John Nash’s beautiful mind

by Mana Eskandari and Elham Kheradmand

Elham Kheradmand is a PhD candidate at Polytechnique School of Montreal in Applied Mathematics

Elham Kheradmand is a PhD candidate at Polytechnique School of Montreal in Applied Mathematics

Mana Eskandari is a PhD candidate at Polytechnique School of Montreal in Computer Engineering

Mana Eskandari is a PhD candidate at Polytechnique School of Montreal in Computer Engineering

Our story is about a brilliant mathematician who showed that you can win a Nobel Prize and be a role model for other people despite of having a mental illness. John Nash was born on June 13, 1928. He showed his brilliant talent in math when he was in the fourth grade.

John Nash was among ten winners of George Washington award, which gave him a chance to obtain a full scholarship for the Carnegie Institute of Technology. He graduated at the age of 19 in both bachelor and master of mathematics and published his PhD thesis when he was only 22 years old.

Nash’s mental problem was paranoid schizophrenia. It made him believe that all men who wore red tie were against him and were members of a communist conspiracy. After months of his strange behavior, his wife took him to a hospital in April 1959. After releasing from the hospital, he left United States to go to Europe, but his wife convinced him to come back to US. Finally, he tried to cure himself gradually by accepting his illness. The famous mathematician learned to cope with schizophrenia. He won a Nobel prize because of his talent and efforts in the Game Theory in 1994.

Many people with mental or physical problem will give up their career and become disappointed, but John Nash stood, fought, and continued the way to his dreams. He solved many problems in mathematics despite his illness. He won back his life because of applying this simple rule: “Every problem has a solution”. We believe Nash’s life gives us multiple keys: accepting, keep going and trying. As Rocky once said: “Life is not about how hard of a hit you can give, it's about how many you can take, and still keep moving that’s how winning is done.”1