ECONOMICS: John F. Nash, Jr. 1994 - Bluefield, WV
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member macleod1
S 37° 14.591 E 081° 14.079
44H E 520811 N 5878124
Quick Description: This highway marker claims this area as being the birthplace of this Nobel Winner.
Location: West Virginia, United States
Date Posted: 9/19/2008 7:56:12 AM
Waymark Code: WM4Q6R
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member SowerMan
Views: 15

Long Description:
Nash was a mathematical genius whose 27-page dissertation, "Non-Cooperative Games," written in 1950 when he was 21, would be honored with the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1994.

His most important 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.

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Excerpts for his autobiography:

My beginning as a legally recognized individual occurred on June 13, 1928 in Bluefield, West Virginia, in the Bluefield Sanitarium, a hospital that no longer exists.

Bluefield, a small city in a comparatively remote geographical location in the Appalachians, was not a community of scholars or of high technology. It was a center of businessmen, lawyers, etc. that owed its existence to the railroad and the rich nearby coal fields of West Virginia and western Virginia. So, from the intellectual viewpoint, it offered the sort of challenge that one had to learn from the world's knowledge rather than from the knowledge of the immediate community.

Regarding the circumstances of my studies at Carnegie (now Carnegie Mellon U.), I was lucky to be there on a full scholarship, called the George Westinghouse Scholarship. But after one semester as a chem. eng. student I reacted negatively to the regimentation of courses such as mechanical drawing and shifted to chemistry instead. But again, after continuing in chemistry for a while I encountered difficulties with quantitative analysis where it was not a matter of how well one could think and understand or learn facts but of how well one could handle a pipette and perform a titration in the laboratory. Also the mathematics faculty were encouraging me to shift into mathematics as my major and explaining to me that it was not almost impossible to make a good career in America as a mathematician. So I shifted again and became officially a student of mathematics. And in the end I had learned and progressed so much in mathematics that they gave me an M. S. in addition to my B. S. when I graduated.

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Field of Accomplishment: Economics

Year of Award: 1994

Primary Relevant Web Site: [Web Link]

Secondary Relevant Web Site: [Web Link]

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