nash was able to do mathematics again.

  • Nash and the NSA
    Not only did John Nash think about computation and cryptography, there are many ideas in these letters that were a bit ahead of their time when Nash sent these letters in 1955.
    • Expressing a cryptographic process as a Boolean function with input bits.
    • Breaking the cryptographic system as a function of the key length.
    • Exponential in key length as computationally hard and polynomial in key length is computationally easy.
  • National Cryptologic Museum Opens New Exhibit on Dr. John Nash
    The National Cryptologic Museum's newest exhibit, "An Inquisitive Mind: John Nash Letters," features copies of correspondence between Dr. Nash and the National Security Agency (NSA) from the 1950s when he was developing his ideas on an encryption-decryption machine.

I don't take taxi rides often, but I must try to train myself to put on my seat belt even in the taxi.


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