Subject of ‘A Beautiful Mind’ and Nobel Laureate to Talk at Scranton


John F. Nash, Jr., Ph.D., who received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1994 and the subject of the 2001 feature film “A Beautiful Mind,” will deliver the annual Harry Mullin, M.D., Memorial Lecture at The University of Scranton on Wednesday, Nov. 16, at 7 p.m. in the Houlihan-McLean Center. He will discuss “Ideal Money and the Motivation of Saving and Thrift.”

A brilliant mathematician, Dr. Nash is best known for his work in game theory, which, in simple terms, focuses on how groups of people interact. His theories have provided insight into the forces that govern chance and events in market economics, computing, evolutionary biology, artificial intelligence, accounting, politics and military strategy.

Dr. Nash introduced the distinction between cooperative games, in which binding agreements can be made, and non-cooperative games, where binding agreements are not feasible. His equilibrium concept for non-cooperative games, known as the Nash equilibrium, was the motivation for awarding him the Nobel Prize.

Dr. Nash is the subject of the film “A Beautiful Mind,” which won four Academy Awards, including one for Best Picture. The film, which was based on a book by the same title, was criticized for its inaccurate portrayal of some aspects of Dr. Nash’s life.

Formerly a Senior Research Mathematician at Princeton University and C.L.E. Moore Instructor of Mathematics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Nash received his Ph.D. in mathematics from Princeton University. He was named a fellow of the Econometric Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

A member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, Dr. Nash was awarded the John von Neumann medal of the Operation Research Society, and he received various honorary degrees from universities worldwide. He published several articles during his career.

The Mullin Lecture series, which has brought to campus some of the world’s most distinguished scholars and scientists, including more than a dozen Nobel laureates, honors the late Dr. Harry Mullin, who earned his bachelor’s degree from the University, then St. Thomas College, in 1931. He dedicated a lifetime of service to his profession and the Scranton community. The series is sponsored by his wife, Ethel Mullin, his son, Brian Mullin, M.D. ’66, and his daughter, Robbin Mullin.

For additional information about the lecture, which is free and open to the public, call 941-5873.

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