John Nash, 1928-2015
John Forbes Nash Jr., the Princeton University mathematician whose life inspired the film A Beautiful Mind, and his wife died in a car crash Saturday, according to New Jersey State Police.
Well, okay, somehow the fact that his life inspired a Hollywood film made it into the obit before the fact that he won the 1994 Nobel Prize in Economics. (Note: "Nash called the film an 'artistic' interpretation based on his life of how mental illness could evolve -- one that did not 'describe accurately' the nature of his delusions or treatment.") But in actuality, it's enormously difficult to describe the impact that this man had on the field of Game Theory, which now underlies much of economics, politics, and has even been applied to describe the strategy of penalty shootouts in soccer (where it closely predicts the strategies that top players actually use).
And if you're anything like me, you'll find his 1950 dissertation a refreshing respite from page after