A beautiful math : John Nash, game theory, and the modern quest for a code of nature / Tom Siegfried
- Siegfried, Tom, 1950-
- Washington, D.C. : Joseph Henry Press, 
- Copyright Date:
- Physical Description:
- viii, 264 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
- Smith's hand : searching for the code of nature -- Von Neumann's games : game theory's origins -- Nash's equilibrium : game theory's foundation -- Smith's strategies : evolution, altruism, and cooperation -- Freud's dream : games and the brain -- Seldon's solution : game theory, culture, and human nature -- Quetelet's statistics and Maxwell's molecules : statistics and society, statistics and physics -- Bacon's links : networks, society, and games -- Asimov's vision : psychohistory, or sociophysics? -- Meyer's penny : quantum fun and games -- Pascal's wager : games, probability, information, and ignorance.
- John Nash won the 1994 Nobel Prize in economics for research published in the 1950s on a new branch of mathematics known as game theory. At the time of Nash's early work, game theory was briefly popular among mathematicians and Cold War analysts, but it remained obscure until the 1970s when evolutionary biologists began applying it to their work. In the 1980s economists began to embrace it. Since then it has found an ever-expanding repertoire of applications among a wide range of scientific disciplines. Today neuroscientists peer into game-player's brains, anthropologists play games with people from primitive cultures, biologists use games to explain the evolution of human language, and mathematicians exploit games to better understand social networks. A common thread connecting much of this research is the ancient quest for a science of human social behavior, in the spirit of the fictional science of psychohistory described by the late Isaac Asimov.--From publisher description.
- 0309101921 (hardback)
- Bibliography Note:
- Includes bibliographical references (pages 230-247) and index.
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