Friday, July 3, 2015

John Nash's Last Book and the Operations Research Connections via Greece

Our terrific Dynamics of Disasters conference, which took place in Kalamata, Greece, in now over. It was such a pleasure working on this conference with my fellow co-organizers, Professor Panos M. Pardalos and Professor Ilias Kotsireas.

While there, I learned of some quite surprising news,which further supports the small world hypothesis (at least when it comes to our terrfic operations research community).

While at one of our nice get-togethers at the conference (I have posted many photos on the blog in previous posts), we reinisced about John Nash, the Nobel laureate, who tragically died in a taxi crash in New Jersey, along with his wife, after returning from Oslo, Norway, where he was honored with the Abel Prize. I wrote about receiving this shocking news while in Gothenburg, Sweden. 

John Nash greatly influenced so much of my work in competitive supply chains and game theory and he is also referenced many times in the book that I am presently writing.

Professor Panos M. Pardalos of the University of Florida, who is renowned in operations research, told me at one of our get-togethers in Kalamata that he commissioned John Nash's last book for Springer.

The book, "Open Problems in Mathematics," is co-edited by Michael Rassias and John Nash. In fact, Princeton University, in its many tributes to Nash, mentioned the book and this article contains a photo of Rassias with Nash.  Rassias speaks eloquently of the kindness of Nash and how he plans to emulate him. Rassias and Nash had just completed the foreword to their book before Nash left for Oslo. According to the Princeton tribute:

They agreed upon a quote from Albert Einstein that resonated with Nash (although Nash pointed out that Einstein was a physicist, not a mathematician, Rassias said): "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning."

Professor Ilias Kotsireas of Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada (who worked tirelessly in making our conference a success) shared with me  the photo below of him with John Nash and with Professor Stephen M. Watt, currently the Dean of Mathematics at the University of Waterloo in Canada.

Nash was one of 4 invited speakers at the ECCAD 2008 conference at Shepherd University, Shepherdstown, WV., at which the above photo was taken.

Keeping with the small world theme of this post, Michael Rassias, who is a postdoc fellow at Princeton University, is the son of Professor Themistocles M. Rassias, who was a co-organizer of the conference in Athens, Greece, in the summer of 2013 on Network Models in Economics and Finance at which I was a plenary speaker.

That conference banquet took place at the magnificent "new" Acropolis museum, with a view of the Parthenon; see photo below. Pardalos was also a co-organizer of that conference.
Our paper, "A Supply Chain Game Theory Framework for Cybersecurity Investments Under Network Vulnerability," A. Nagurney, L.S. Nagurney, and S. Shukla, will appear in the volume, Computation, Cryptography, and Network Security, which is co-edited by N. J. Daras and  M. Th. Rassias, and is in press with Springer.

And, would you believe, that a contributor to the volume of Nash's last book is Professor Stephen Miller of Williams College,  who is married to my Marketing colleague at the Isenberg School of Management, Professor Liz Miller!