RIP John and Alicia Nash

I just learned with great sadness that one of the few remaining great minds of the 20th Century died. John F. Nash, who did so much to put Game Theory on a spectacularly successful growth path, was killed in a taxi cab accident, together with his wife Alicia. He was 86 and she was 82. Obituaries are in many news websites. The New York Times offered this one, while Philly.com offered this one.

Without John Nash’s genius, my entire academic field would have been a much less vibrant and useful one. While the news tells us about the movie A Beautiful Mind, the means by which most people would have known about Nash and his travails with schizophrenia, the news of this accident hits particularly hard those of us who teach and use game theory all the time, writing paper after paper, in the hundreds of thousands, using Nash’s contributions to game theory.

Rest in Peace, Alicia and John Nash. You left the world a better place.

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