A Brilliant Mad Man: The Story Behind John Forbes Nash, Jr.

Oh dear. It’s that time of year again. The air is chilly, shorts are put away for sweaters, and the nightmares come back. And not because of Halloween movies.

Night of the Notables is here! Well, about a month away from here but close enough! I remember doing this last year, man those were some interesting memories. Martin Luther King Jr. was an interesting person to be. Doing all my work last minute, thinking I could actually do it. Haha, I can finally say i’ve learned from my mistakes.

What I haven’t learned from last year however was focusing on one person. There were dozens of people I could have chosen from and that’s what made life so difficult. With so many possibilities, it made choosing my person ever more difficult.



So when I was deciding the person I wanted to be this year, I had one goal in my mind: I wanted to be someone who had totally different personalities as me. I wanted to step outside of my comfort zone and go for someone who was different and was seen by others as someone, as the term I like to use, “unordinary”. It will be both fun and challenging when trying to portray this person in a manner that can engage audiences while inform them. Another reason I chose to be someone who is “unordinary” because I wanted to show my peers, parents, and those non-believers that eminent people have disabilities to0. That disabilities and their challenges should not be the reason that someone should be considered eminent or not.

So after days of searching, I’ve finally decided to do… John Forbes Nash, Jr.! John_Forbes_Nash,_Jr._by_Peter_Badge

So, who is this guy? An athlete? A film director? A rapper?

No to all the above. John Forbes Nash, Jr. is a famous Nobel prize winning mathematician whose works in game theory, differential geometry, and partial differential equations have provided insight into the factors that govern chance and events inside complex systems in daily life.

So what makes him different than other mathematician? Well, he has a very unfortunate sickness, known as paranoid schizophrenia.Paranoid schizophrenia is a mental sickness that is defined as “a chronic mental illness in which a person loses touch with reality (psychosis).” (Wikipedia) This caused great distress for Mr. Nash as he was trying to live his life. However, although strongly affecting all aspects of his life, this mental sickness did not stop him from doing what he loved, which was math! (Weird right?)

so I’m pretty excited to start my journey into Mr. Nash’s beautiful mind, which I believe is totally different in mind, which is why I chose him. Mr. Nash is a white male, an atheist, who was born to a father who was a electric engineer & a mother who was a school teacher before his parents got married. He went to Carneige Insistue of Technology (now Carneige Mellon University) with a full scholarship. He later accepted a scholarship to Princeton University in Mathematics.

John Nash seems to have a a linear way of thinking, with his mathematics skills. I, on the other hand, am not very good at math and am not a genius. See the resemblance? Neither Can I. That’s why it would be interesting to become this individual with his way of thinking. I do not see many similarities between myself and him, but once I dig deeper into his life, I will find different things about him that I can relate to.

The only major challenge I see with being him is my information. If you don’t know, a movie called A Beautiful Mind, was based on his life. However, the film and his life are very different, so I think it is a big challenge to differ between the two and try not to gather information from the wrong sources.

As my post comes near to an end, I want to share what my goals are for learning throughout the year. The main goal of mine for this year is to step outside my comfort zone when it comes to learning. With opportunities like this, I want to be someone who others wouldn’t see me being, or choosing a topic that others wouldn’t consider doing. I want to be out there with my learning and gain new knowledge of things other people likely won’t know. I want to be different. I want to be different than the norm.

This is the end my dear blog, and I hope that my next visit won’t be a complete disaster.


6 thoughts on “A Brilliant Mad Man: The Story Behind John Forbes Nash, Jr.

  1. Cool post! I like how you wrote down your entire thought process in deciding you eminent person, it makes me feel like I’m going through it at the same time! John Forbes Nash sounds really cool, its so interesting that he’s a complete genius, yet he struggles with such a severe mental illness. I was wondering, does the schizophrenia affect his mathematical processes at all? Or does it leave that section of his life completely untouched? How did the schizophrenia affect his education at such a high level? Sounds like its going to be an awesome eminent presentation, I look forward to it!

    • Thanks Hannah!

      I am also excited how my presentation will end up.

      His schizophrenia only seemed affected him while he was teaching as a professor at MIT in 1959, also the time where his wife was pregnant. That same year, he checked into McLean Hospital where he went under intensive treatments. His sickness appears to be affecting him to this day, but it isn’t as bad as before.

      Thanks for reading Hannah!

  2. Hi! Your blog post was really great!

    First of all, I would like to compliment your use of photos, they were so perfectly timed and placed, I laughed every time. I liked the sense of humour you had throughout your post, it really made your post stand out even more. Mr. Nash sounds like a really interesting person to research! All your points were on point (see what I did there) and you really covered his life well without going into details about his birth, etc. The way you worked up to why you chose him, and the way you mentioned the person you did last year made the post really stand out, it was really great. I also like how you cited your sources, because I know a lot of people – including myself – didn’t.

    Overall, I really liked it, your use of humour and photos were great, and it was really interesting! Great job!
    – Tim

    • Thank you Tim!

      I know reading a lot of these posts can get a little tiresome and such, so I tried my best to make it stand out a bit. With the photos and humour, it makes the blog post ever more interesting.

      Thanks for reading Tim!

  3. Hey Azaly,
    Really awesome post! I think this is going to be a great challenge for you and John seems like a very interesting person to do. I really liked how detailed and informative your post was and I think being different is not always easy but kudos to you for stepping out of that comfort zone. I have a question though, if his disability affect his math process then how does it affect him when doing math? Again, great post and I’m looking forward to your speech! :)

    • Thanks Nadia!

      His disability only started to affect his mathematics skills when his wife and friends started to notice symptoms in the early year of 1959. The way his sickness affected him was it took him away from reality, and he would not be completely focused on math. But when this sickness didn’t control him, he was a pure genius.

      Thanks for reading and for the question Nadia!


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