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'I would not dare to say that there is a direct relation between mathematics and madness, but there is no doubt that great mathematicians suffer from maniacal characteristics, delirium and symptoms of schizophrenia.' –John Nash
The 2001 film, ‘A Brilliant Mind’ (starring Russell Crowe and winner of 4 Academy awards that year) was based on Mr. Nash’s life and experiences working with his theories of game theory while at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) and Princeton University.
Start by reading the New York Times article, John Nash, ‘A Beautiful Mind’ Subject and Nobel Winner, Dies at 86. One of the 20th Century’s most prodigious and brilliant mathematical minds and Nobel Peace prize winner, died in a tragic car accident yesterday, May 24, 2015. John Forbes Nash, Jr. and his wife, Alicia, were in a taxi in New Jersey when their driver hit the guardrail and struck another car, ejecting the couple from the car where they were pronounced dead on the scene. The terrible accident has brought to the forefront of the news the fascinating story of the Princeton University professor’s longtime work with mathematical concepts of game theory that have played a crucial role in economics. Nash battled a debilitating illness, schizophrenia, for much of his career that made it even more challenging for him to conduct his research and convince his contemporaries of his brilliant discoveries.
Before continuing with the news, find out more about the fascinating life that was John Nash. Visit PBS - A Brilliant Madness – People and Events. Next read PBS – A Brilliant Madness - Game Theory Explained to get a better understanding of his important work. Continue with Why John Nash was important to the world beyond mathematics from New Jersey On-Line LLC.
Returning to the news, watch the video clip and read A Beautiful Mind Mathematician Killed in New Jersey Taxi Crash (TIME Magazine). The Chicago Tribune reported John Nash, inspiration for 'A Beautiful Mind,' killed in N.J. car crash. Click through “A Beautiful Mind”: John Nash in Photos (from The Wall Street Journal).
Nash suffered from a mental disorder called schizophrenia which made things extremely challenging throughout his career. Approximately one percent of the population will end up with this psychological disorder. The symptoms typically emerge by the time the individual is in his/her late teens or young 20’s. At that time, this phenomenon was not fully understood and caused many people to fear and shy away from anyone who had this. Today, we know much more about schizophrenia and there are tactics that patients can employ to help them deal with and even overcome their symptoms. Read the New York Times Health Guide about Schizophrenia. Continue with Living With Schizophrenia: Coffee and Friends for a first-hand account from someone who reveals how he deals with his disorder in the everyday world. Follow with Successful and Schizophrenic, another first-hand account how this woman overcame her problem and found success as a lawyer and professor.
In 1994, John F. Nash was awarded the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for his work with mathematics and game theory. Read his Nobel Award Ceremony Speech. Then watch the video interview. For additional videos, visit the PBS collection of interviews with John Nash.
The catastrophe that occurred this past weekend ended the life of a truly brilliant mathematician. John F. Nash contributed to the field of mathematics and economics that is still utilized today. It is important that we study the fascinating story of Mr. Nash as it is a motivating and inspirational life tale of one man who persevered despite the challenges of society around him.