John Forbes Nash, Jr. (1928-2015)
The Nobel Prize-winning mathematician whose life inspired the 2001 film A Beautiful Mind was killed today, along with his wife, in an automobile accident.
The late John Forbes Nash, Jr. was one of the most important mathematicians of the 20th century. Thanks to the Oscar-winning 2001 film A Beautiful Mind (and the biography of the same name), he was also one of the most popular, though likely more for his infamous bout with mental illness than the transformational principles he championed. Nash was awarded a one-third share of the 1994 Nobel Prize in economics for "pioneering analysis of equilibria in the theory of non-cooperative games." Nash's most famous contribution to the field was probably the Nash equilibrium, a solution concept for decision-making with regard to best strategies.
Earlier this weekend, the 86-year-old Nash and his wife, Alicia, were killed in an automobile accident in New Jersey. We feel that there's no better figure to recognize in this space today than the brilliant, troubled, (dare we say) beautiful mind of John Forbes Nash, Jr.
"People are always selling the idea that people with mental illness are suffering. I think madness can be an escape. If things are not so good, you maybe want to imagine something better."
Below, neuroscientist Heather Berlin references Nash in an analysis of the thin line between genius and disorder:
These five main food groups are important for your brain's health and likely to boost the production of feel-good chemicals.
We all know eating “healthy” food is good for our physical health and can decrease our risk of developing diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease. What is not as well known is that eating healthy food is also good for our mental health and can decrease our risk of depression and anxiety.
Infographics show the classes and anxieties in the supposedly classless U.S. economy.
For those of us who follow politics, we’re used to commentators referring to the President’s low approval rating as a surprise given the U.S.'s “booming” economy. This seeming disconnect, however, should really prompt us to reconsider the measurements by which we assess the health of an economy. With a robust U.S. stock market and GDP and low unemployment figures, it’s easy to see why some think all is well. But looking at real U.S. wages, which have remained stagnant—and have, thus, in effect gone down given rising costs from inflation—a very different picture emerges. For the 1%, the economy is booming. For the rest of us, it’s hard to even know where we stand. A recent study by Porch (a home-improvement company) of blue-collar vs. white-collar workers shows how traditional categories are becoming less distinct—the study references "new-collar" workers, who require technical certifications but not college degrees. And a set of recent infographics from CreditLoan capturing the thoughts of America’s middle class as defined by the Pew Research Center shows how confused we are.
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