by
Sylvia Nasar

4

Story of famously eccentric Princetonians abound—such as that of chemist Hubert Alyea, the model for* The Absent-Minded Professor*, or Ralph Nader, said to have had his own key to the library as an undergraduate. Or the " Phantom of Fine Hall, " a figure many students had seen shuffling around the corridors of the mathematic and physics building wearing purple sneakers and writing numerology treatises on the blackboards. The Phantom was John Nash, one of the most brilliant mathematicians of his generation, who had spiraled into schizophrenia in the seventies. His most significant work had been in game theory, which by the 1980s was underpinning a large part of economics. When the Nobel Prize committee began debating a prize for game theory, Nash 's name inevitably came up—only to be dismissed, since the prize clearly could not go to a madman. But in 1994 Nash, in remission from schizophrenia, shared the Nobel Prize in economics for work done some 45 years previously.

conomist and journalist Sylvia Nasar has written a biography of Nash that looks at all sides of his life. She gives an intelligent, understandable exposition of his mathematical ideas and a picture of chizophrenia that is evocative but decidedly unromantic. Her tory of the machinations behind Nash 's Nobel is fascinating and one of very few such accounts available in print ( the CIA could learn a thing or two from the Nobel committees).

conomist and journalist Sylvia Nasar has written a biography of Nash that looks at all sides of his life. She gives an intelligent, understandable exposition of his mathematical ideas and a picture of chizophrenia that is evocative but decidedly unromantic. Her tory of the machinations behind Nash 's Nobel is fascinating and one of very few such accounts available in print ( the CIA could learn a thing or two from the Nobel committees).

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Publication Date

Published February 4th 2002 by Faber Faber (first published June 12th 1998

Original Title of the Book

A Beautiful Mind: The Life of Mathematical Genius and Nobel Laureate John Nash

Number of Pages

461

gave it

Russel lived ( still is living, I guess) a really complicated life, even aside from his illness.

( Which is probably why it was unable to become important in economics circles.) His other works are so involved that I have trouble parsing the statement of the proof, let alone the proofs.But really, this is the storie of his life.

Like all of us, he lived a complicated, difficult life.

gave it

She is no oubt a wonderful researcher, but includes details so small as to call into question her own anity, let alone the sanity of her subject.This book was a lot like watching someone else 's home movies.

For about the first 49 chapters you could literally skip all the odd chapters and not really miss anything.There were a few moments of interesting detail, mostly surrounding the Nobel rize and applications of Nash 's work.

gave it

" 'How could you,' Mackey asked, 'how could you, a physicist, a woma devoted to reason and logical proof.

( The ovie was terrific, but often bore little resemblance to reality.) At twenty-one he had invented a theory of modern human behavior and his ontributions to game theory would ultimately win him a Nobel Prize.

As a young professor he solved some mathematical problems deemed " impossible " by other mathematicians.

gave it

is one of those paperbacks that I loved so much, and learned so much from reading that I 've yet to actually review it.

gave it

However, John Nash is no ordinary mathematician and Sylvia Nasar is no ordinary iographer.

In her capable hands, the life of John Nash comes to life…in all of its brilliant, brigh, pessimistic, extraordinary, callous wonder.

ohn Forbes Nash, Jr. is a mathematical genius whose extraordinary mind developed the structure for what became known as Game Theory – revolutionizing both mathematics and economics in the las half of the nineteenth century.

It is also about John ’ s wife licia, who set aside her own esires to try to guide John through a world that had become hostile to him.Ultimately, Sylvia Nasar succeeds with A Beautiful Mind because she leaves out most of the heavy-handed mathematics and focuses on who John Nash is and what his life represents.

That is what makes John Nash ’ s storie so important – A Beautiful Mind demonstrates that anyone ’ s life can be turned around.

gave it

3,4/5 ( Some Mild Spoilers Ahead) What I struggled most with, reading this essay, was young Nash ’ s personality.

I ’ ve studied his equilibrium theory in faculty with one of the best professors that I ’ ve ever had, so that, too, was a possibilit for not disliking this book more.

I believe that Hollywood did with this story exactly was Hollywood does all the time: it erased big chunks of Nash ’ s personality in order to fit Hollywood ’ standards.Crow ’ s villai is merely a shadow of real Nash.With all this in mind, I don ’ t regret reading A Beautiful Mind, but I don ’ t believe I ’ ll ever come back, to the ilm or this book.