Carnegie Mellon University
May 24, 2015

Nobel Prize Winner, Carnegie Mellon Alumnus Nash Dies at 86

By Jocelyn Duffy

Nobel Prize Winner, Carnegie Mellon Alumnus Nash Dies at 86

John NashJohn Nash

Carnegie Mellon University extends its deepest sympathies to the family and friends of CMU alumnus John F. Nash, Jr. (S'48), who died along with his wife in a car accident on Saturday, May 23.

Nash earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in mathematics from CMU, then the Carnegie Institute of Technology. After graduating from Carnegie Tech, he earned his doctoral degree at Princeton and was a member of the mathematics faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1951-58. He later returned to join the faculty at Princeton, where he remained a senior research mathematician.

In 1994, Nash, along with John Harsanyi and Reinhard Selten, received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for their pioneering analysis of equilibria in the theory of non-cooperative games. This work, sometimes called the Nash Equilibrium, has greatly influenced research in economics and finance. 

Carnegie Mellon honored Nash with an honorary degree in 1999. In 2002, Universal Pictures released "A Beautiful Mind," a movie about Nash. The university also holds the biennial Nash Distinguished Lecture Series, which bring prominent scientists to campus.

Nash's death came less than a week after he received the 2015 Abel Prize from the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters "for striking and seminal contributions to the theory of nonlinear partial differential equations and its application to geometric analysis." The Abel Prize is the most important prize honoring contributions to mathematics over the course of a career, and is considered by many to be equivalent to a Nobel Prize. Nash shared the prize with New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences’ Louis Nirenberg.