We should not judge people by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

A beautiful mind ....John Nash rest in peace

Dr. John Nash. the genius mathematician and the Economist Nobel laureate and the father of Nash Equilibrium died May 23rd 2015 in a car crash along with his wife at the age of 86. 

When I read this news today in Economist. I could not believe what I was reading. So I went to check other news papers and felt in a state of shock. 

The story of the movie, "A beautiful mind" which portrays Nash's journey, has been part of my life as a PhD student for a long time. I used to watch this movie for some special scenes frequently to get inspired as an early PhD student. It kept me motivated. 

The most important coincidence is I got the original book "A beautiful mind" on which the movie is based last week from my institute's library and have been reading it since last 4 days. This is the reason the news of Nash's death comes as a even a bigger shock. The book portrays the different facets of the early young Nash, and gives a detailed insight into the fiercely competitive world of mathematical research as it happens in MIT, Harvard, Princeton etc. It tells the fierce devotion of a strong and beautiful wife towards his genius husband. It gives a glimpse into the dark side of a genius, and his passage into the world of madness at the age of 35. 

Nash's 27 page PhD thesis which he wrote in 2 years at Princeton changed the way Game theory is treated in the actual practical world, and many of the today's economic models such as airline ticket auctioning system are based on Nash equilibrium, which states that maximum gains could be obtained in a game if everybody play's for a common interest such that nobody loses. This kind of thinking was revolutionary when it was proposed, since, till then in a game, there were either winners or losers. 

Mr. Nash you left a legacy behind you and will be remembered for your pioneering work. Thank you for inspiring me through your journey as a graduate student. 

I feel a lot sad today.