Sunday, May 24, 2015

'A Beautiful MInd' Princeton Prof dies in auto accident

[Additional news coverage added at 9 p.m.]

John Forbes Nash, Jr., the Nobel laureate known for his groundbreaking work on game theory and differential equations, was killed along with his wife in a taxi crash on the New Jersey Turnpike, police say. He was 86. 
National Public Radio has this to say about Mr. Nash: 
His death was first reported by citing a police official. NPR has confirmed the report through longtime colleague Louis Nirenberg. The couple were killed on Saturday.
Nash is best known to the general public as the subject of the 2001 film A Beautiful Mind, which depicted the troubled mathematician struggling with paranoid schizophrenia even as he pressed ahead with his research. Nash was played by actor Russell Crowe.
According to, Nash and his wife of 60 years, 82-year-old Alicia Nash:
"[Were] in a taxi traveling southbound in the left lane of the New Jersey Turnpike, State Police Sgt. Gregory Williams said. The driver of the Ford Crown Victoria lost control as he tried to pass a Chrysler in the center lane, crashing into a guard rail.
"The Nashes were ejected from the car, Williams said.
"'It doesn't appear that they were wearing sea tbelts,' he said."
Nirenberg, with whom Nash shared the 2015 Abel Prize, tells NPR's Lauren Hodges that he and his colleague had just returned from Oslo where they received the award. Nirenberg said Nash and his wife were supposed to take a limo home but the driver never showed. So, instead, they took a cab.
Princeton President Christopher L. Eisgruber later issued a statement saying the university was "stunned and saddened by news of the untimely passing of John Nash and his wife and great champion, Alicia."
"John's remarkable achievements inspired generations of mathematicians, economists and scientists," Eisgruber said.
A bio on Princeton University's website, where Nash was a professor, notes that A Beautiful Mind was "loosely" based on his life. Nash received his doctorate from the institution in 1950.
According to the website:
"The impact of his 27 page dissertation on the fields of mathematics and economics was tremendous. In 1951 he joined the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. His battle with schizophrenia began around 1958, and the struggle with this illness would continue for much of his life. Nash eventually returned to the community of Princeton."
Read the full story here 
Other coverage
John Forbes Nash, Jr. (1928-2015) | Big Think 
Russell Crowe Mourns John Forbes Nash Jr: A Beautiful Mind
Noble Laureate Professor John Nash Dies in Car Crash ...
The Inspiring Case of John Forbes Nash, Jr. - Forensic Psych


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