John Nash, 1928 – 2015

Sad news that John Nash was killed yesterday when his taxi crashed on its way back from the airport. He and his wife were ejected from the taxi when it ran into the lane divider.

Nash is most famous from his biopic A Beautiful Mind though obviously it is his intellectual contributions that you should know about.

His 30 page PhD thesis was what won him the Nobel Prize. His work on game theory was influential not just in economics, but psychology and ecology among other fields.

Recently declassified letters to the NSA show how Nash was foundational to modern cryptography and its reliance on computational complexity. This is the description he included in his letter:


When he was killed, he was returning from Norway where he received the Abel prize for work on nonlinear partial differential equations.

He continued to publish; his final paper (afaik) was “The agencies method for coalition formation in experimental games

He also maintained (?) a delightfully minimalist personal web page.

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