A Beautiful Mind

A Beautiful Mind

by

Sylvia Nasar

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John Forbes Nash Jr. Character Analysis

John Forbes Nash Jr. (1928-2015) was an American mathematician and Nobel Prize Laureate, and he is the subject of Sylvia Nasar’s biography A Beautiful Mind. In the book, Nash is described as a young math prodigy who quickly ascends the academic ranks to become a pioneer of game theory, a field of mathematics studying interactions, negotiations, and decision-making. Yet his difficult, eccentric personality makes him somewhat of a pariah among other academics. Intensely competitive, often aloof, and unsympathetic to others, Nash struggles to form lasting friendships. He also represses his sexual desires for other men, causing numerous rifts in his relationships. At the age of 30, Nash begins to experience severe psychotic delusions, and he is diagnosed with schizophrenia. He retreats from the world of mathematics and spends several decades in limbo, cut off from friends and family and unable to return to his research. During this period, he becomes known as the “Phantom of Fine Hall,” since he spends much of his time wandering through the Princeton campus, where he had been a graduate student, his mind clouded by delusions. Nash credits his eventual recovery from schizophrenia to his own powers of mind: he works to separate reality from delusion, and his mathematical talents help to restore his capacity for rational thought. In 1994, Nash receives the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, and he reconciles with his friends and family, including his ex-wife, Alicia, whom he eventually remarries.

John Forbes Nash Jr. Quotes in A Beautiful Mind

The A Beautiful Mind quotes below are all either spoken by John Forbes Nash Jr. or refer to John Forbes Nash Jr.. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Simon & Schuster edition of A Beautiful Mind published in 1998.
Prologue Quotes

No one was more obsessed with originality, more disdainful of authority, or more jealous of his independence. […] In almost everything [Nash] did—from game theory to geometry—he thumbed his nose at the received wisdom, current fashion, established methods. […] Nash acquired his knowledge of mathematics not mainly from studying what other mathematicians had discovered, but by rediscovering their truths for himself.

Related Characters: Sylvia Nasar (speaker), John Forbes Nash Jr.
Page Number: 12
Explanation and Analysis:

He was beguiled by the idea of alien races of hyper-rational beings who had taught themselves to disregard all emotion. Compulsively rational, he wished to turn life’s decisions—whether to take the first elevator or wait for the next one, where to bank his money, what job to accept, whether to marry—into calculations of advantage and disadvantage, algorithms or mathematical rules divorced from emotion, convention, and tradition. Even the small act of saying an automatic Hello to Nash in a hallway could elicit a furious “Why are you saying hello to me?”

Related Characters: Sylvia Nasar (speaker), John Forbes Nash Jr.
Page Number: 12-13
Explanation and Analysis:

Underneath the brilliant surface of [Nash’s] life, all was chaos and contradiction: his involvements with other men; a secret mistress and a neglected illegitimate son; a deep ambivalence toward the wife who adored him, the university that nurtured him, even his country; and, increasingly, a haunting fear of failure. And the chaos eventually welled up, spilled over, and swept away the fragile edifice of his carefully constructed life.

Page Number: 16
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 5 Quotes

Nash was always on the lookout for problems. “He was very much aware of unsolved problems,” said Milnor. “He really cross-examined people on what were the important problems. It showed a tremendous amount of ambition.” In this search, as in so much else, Nash displayed an uncommon measure of self-confidence and self-importance. On one occasion, not long after his arrival at Princeton, he went to see Einstein and sketched some ideas he had for amending quantum theory.

Page Number: 69-70
Explanation and Analysis:

Nash was choosy about whom he would talk mathematics with. […] “You couldn’t engage him in a long conversation. He’d just walk off in the middle. Or he wouldn’t respond at all. I don’t remember Nash having a conversation that came to a nice soft landing. I also don’t remember him ever having a conversation about mathematics. Even the full professors would discuss problems they were working with.”

Related Characters: Sylvia Nasar (speaker), John Forbes Nash Jr.
Page Number: 72
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 10 Quotes

Today, Nash’s concept of equilibrium from strategic games is one of the basic paradigms in social sciences and biology. […] Like many great scientific ideas, from Newton’s theory of gravitation to Darwin’s theory of natural selection, Nash’s idea seemed initially too simple to be truly interesting, too narrow to be widely applicable, and, later on, so obvious that its discovery by someone was deemed all but inevitable. […] Its significance was not immediately recognized, not even by the brash twenty-one-year-old author himself.

Related Characters: Sylvia Nasar (speaker), John Forbes Nash Jr.
Related Symbols: The Nash Equilibrium
Page Number: 98
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 17 Quotes

In this circle [at MIT], Nash learned to make a virtue of necessity, styling himself self-consciously as a “free thinker.” He announced that he was an atheist. He created his own vocabulary. He began conversations in midstream with “Let’s take this aspect.” He referred to people as “humanoids.”

Related Characters: Sylvia Nasar (speaker), John Forbes Nash Jr.
Page Number: 143
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 20 Quotes

There is no way of knowing what enables one man to crack a big problem while another man, also brilliant, fails. Some geniuses have been sprinters who have solved problems quickly. Nash was a long-distance runner. […] He went into a classical domain where everybody believed that they understand what was possible and not possible. […] His tolerance for solitude, great confidence in his own intuition, indifference to criticism—all detectable at a young age but now prominent and impermeable features of his personality—served him well.

Related Characters: Sylvia Nasar (speaker), John Forbes Nash Jr.
Page Number: 160
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 21 Quotes

More than a decade later, when he was already ill, Nash himself provided a metaphor for his life during the MIT years, a metaphor that he couched in his first language, the language of mathematics […] The equation represents a three-dimensional hyperspace, which has a singularity at the origin, in four-dimensional space. Nash is the singularity, the special point, and the other variables are people who affected him—in this instance, men with whom he had friendships or relationships.

Related Characters: Sylvia Nasar (speaker), John Forbes Nash Jr.
Page Number: 167-168
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 23 Quotes

Nash displayed a rather curious inconsistency in his attitude and behavior toward his son. At the time of his birth, he had reacted in neither of the ways one might have expected of a young man confronted with the pregnancy of a woman with whom he has recently begun sleeping, eschewing both the high road that would have led to a shotgun wedding, as well as the more commonly elected low road of flat-out denying his paternity and simply vanishing from his girlfriend’s life. He doubtless behaved selfishly, even callously […] But…it is natural to conclude that Nash, like the rest of us, needed to love and be loved, and that a tiny, helpless infant, his son, drew him irresistibly.

Page Number: 179
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 26 Quotes

Despite Alicia Larde’s crush [on Nash], which seemed to have erased the earnest student of science, she was playing a serious game. Her romantic dreams of becoming a famous scientist herself hadn’t survived the harsh reality test provided by MIT. As she put it later, “I was no Einstein.” Pragmatically, she recognized that marriage to an illustrious man might also satisfy her ambitions. Nash seemed to fit the bill.

Page Number: 197-198
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 34 Quotes

[Nash] began, he recalled in 1996, to notice men in red neckties around the MIT campus. The men seemed to be signaling to him. “I got the impression that other people at MIT were wearing red neckties so I would notice them. As I became more and more delusional, not only persons at MIT but people in Boston wearing red neckties [would seem significant to me].” At some point, Nash concluded that the men in red ties were part of a definite pattern.

Related Characters: Sylvia Nasar (speaker), John Forbes Nash Jr.
Related Symbols: Men in Red Neckties
Page Number: 242
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 38 Quotes

Nash’s lifelong quest for meaning, control, and recognition in the context of a continuing struggle, not just in society, but in the warring impulses of his paradoxical self, was now reduced to a caricature. Just as the overconcreteness of a dream is related to the intangible themes of waking life, Nash’s search for a piece of paper, a carte d’identité, mirrored his former pursuit of mathematical insights.

Related Characters: Sylvia Nasar (speaker), John Forbes Nash Jr.
Page Number: 274
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 41 Quotes

A man experiencing a remission of a physical illness may feel a renewed sense of vitality and delight in resuming his old activities. But someone who has spent months and years feeling privy to cosmic, even divine, insights, and now feels such insights are no longer his to enjoy, is bound to have a very different reaction. For Nash, the recovery of his everyday rational thought processes produced a sense of diminution and loss. The growing relevance and clarity of his thinking, which his doctor, wife, and colleagues hailed as an improvement, struck him as a deterioration.

Related Characters: Sylvia Nasar (speaker), John Forbes Nash Jr.
Page Number: 295
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 44 Quotes

In particular, although Nash later referred to his delusional states as “the time of my irrationality,” he kept the role of the thinker, the theorist, the scholar trying to make sense of complicated phenomena. He was “perfecting the ideology of liberation from slavery,” finding “a simple method,” creating “a model” or “a theory.”

Related Characters: Sylvia Nasar (speaker), John Forbes Nash Jr.
Page Number: 325-326
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 49 Quotes

The prize itself was a long-overdue acknowledgment by the Nobel committee that a sea change in economics, one that had been under way for more than a decade, had taken place. As a discipline, economics had long been dominated by Adam Smith’s brilliant metaphor of the Invisible Hand. Smith’s concept of perfect competition envisions so many buyers and sellers that no single buyer or seller has to worry about the reactions of others. […] But in the world of megamergers, big government, massive foreign direct investment, and wholesale privatization, where the game is played by a handful of players, each taking into account the others’ actions, each pursuing his own best strategies, game theory has come to the fore.

Related Characters: Sylvia Nasar (speaker), John Forbes Nash Jr.
Page Number: 374-375
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 50 Quotes

It is a life resumed, but time did not stand still while Nash was dreaming. Like Rip Van Winkle, Odysseus, and countless fictional space travelers, he wakes to find that the world he left behind has moved on in his absence. The brilliant young men that were are retiring or dying. The children are middle-aged. The slender beauty, his wife, is now a mature woman in her sixties. And there is his own seventieth birthday fast approaching. […] The Nobel cannot restore what has been lost.

Page Number: 381
Explanation and Analysis:

The truth, however, is that the research has not been the main thing in [Nash’s] present life. The important theme has been reconnecting to family, friends, and community. This has become the urgent undertaking. The old fear that he depended on others and that they depended on him has faded. The wish to reconcile, to care for those who need him, is uppermost.

Page Number: 383
Explanation and Analysis:

The extraordinary journey of this American genius, this man who surprises people, continues. The self-deprecating humor suggests greater self-awareness. The straight-from-the-heart talk with friends about sadness, pleasure, and attachment suggests a wider range of emotional experiences. The daily effort to give others their due, and to recognize their right to ask this of him, bespeaks a very different man from the often cold and arrogant youth. […] In deed, if not always in word, Nash has come to a life in which thought and emotion are more closely entwined, where getting and giving are central, and relationships are more symmetrical.

Related Characters: Sylvia Nasar (speaker), John Forbes Nash Jr.
Page Number: 388
Explanation and Analysis:
Epilogue Quotes

The festive scene at the turn-of-the-century frame house opposite the train station might have been that of a golden wedding anniversary: the handsome older couple posing for pictures with family and friends, the basket of pale yellow roses, the 1950s photo of the bride and groom on display for the occasion.

In fact, John and Alicia Nash were about to say “I do” for the second time, after a nearly forty-year gap in their marriage. For them it was yet another step—“a big step,” according to John—in piecing together lives cruelly shattered by schizophrenia.

Page Number: 389
Explanation and Analysis:
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John Forbes Nash Jr. Character Timeline in A Beautiful Mind

The timeline below shows where the character John Forbes Nash Jr. appears in A Beautiful Mind. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Foreword
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...stories” about “the rise and fall of remarkable individuals” with a “genuine third act,” but John Nash’s story has one—a “third act” that has resonated with those who, like Nash, have... (full context)
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...at Princeton University from another Princeton professor whom she was interviewing: this “crazy mathematician” was John Nash, of the famous “Nash equilibrium.” In 1994, Nash won a Nobel prize in economics,... (full context)
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Nasar explains that in June 1995, she decided to travel to Jerusalem to meet with Nash, who was going to attend a game theory conference there; she hoped to begin writing... (full context)
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Nasar and Nash met after the publication of A Beautiful Mind, and Nash explained to Nasar that he... (full context)
Prologue
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John Nash is sitting in a hospital lounge with a visitor, also a mathematician, George Mackey,... (full context)
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Over the course of a decade, from the late 1940s to the late 1950s, Nash, a man from Bluefield, West Virginia, became “the most remarkable mathematician of the second half... (full context)
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Nash’s contemporaries found him “immensely strange,” and his aloof manner set him apart from his peers.... (full context)
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By his late 20s, Nash was a successful mathematician: he was also married and a father. But like other famous... (full context)
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...and some even experience episodes of mental “heightening.” Indeed, at the beginning of his illness, Nash believed “he was on the brink of cosmic insights.” (full context)
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In the 1970s and 1980s, Nash became a “phantom” who haunted Princeton, New Jersey, where he settled (and where he had... (full context)
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In 1994, after attending a Princeton math seminar (Nash was regularly invited to these seminars, though he was not technically affiliated with the university),... (full context)
Chapter 1: Bluefield
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Nash’s parents marry in Bluefield, West Virginia, in September 1925. Nash’s father is a Texas native... (full context)
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Nash is born four years after his parents’ marriage, in “comfortable circumstances”: the Nashes were fairly... (full context)
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The beginning of World War II shakes Bluefield, but Nash, unlike other young men, is not eager to “hurry and grow up lest the war... (full context)
Chapter 2 – Carnegie Institute of Technology
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Though Nash goes to the Carnegie Institute to become a chemical engineer, he quickly finds himself drawn... (full context)
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During college, Nash discovers that he is attracted to other men, a fact that is quickly discovered by... (full context)
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Nash is accepted to Harvard, Princeton, Chicago, and Michigan for graduate study in mathematics. Though Harvard... (full context)
Chapter 3 – The Center of the Universe
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Nash arrives in Princeton in September 1948 as a 20-year-old and is greeted by a “genteel,... (full context)
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...of the 20th century, Princeton had become a home for Europe’s rising stars in mathematics—including John von Neumann—who were financed by research fellowships funded by the wealthy Rockefeller family. Princeton’s Institute... (full context)
Chapter 4 – School of Genius
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On Nash’s second day at Princeton, Solomon Lefschetz, a Princeton math professor, gathers the math graduate students... (full context)
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Nash lives in the Graduate College at Princeton, where life is “masculine, monastic, and scholarly”: few... (full context)
Chapter 5 – Genius
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In 1948, a Princeton professor walks in on Nash—“the new graduate student from West Virginia”—lying on a table in the Professors’ Room in Fine... (full context)
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Nash often catches glimpses of Albert Einstein walking near the Princeton campus and wonders how he... (full context)
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Despite his arrogance, Nash occasionally takes an interest in learning from his fellow students and exchanging ideas, though he... (full context)
Chapter 6 – Games
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John von Neumann is walking through the graduate common room one afternoon in spring 1949 when... (full context)
Chapter 7 – John von Neumann
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John von Neumann is the “very brightest star” in Princeton’s mathematical scene, a “role model” for... (full context)
Chapter 8 – The Theory of Games
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At Princeton, Nash becomes interested in game theory, invented by von Neumann in the 1920s. Game theory can... (full context)
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...“the bible”—as von Neumann and Morgenstern’s book was referred to by Princeton’s graduate students—is ground-breaking, Nash and other students realize that von Neumann and Morgenstern’s work does not contain any new... (full context)
Chapter 9 – The Bargaining Problem
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During his second term at Princeton, Nash writes his first paper, “The Bargaining Problem,” which later became a masterpiece of modern economic... (full context)
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Later, Nash would maintain that he first developed his interest in the bargaining problem while taking a... (full context)
Chapter 10 – Nash’s Rival Idea
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In summer 1949, Nash asks Albert Tucker to supervise his thesis, surprising Tucker, who had had little direct contact... (full context)
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Later, Tucker would claim that he wasn’t sure if Nash’s equilibrium, the basis of his thesis, would be useful to economists. Nonetheless, Tucker manages to... (full context)
Chapter 11 – Lloyd
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As a 21-year-old, Nash’s mathematical genius is beginning to flourish, but as an individual, he is still isolated: his... (full context)
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...on military problems. Shapley is somewhat neurotic, with a temper and a “harshly self-critical streak”—unlike Nash, who is self-assured by contrast. Yet Shapley finds Nash and his “keen, beautiful, logical mind”... (full context)
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Though Nash’s thesis idea attracts a great deal of attention, it is Shapley who is viewed as... (full context)
Chapter 12 – The War of Wits
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Nash takes a flight from New York to Los Angeles in 1950, his first ever journey... (full context)
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RAND is pervaded by an “atmosphere of paranoia and intimidation.” Nash, who works on “highly theoretical exercises” instead of actual issues of military strategy, is not... (full context)
Chapter 13 – Game Theory at RAND
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Even before Nash arrives at RAND, mathematicians there have been working on game theory, though they had focused... (full context)
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...would be impossible to come by. By proving that noncooperative games had stable solutions, too, Nash’s equilibrium provides a “framework” for RAND research. (full context)
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Shortly after Nash formulates his famous equilibrium, Albert Tucker formulates a similar theorem, the “Prisoner’s Dilemma,” to describe... (full context)
Chapter 14 – The Draft
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Though Williams offers Nash a “handsome salary” as a permanent employee at RAND, Nash isn’t interested in working for... (full context)
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As Nash leaves Santa Monica, the Korean War begins, and his parents write to inform Nash that... (full context)
Chapter 15 – A Beautiful Theorem
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During the 1950s, Nash’s work on game theory (a kind of “applied” mathematics) is not considered important enough to... (full context)
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Though Nash’s paper on manifolds helps to establish him as a “pure mathematician of the first rank,”... (full context)
Chapter 16 – MIT
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At the end of June 1951, Nash is living in Boston and working in Cambridge. MIT, where he is employed as an... (full context)
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Nash is somewhat dubious about starting his position at MIT, but as he arrives, the university... (full context)
Chapter 17 – Bad Boys
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Because he graduated from both college and his PhD program early, Nash is only 23 when he becomes an instructor at MIT: he is nicknamed “the Kid... (full context)
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...rougher crowd” than the common room at Princeton, but this atmosphere is more suited to Nash’s temperament: like him, the other mathematicians are eccentric, narcissistic, and often “exhibitionistic.” Nash begins to... (full context)
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At MIT, Nash’s strangeness earns him the respect of his students and peers. Whereas at Princeton, Nash  was... (full context)
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Nash is determined to constantly demonstrate “his own uniqueness, superiority, and self-sufficiency” to his new friends... (full context)
Chapter 18 – Experiments
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Nash returns to RAND for another summer of research in 1952. One afternoon, he and Harold... (full context)
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Nash is living in Santa Monica with his younger sister Martha; her college friend, Ruth Hincks,... (full context)
Chapter 20 – Geometry
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Warren Ambrose, a colleague of Nash’s at MIT, pens an angry letter to another mathematician in the spring of 1953, accusing... (full context)
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“Embedding” is the process of portraying a geometric object as “some space in some dimension.” Nash’s theorem for embedding states that any kind of manifold embodying “a special notion of smoothness”... (full context)
Chapter 21 – Singularity
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For most of his life, Nash seemed to “live inside his own head,” unable to form mature, lasting bonds with others:... (full context)
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In a letter he wrote in the 1960s, Nash compared himself to an equation representing a three-dimensional hyperspace, which has a “singularity,” or a... (full context)
Chapter 22 – A Special Friendship
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Later in his life, John Nash wrote in a letter to his sister Martha that only three individuals had ever... (full context)
Chapter 23 - Eleanor
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By Labor Day of 1952, Nash has moved back to Boston, living on 407 Beacon Street, a boardinghouse run by an... (full context)
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...29, an “attractive, hardworking, tenderhearted woman” who had a difficult childhood. She feels protective of Nash, who is five years younger than her, even though he comes from a wealthier background... (full context)
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It is not exactly clear why Nash begins to court Eleanor, since he hadn’t seemed interested in Ruth Hincks, and he rarely... (full context)
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In November 1952, Eleanor realizes that she is pregnant. To her surprise, Nash is “pleased” and “proud” of having fathered a child. As the pregnancy progresses, however, Nash... (full context)
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...devastated by the idea of giving up her child and begins to feel resentful of Nash, whom she blames for most of their troubles. Nonetheless, Nash and Eleanor continue to see... (full context)
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Eventually, Nash suggests to Eleanor that she put John David up for adoption, and their relationship falls... (full context)
Chapter 24 – Jack
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Nash meets Jack Bricker in 1952 in the MIT common room. Bricker is a first-year graduate... (full context)
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By falling in love with Bricker, Nash realizes that he is “no longer a thinking machine whose sole joys were cerebral”: though... (full context)
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Bricker and Nash’s relationship quickly grows troubled. Later, Bricker would recall that Nash could be “beautifully sweet one... (full context)
Chapter 25 – The Arrest
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...mathematician employed by RAND. He was charged with “indecent exposure,” a misdemeanor. RAND confirms that John Nash is indeed an employee: Nash has been targeted in a “police trap,” and he... (full context)
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 In response to his firing, Nash “acted, weirdly, as if nothing had happened,” though news of his arrest is quickly transmitted... (full context)
Chapter 26 – Alicia
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After returning to Cambridge, Nash begins to make frequent visits to the quiet music library to study, where he often... (full context)
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During her sophomore year, Alicia takes a course taught by John Nash, whose good looks and reputation as a genius catch her eye: Alicia would later... (full context)
Chapter 27 – The Courtship
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Nash is attracted to Alicia because of her “aristocratic lineage,” “social ease,” and her own good... (full context)
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...graduate from MIT with the rest of her class in summer 1955, and she and Nash continue to see each other in the fall: Nash also begins to invite her to... (full context)
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In February 1956, Alicia and Nash are in bed together at his apartment when Eleanor walks in unannounced: seeing Alicia there,... (full context)
Chapter 28 – Seattle
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Nash travels to Seattle in June 1956 to attend a month-long summer institute at the University... (full context)
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Amasa Forrester, who had been a first-year graduate student at Princeton during Nash’s final PhD year, recognizes Nash at the institute and invites him to come to see... (full context)
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That summer, Nash receives a call from his father, John Sr.: Eleanor had contacted Nash’s parents to tell... (full context)
Chapter 29 – Death and Marriage
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During his sabbatical year, which he is to spend at the Institute for Advanced Study, Nash decides to live in New York City instead of Princeton, finding an apartment in Greenwich... (full context)
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That September, John Sr. suffers a heart attack and dies at the age of 64. This loss is... (full context)
Chapter 30 – Olden Lane and Washington Square
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...City Jews who have been shut out of Harvard and Princeton for reasons of antisemitism. Nash begins to spend time at the Courant Institute, though he is meant to be conducting... (full context)
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Nash has become interested in the problem of “turbulence,” referring to the flow of gas or... (full context)
Chapter 31 – The Bomb Factory
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Back at MIT in the fall of 1957, Nash and Alicia find an apartment in Cambridge, and Alicia gets a job nearby as a... (full context)
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...mathematicians, a topologist and a number theorist, after an “unusually contentious” round of deliberations. Though Nash’s name was up for consideration, he likely did not make the final rounds: no one... (full context)
Chapter 32 – Secrets
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Nash turns 30 in June 1958 and becomes fearful that “the best years of his creative... (full context)
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Nash decides to try to prove the hypothesis “by logic, by internal consistency of the system”:... (full context)
Chapter 33 – Schemes
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...she is pregnant. Though Alicia is dismayed—she had hoped to keep working for a few years—Nash is delighted, since he had hoped to start a family right away. At the same... (full context)
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...a Bocher. Cohen is “self-obsessed, suspicious, aggressive, and charming by turns”—as “ambitious” and “arrogant” as Nash. The two men begin to challenge each other publicly, though Nash also serves as a... (full context)
Chapter 34 – The Emperor of Antarctica
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At a costume-themed New Year’s Eve party at Nash’s colleague Jurgen Moser’s house on December 31, 1958, Nash and Alicia enter the house, causing... (full context)
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Nash is beginning to imagine that “men in red neckties” are following him around the MIT... (full context)
Chapter 35 – In the Eye of the Storm
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Alicia is beginning to feel isolated in Boston and worried about Nash’s mental state: Nash is beginning to accuse her of knowing “secrets” that she won’t t... (full context)
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...take another job closer to the MIT campus in order to keep an eye on Nash. At first, she tells no one that Nash is behaving irrationally; later, she confides in... (full context)
Chapter 36 – Day Breaks in Bowditch Hall
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On the day that Nash is hospitalized for the first time, he goes on a walk with Paul Cohen, who... (full context)
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For two or three weeks, Nash is “watched, studied, and analyzed” by psychiatrists, who quickly realize that Nash is suffering from... (full context)
Chapter 37 – Mad Hatter’s Tea
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Emma Duchane, a friend of Alicia’s, helps Alicia to find an apartment after Nash is committed. Remarkably, Alicia seems calm and composed, despite Nash’s hospitalization and her pregnancy: she... (full context)
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Nash gets permission from McLean to leave for the evening to visit Alicia the day after... (full context)
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Nash decides to resign his MIT professorship so that he can move to Europe: he has... (full context)
Chapter 38 – Citoyen du Monde
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Nash and Alicia leave from New York on a ship, the Queen Mary, which reaches Paris... (full context)
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Nash hopes to follow in the footsteps of Garry Davis, a Broadway actor and former bomber... (full context)
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Nash and Alicia arrive in Geneva on an overnight train from Paris in 1959. Alicia leaves... (full context)
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Nash hopes to obtain refugee status from the U.N. High Commission for Refugees, but his request... (full context)
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...Paris to try to make arrangements for her mother and child to come to France. Nash and Alicia’s son is christened Washington, D.C., without his parents present; Alicia decides to name... (full context)
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Nash is arrested in December under a deportation order, but he refuses to return to the... (full context)
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Nash is issued a temporary residence permit in France before his return to the U.S., but... (full context)
Chapter 39 – Absolute Zero
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Nash returns to Princeton, and Alicia finds a job near Princeton and rents an apartment for... (full context)
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After nearly two years of suffering, Nash has been “transformed” physically: he has grown his hair out and seems to be “clearly... (full context)
Chapter 40 – Tower of Silence
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At the end of January 1961, Virginia Nash and Martha arrive in Princeton. They travel to the Trenton State Hospital, where Nash is... (full context)
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Some of Nash’s former colleagues are disturbed to hear that he has been incarcerated at the state hospital,... (full context)
Chapter 41 – An Interlude of Enforced Rationality
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As Nash begins to recover, his newfound clarity of mind begins to seem more like a “loss”... (full context)
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Nash and Alicia are now living together in Princeton again, sharing a home with Alicia’s parents.... (full context)
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In June 1962, Nash attends a conference in Paris. The other attendees are surprised that Nash is able to... (full context)
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Colleagues at Princeton and MIT help to set up a fund for Nash with the goal of sending him to the University of Michigan, where he will be... (full context)
Chapter 42 – The “Blowing Up” Problem
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Nash is sent to the Carrier Clinic, one of two private mental hospitals in New Jersey.... (full context)
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Carrier is more comfortable for Nash than Trenton, and it is here that Nash meets Howard S. Mele, a psychiatrist who... (full context)
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Milnor, impressed that Nash seems to be working on “interesting” ideas in algebraic geometry, offers Nash a lecturer position... (full context)
Chapter 43 – Solitude
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Though Nash tolerates his position at Brandeis, he is also lonely, and he feels that he has... (full context)
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Nash misses Alicia, who discourages him from visiting Princeton, though he finds a “friendly” community at... (full context)
Chapter 44 – A Man All Alone in a Strange World
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Nash turns 40 in 1968 after a year of living in Roanoke, Virginia, near his family.... (full context)
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As he continues to experience schizophrenic episodes, Nash often feels that he has been “cast out” and “ostracized,” fearing that he is being... (full context)
Chapter 45 – Phantom of Fine Hall
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...writing on chalkboards in New Fine Hall, the new math building, before classes. This is Nash, now known as the “Phantom” of Fine Hall, rumored to be a mathematical genius who... (full context)
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The messages Nash leaves on seminar room blackboards range from nonsensical to humorous to purely mathematical. Nash has... (full context)
Chapter 46 – A Quiet Life
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In 1970, Alicia offers to let Nash live with her, realizing that no one else will take him in. She believes that... (full context)
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Nash joins them there as a “boarder,” contributing some income, from his mother’s will, as rent. ... (full context)
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In 1977, John David Stier comes to visit Nash in Princeton; the following year, Johnny goes to Boston... (full context)
Chapter 47 – Remission
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By 1990, Nash—by now a regular presence at Princeton seminars—is beginning to meet with math professors for long... (full context)
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In the late 1980s, Nash’s name has begun to appear in the titles of articles published in leading economics journals:... (full context)
Chapter 48 – The Prize
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...the winners of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences: one of these winners is John Forbes, Nash, Jr., of Princeton, New Jersey. The Nobel Prize in Economics, as it is... (full context)
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Nash’s name first appears as a candidate for a Nobel in the mid-1980s. Jorgen Weibull, a... (full context)
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...down to contributions to the field of noncooperative theory: here, however, the debates became contentious. Nash’s reputation as a “ghost” at Princeton precedes him, and Ingemar Stahl, a professor of economics... (full context)
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...questioned the quality of Laureates over the years. The debate between Lindbeck and Stahl over Nash’s selection takes place against a backdrop of hostile relations within the academy: the economics prize... (full context)
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In the end, Nash is selected by a handful of votes during an academy meeting in October 1994. The... (full context)
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As a result of these tense negotiations, the announcement of the result—a prize shared by Nash, John Harsanyi, and Reinhard Selten—is delayed by one and a half hours. Nash is the... (full context)
Chapter 49 – The Greatest Auction Ever
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On December 5, 1994, Nash travels to Stockholm to receive the Nobel Prize. At the same time, Vice-President Al Gore... (full context)
Chapter 50 – Reawakening
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Upon learning that he has won the Nobel, Nash makes a short, humorous speech after a press conference at Fine Hall. He jokes that... (full context)
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Alicia and Nash still live in the same house in Princeton Junction and see friends regularly. Nash continues... (full context)
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In 1995, Nash turns down an offer of $30,000 from Princeton University Press to publish his collected works,... (full context)
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Currently, the most important part of Nash’s life are relationships with others: he has made an effort to reconnect with family, friends,... (full context)
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As difficult as his life can be, Nash is hopeful that new medications or types of therapy for schizophrenia might be invented, and... (full context)
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In 1994, Nash boards a shuttle for Boston to reunite with his older son, John Stier, who lives... (full context)
Epilogue
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In 2001, John and Alicia Nash decide to marry after a nearly 40-year gap in their marriage. Nash... (full context)
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Perhaps most importantly, Nash now enjoys some of the normalcy that many people take for granted: having a driver’s... (full context)