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

3.8
A Beautiful Mind in some ways could join the ranks of stories of famously eccentric Princetonians -- 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. Another much-related story on campus concerns the " Phantom of Fine Hall ", a figure many students had seen shuffling around the corridors of the maths and physics building wearing purple sneakers and writing numerology treatises on the blackboards. This was in fact John Nash, one of the most brilliant mathematicians of his generation, who had spiralled into schizophrenia in the 1940s. His most mportant 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 rize 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 schizophrenia 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). This highly recommended book is indeed " a story about the ystery of the anima essence, in three acts: genius, madness, reawakening ". -- Mary Ellen Curtin, Amazon.com

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Year of the Publication
Publication Date
Published July 12th 2011 by Simon & Schuster Inc (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
619

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gave it

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

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 first half of the eighteent century.

It is also about John ’ s wife Alicia, who set aside her own feeling 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 tory so important – A Beautiful Mind demonstrates that anyone ’ s life can be turned around.

gave it

However, in light of the news that the man behind the eponymous mind,

gave it

She is no doubt a wonderful researcher, but includes details so small as to call into question her own min, 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

3,4/5 ( Some Mild Spoilers Ahead) What I struggled most with, reading this autobiograph, 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 eason 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 protagonist 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.

gave it

The book conveys a convincing portrayal of mental illness; but, it is painful to read.

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