Download e-book for iPad: A Beautiful Math John Nash, Game Theory, and the Modern by Tom Siegfried

By Tom Siegfried

ISBN-10: 0309101921

ISBN-13: 9780309101929

Thousands have visible the motion picture and hundreds of thousands have learn the booklet yet few have totally favored the math invented by way of John Nash’s attractive brain. this present day Nash’s attractive math has develop into a common language for study within the social sciences and has infiltrated the geographical regions of evolutionary biology, neuroscience, or even quantum physics.

John Nash received the 1994 Nobel Prize in economics for pioneering learn released within the Nineteen Fifties on a brand new department of arithmetic referred to as online game concept. on the time of Nash’s early paintings, video game conception was once in short renowned between a few mathematicians and chilly struggle analysts. however it remained quite vague till the Seventies, whilst evolutionary biologists started to locate it priceless. within the Eighties economists started to embody video game thought. in view that then video game concept math has came upon an ever increasing repertoire of functions between a variety of clinical disciplines.

Today neuroscientists peer into video game gamers’ brains, anthropologists play video games with humans from primitive cultures, biologists use video games to give an explanation for the evolution of human language, and mathematicians make the most video games to higher comprehend social networks.

A universal thread connecting a lot of this learn is its relevance to the traditional quest for a technology of human social habit, or "a Code of Nature," within the spirit of the fictitious technology of psychohistory defined within the well-known origin novels via the past due Isaac Asimov. In a stunning Math, acclaimed technological know-how author Tom Siegfried describes how online game concept hyperlinks the existence sciences, social sciences and actual sciences in a fashion that could convey Asimov’s dream in the direction of truth.

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The mathematical conception of video games was once first built as a version for occasions of clash, even if real or leisure. It won frequent attractiveness whilst it was once utilized to the theoretical examine of economics through von Neumann and Morgenstern in conception of video games and fiscal habit within the Forties. The later bestowal in 1994 of the Nobel Prize in economics on Nash underscores the real position this idea has performed within the highbrow lifetime of the 20 th century.

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Extra resources for A Beautiful Math John Nash, Game Theory, and the Modern Quest for a Code of Nature

Sample text

8 34 A BEAUTIFUL MATH GAMES INVADE ECONOMICS In his 1928 paper, von Neumann did not attempt to do economics9 —it was strictly math, proving a theorem about strategic games. Only years later did he merge game theory with economics, with the assistance of an economist named Oskar Morgenstern. Morgenstern, born in Germany in 1902, taught economics at the University of Vienna from 1929 to 1938. In a book published in 1928, the same year as von Neumann’s minimax paper, Morgenstern discussed problems of economic forecasting.

In any event, the question isn’t whether there is always a good general strategy, but whether there is always an optimum set of VON NEUMANN’S GAMES 43 rules for strategic behavior that covers all eventualities. And in fact, there is—for two-person zero-sum games. You can find the best strategy using the minimax theorem that von Neumann published in 1928. His proof of that theorem was notoriously complicated. But its essence can be boiled down into something fairly easy to remember: When playing poker, sometimes you need to bluff.

He traveled back to Budapest for exams, aced them, and continued his chemical education, first at Berlin and then later at the University of Zurich. I’ve recounted some of von Neumann’s adult intellectual escapades before (in my book The Bit and the Pendulum), such as the time when he was called in as a consultant to determine whether the Rand Corporation needed a new computer to solve a difficult problem. Rand didn’t need a new computer, von Neumann declared, after solving the problem in his head.

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A Beautiful Math John Nash, Game Theory, and the Modern Quest for a Code of Nature by Tom Siegfried


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