Monday, May 25, 2015

A "beautiful mind" has died

News is breaking that the Nobel prize winning mathematician John Nash and his wife were both killed in a taxi crash in New Jersey, USA. John Nash is famous for his "Nash Equilibrium" in Game Theory, which can be most easily be described by the game of paper, rock, scissors. If a player randomly plays each of the three options 1/3rd of the time they can guarantee they will never be beaten over a large enough number of games. As soon as a player deviates from the Nash Equilibrium, perhaps by slightly preferring to play scissors, then they can be exploited by an opponent preferring rock. Of course as soon as the opponent tries to play the exploit they themselves become exploitable. John Nash's life was famously documented in the movie "A Beautiful Mind," a clip of which is shown below.