“A Beautiful Mind” Mathematician Killed In Car Accident

source: huffpost, nytimes, princeton
(originally published at klassykolyk.tumblr.com, 24 May 2015)

數學家、諾貝爾獎得主(Economic Sciences, 1994)、阿貝爾獎新科得主、普林斯敦大學學者 John Nash 於本週六(23 May)因車禍逝世,享年八十六歲。美國新澤西州警方已證實此一消息。其妻亦在這起意外中不幸喪生。

Nash 伉儷於上週親赴挪威,接受象徵數學界最高榮譽的皇家阿貝爾獎,返回美國後卻在歸途遭遇車禍意外。警方表示,事發時他們所乘的計程車位於紐澤西州高速公路南向車道,在試圖超車時撞擊了護欄,撞擊力道之大甚至將他們拋出了車外。當地媒體報導,他們並未依規繫上安全帶。

Nash 著名的「非合作賽局理論」(theory of noncooperative games,又名Nash equilibrium)論文作於 1950 年,也是這篇論文讓他拿下諾貝爾的殊榮。


已於 2014 年逝世的普林斯敦數學系榮退教授 Harold W. Kuhn 生前就是 Nash 的好友、同事,他對後者的學術創見推崇備極:

I think honestly that there have been really not that many great ideas in the 20th century in economics, and maybe, among the top 10, his equilibrium would be among them.

曾為 Nash 門生的哈佛大學教授 Barry Mazur 則表示:

Jane Austen wrote six novels. I think Nash’s pure mathematical contributions are on that level. Very, very few papers he wrote on different subjects, but the ones that had impact had incredible impact.

發人深省的讚譽啊,Jane Austen 僅有的六部長篇,Johannes Brahms 僅有的四部交響曲,但其質量不可以數限 … …


June 5 2015 補充:
另外一件令後人津津樂道的趣事,就是 Nash 先生當年申請普林斯敦博士班的推薦函了。今天普林斯敦把這張推薦函放在臉書上面,也就是以下這張圖。

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