BR-main Before Reading 1. Warm-up Questions 2. Nobel Prizes Nobel Prizes Alfred Bernhard Nobel 3. Game Theory 4. A Beautiful Mind 5. Background Information Johann Sebastian Bach Carl Friedrich Gauss John von Neumann Robert Lowell Harlow Shapley
BR1- Warm-up Questions1 Warm-up Questions Directions: Listen to the recording and then think over the following questions. John Nash mathematician, receiving a Nobel Prize in 1994 for his 1950 dissertation on game theory
BR1- Warm-up Questions2 Can you guess the meaning of “what makes them tick”? 1. what makes sb. tick: the thoughts, feelings, opinions, etc. that give someone their character or make them behave in a particular way For example: I’ve never really understood what makes her tick. What are the two great mysteries of human mind the speaker talks about in John Nash’s case? 2. Genius and madness. What made John Nash win the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1994? 3. His graduate paper that became a pillar of game theory.
BR1- Warm-up Questions3 What was strange about John Nash when he was a little boy? 4. He was totally un-into sport. What kind of ability does John Nash have when he is faced with a mathematical problem? 5. His particular kind of mathematical genius was that he saw the vision first.
BR1- Warm-up Questions4 In this unit we will look at scientists and what makes them tick. Our two texts tell the stories of two scientists, one American, the other English. Let’s hear a little before we start about the first of the two, the American. The story of mathematician John Nash concerns two great mysteries of the human mind — genius and madness. In 1949 Nash was a graduate student in mathematics at Princeton when he wrote a paper that became a pillar of game theory. In 1994 it earned him the Nobel Prize for Economics. The 45 years between those two events were marked by a brilliant career in the field of mathematics, and by a struggle with schizophrenia (n.精神分裂症) that led to some hospitalization. Nash did his work on game theory as a graduate student. He then went on to MIT to become a member of its mathematics faculty. He solved two very, very big problems. And then in 1959, he had a massive psychotic (a.精神病的) breakdown with paranoid (a.类偏执狂的) delusions and at that point he resigned his job.
BR1- Warm-up Questions4 BR1- Warm-up Questions5 He fled to Europe. He tried to give up his citizenship. He disappeared from the academic scene only to eventually come back to Princeton where he was a kind of or almost a street person who was being sheltered by his ex-wife. Nash was a very strange kid. Someone who contacted me recently told me this very striking image of Nash. He was never admitted into any softball team because he was totally un-into sports. However, if you were a boy you had to be into sports. And this image of Nash stuck out in the right outfield looking up at the clouds, eating grass and just all there by himself. Nash’s particular mathematical genius was the kind that saw the vision first. In other words, not very long after he started thinking about a problem, he would have a very clear vision of where the solution lay. Although he wouldn’t know how to get to it, and it might take a year or two to get there, he had this vision.
BR1- Warm-up Questions6 And he’s not alone in that. There are other great intuitionists who thought in that way and whose thinking processes were very mysterious to other mathematicians. People said to me that even after they studied Nash’s papers, the leaps of logic were so great and so original that they couldn’t really quite fathom (vt. 弄清楚) how he went from his starting premise to the solution.
________ ______________ BR1- Nobel Prizes Nobel Prizes Nobel Prizes 1. Fill in the blanks. _____________ annual monetary individuals Nobel prizes are awards granted to for outstanding contributions in the fields of, , , and . The Nobel prizes are internationally recognized as the most awards in each of these fields. The prizes were established by Nobel, who set up a fund for them in his will. The first Nobel prizes were awarded on December 10, 1901, the of Nobel’s death. or institutions _______, physics ___________, chemistry _____________________ physiology or medicine ________ literature economics __________ peace ________ prestigious __________ Swedish inventor and industrialist ____________________________ ________________ fifth anniversary diploma physics and chemistry medicine or physiology literature peace economics
BR1-Nobel Prizes7 2. Questions and answers 1) In what occasion may the prize go unawarded? 2) What about the prize amounts? 3) How are the prizes presented each year? A prize may go unawarded if no candidate is chosen for the year under consideration. The prize amounts are based on the annual yield of the fund capital. The prizes are presented annually at ceremonies in Stockholm, Sweden, and in Oslo, Norway, on December 10, the anniversary of Nobel’s death.
BR1-Nobel Prizes8 Nobel prizes are annual monetary awards granted to individuals or institutions for outstanding contributions in the fields of physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, peace and economics. The Nobel prizes are internationally recognized as the most prestigious awards in each of these fields. The prizes were established by Swedish inventor and industrialist Nobel, who set up a fund for them in his will. The first Nobel prizes were awarded on December 10, 1901, the fifth anniversary of Nobel’s death. A prize for achievement in a particular field may be awarded to an individual, divided equally between two people, or awarded jointly to two or three people. According to the Nobel Foundation’s statutes, the prize cannot be divided among more than three people, but it can go to an institution. A prize may go unawarded if no candidate is chosen for the year under consideration, but each of the prizes must be awarded at least once every five years.
BR1-Nobel Prizes9 If the Nobel Foundation does not award a prize in a given year, the prize money remains in the trust. Likewise, if a prize is declined or not accepted before a specified date, the Nobel Foundation retains the prize money in its trust. The prize amounts are based on the annual yield of the fund capital. In 1948 Nobel prizes were about $32,000 each; in 1997 they were about $1 million each. In addition to a cash award, each prizewinner also receives a gold medal and a diploma bearing the winner’s name and field of achievement. Prizewinners are known as Nobel laureates. The prizes are presented annually at ceremonies in Stockholm, Sweden, and in Oslo, Norway, on December 10th, the anniversary of Nobel’s death. In Stockholm, the king of Sweden presents the awards in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, and economic sciences. The peace prize ceremony takes place at the University of Oslo in the presence of the king of Norway.
BR1-Nobel Prizes10 After the ceremonies, Nobel prize winners give a lecture on a subject connected with their prize-winning work. The winner of the peace prize lectures in Oslo, the others in Stockholm. The lectures are later printed in the Nobel Foundation’s annual publication, Les Prix Nobel (The Nobel Prizes).
BR1-Alfred Bernhard Nobel Alfred Bernhard Nobel Alfred Bernhard Nobel (1833 -1896) Swedish chemist, inventor, industrialist, and philanthropist His Life His Achievements
BR1-Alfred Bernhard Nobel2 His Life Directions: Listen to the recording and number the following events. 1. Being born in Stockholm 2. Education in Saint Petersburg, Russia 3. Education in the United States 4. Working in Saint Petersburg under his father Being born in Stockholm Working in Saint Petersburg under his father Education in the United States Education in Saint Petersburg, Russia
BR1-Alfred Bernhard Nobel3 His Achievements Directions: Listen to the passage again and find out Nobel’s achievements. He produced what he called dynamite. _______________________________ The founder of Nobel Prize. _______________________________
BR1-Alfred Bernhard Nobel4 Alfred Bernhard Nobel (1833 -1896), Swedish chemist, inventor, and philanthropist, was born in Stockholm. After receiving an education in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and in the United States, where he studied mechanical engineering, he returned to Saint Petersburg to work under his father, developing mines, torpedoes, and other explosives. In a family-owned factory in Heleneborg, Sweden, he sought to develop a safe way to handle nitroglycerin. A factory explosion in 1864 killed his younger brother and four other people. In 1867 Nobel achieved his goal. By using an organic packing material to reduce the volatility of the nitroglycerin, he produced what he called dynamite. He later produced ballistite, one of the first smokeless powders. At the time of his death he controlled factories for the manufacture of explosives in many parts of the world. His will provided that the major portion of his $9 million estate be set up as a fund to establish yearly prizes for merit in physics, chemistry, medicine and physiology, literature, and world peace. (The prize in economics has been awarded since 1969.)
BR1- game theory Game Theory Game theory is the mathematical analysis of any situation involving a conflict of interest, with the intent of indicating the optimal choices that, under given conditions, will lead to a desired outcome. Although game theory has roots in the study of such well-known amusements as checkers, ticktacktoe, and poker — hence the name — it also involves serious conflicts of interest arising in such fields as sociology, economics, and political and military science.
BR1- A Beautiful Mind A Beautiful Mind Sylvia Nasar’s biography of John Nash, A Beautiful Mind, has become a New York Times best seller. As a mathematical genius, he made an astonishing discovery early in his career and stood on the brink of international acclaim. But the handsome and arrogant Nash soon found himself on a painful and harrowing journey of self-discovery once he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. After many years of struggle, he eventually triumphed over this tragedy, and finally, received the Nobel Prize late in life.
BR1- Background Information Johann Sebastian Bach Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 -1750): Johann Sebastian Bach was a German organist and composer of the baroque era and one of the greatest and most productive geniuses in the history of Western music.
BR1- Carl Friedrich Gauss Carl Friedrich Gauss Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855): Carl Friedrich Gauss was the German mathematician and astronomer and he is noted for his wide-ranging contributions to physics, particularly the study of electromagnetism.
BR1- John von Neumann John von Neumann John von Neumann (1903 -1957): John von Neumann was the Hungarian-American mathematician who developed the branch of mathematics known as game theory.
BR1- Robert Lowell Robert Lowell Robert Lowell (1917-1977): He was a US poet who won Pulitzer Prizes for two books of poems, Lord Weary’s Castle (1946) and The Dolphin (1973). His other collections include Life Studies (1959), For the Union Dead (1964) and Day by Day (1977). Lowell used “confessional poetry” to write about his problems and his unhappy marriages. He also wrote plays and translated the works of European poets.
BR1- Harlow Shapley Harlow Shapley Harlow Shapley (1885 -1972): Harlow Shapley was the American astronomer, known for his study of the galaxy.
GR-MAIN Global Reading 1. Part Division of the Text 2. Group Work 3. Text Analysis 4. Further Understanding For Part 1-3 Scanning For Part 4-6 Retell the Story
GR-Part Division of the Text Part Division of the Text Parts Paragraphs Main Ideas A brief summary of Nash’s achievements and the progress of his illness 1 1~12 Nash as a genius student before he went to Princeton 2 13~18 3 19~27 Nash’s brilliant achievements 4 29~34 Nash’s illness 5 35~39 Nash’s being taken care of by the various people around him 6 40~47 Nash’s recovery from illness
GR-Group work Group Work Directions: Discuss the following questions. What do you think is the significance of the Nobel prize awarded to Nash? 1. 2. Do you think the title of the text the best possible title? Why or why not? Can you offer some alternative titles? The text is about Nash’s life so far, not just his lost years. 3. Tell what you know about some famous scientists in the past and present times. What do you think makes a true scientist? 4. Confidence, determination, perseverance, imagination, genius…
GR-Text Analysis Text Analysis 1. Of the four types of writing — description, narration, exposition, and argumentation — which type do you think the text belongs to? Narration. 2. The essay is about the life story of John Nash told mostly in a chronological way. Describe how the writer indicates the time sequence and pieces together the whole story. From the second part on, the writer uses subheadings to show readers the different stages of Nash’s life chronologically.
GR-Text Analysis2 3. Though written chronologically, the beginning of the essay, however, deals with something that happened quite recently. What kind of rhetorical device is this? Why does the author use it? This device is called flashback. The writer is well aware that winning a Nobel prize should be a great event to anyone. To mention it before anything else will certainly attract the readers’ attention the moment they begin to read the story.
GR-Further Understanding Scanning Table Completion Scan the first three parts of the text and complete the table below by finding out the remarks by others towards John Nash. 1 America’s brilliant young star of the “new mathematics” 2 John was always looking for a different way to do things. He could see ways to solve problems that were different from his teacher’s. 3 4 genius 5 a young Gauss 6 It wasn’t until Nash that game theory came alive for economists. 7 “astonishing” and “dazzling”
GR- Further Understanding2 Retell the Story Retell what happened in Parts 4~6 according to the following time list. __________ mid-1950’s the fall of 1958 ____________ ____ 1957 the spring of 1959 _______________ the next 20 years __________ the 1970’s ______________ 1963 ____ 1994 ____
TEXT The story of John Nash, the Nobel Laureate in economics, has become widely known in recent years through the film of his life, “A Beautiful Mind”. Beautiful it may have been, but it had its darker side. Spectacular early success was followed almost immediately by years of illness as he was plunged into madness. Happily this was not to be the end of the story, as Sylvia Nasar relates.
TEXT-S-1 The Lost Years of a Nobel Laureate Sylvia Nasar Several weeks before the 1994 Nobel prize in economics was announced on October 11, two mathematicians — Harold W. Kuhn and John Forbes Nash, Jr. — visited their old teacher, Albert W. Tucker, now almost 90 and bedridden, at Meadow Lakes, a nursing home near here.
TEXT-S-2 Mr. Nash hadn’t spoken with his mentor in several years. Their hour-long conversation, from which Mr. Kuhn excused himself, concerned number theory. When Mr. Nash stepped out of the room, Mr. Kuhn returned to tell Mr. Tucker a stunning secret: Unbeknownst to Mr. Nash, the Royal Swedish Academy intended to grant Mr. Nash a Nobel for work he had done as the old man’s student in 1949, work that turned out to have revolutionary implications for economics. The award was a miracle. It wasn’t just that Mr. Nash, one of the mathematical geniuses of the postwar era, was finally getting the recognition he deserved. Nor that he was being honored for a slender 27-page Ph.D. thesis written almost half a century ago at the tender age of 21.
TEXT-S-3 The real miracle was that the 66-year-old Mr. Nash — tall, gray, with sad eyes and the soft, raspy voice of someone who doesn’t talk much — was alive and well enough to receive the prize. For John Nash was stricken with paranoid schizophrenia more than three decades earlier. Mr. Nash’s terrible illness was an open secret among mathematicians and economists. No sooner had Fortune magazine singled him out in July 1958 as America’s brilliant young star of the “new mathematics” than the disease had devastated Mr. Nash’s personal and professional life. He hadn’t published a scientific paper since 1958. He hadn’t held an academic post since 1959. Many people had heard, incorrectly, that he had had a lobotomy. Others, mainly those outside Princeton, simply assumed that he was dead.
TEXT-S-4 He didn’t die, but his life, once so full of brightness and promise, became hellish. There were repeated commitments to psychiatric hospitals. Failed treatments. Fearful delusions. A period of wandering around Europe. Stretches in Roanoke, Va., where Mr. Nash’s mother and sister lived. Finally, a return to Princeton, where he had once been the rising star. There he became the Phantom of Fine Hall, a mute figure who scribbled strange equations on blackboards in the mathematics building and searched anxiously for secret messages in numbers. Then, roughly 10 years ago, the awful fires that fed the delusions and distorted his thinking began to die down. It happened very gradually. But, by his mid-50’s, Mr. Nash began to come out of his isolation. He started to talk to other mathematicians again. He began to work on mathematical problems that made sense. He made friends with several graduate students. He didn’t get a job, but he started to learn new things, like using computers for his research.
TEXT-S-5 And here he was at Meadow Lakes. Within a few weeks, Mr. Nash got the early morning telephone call from Stockholm — 45 minutes late, as it turned out — telling him that he was being honored along with two other pioneers of game theory, John C. Harsanyi of the University of California at Berkeley and Reinhard Selten of the University of Bonn. On one level, John Nash’s story is the tragedy of any person with schizophrenia. Incurable, incapacitating and extremely difficult to treat, schizophrenia plays terrifying tricks on its victims. Many people with the disease can no longer sort and interpret sensations or reason or feel the full range of emotions. Instead, they suffer from delusions and hear voices.
TEXT-S-6 But in Mr. Nash’s case, the tragedy has the added dimensions of his early genius — and of the network of family and friends who valued that genius, wrapping themselves protectively around Mr. Nash and providing him with a safe haven while he was ill. There were the former colleagues who tried to get him work. The sister who made heartbreaking choices about his treatment. The loyal wife who stood by him when she no longer was his wife. The economist who argued to the Nobel committee that mental illness shouldn’t be a bar to the prize. Princeton itself. Mr. Nash has never talked about his illness publicly except to refer obliquely, at the news conference announcing his Nobel, to the fact that he had made some irrational choices in the past. He declined to be interviewed for this story, saying, “People know what they know.”
TEXT-S-7 But many of the people who have been close to him over the years or got to know him in the last few years have been willing, now that he has the extra protection of the mantle of a Nobel prize, to talk about his life and his achievements. Starting Out: The First Signs of Genius John Nash’s West Virginia roots are often invoked by people who knew him at Princeton or at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he taught for a while in the 50’s, to explain his lack of worldliness. But Bluefield, the town where he grew up, was hardly a backwater. It had the highest per capita income in the state during the 30’s and 40’s and was home to a handful of millionaires, the Virginia Southern railroad and a four-year Baptist college.
TEXT-S-8 Mr. Nash’s mother, Margaret, was a Latin teacher. His father, John Sr., was a gentlemanly electrical engineer. By the time John Jr. and his younger sister were in elementary school, in the middle of the Depression, the Nashes lived in a white frame house, down the street from the country club. Nothing was more important to the senior Nashes than supervising their children’s education, recalls the sister, Martha Nash Legg. John Jr. was a prodigy but not a straight-A student. He read constantly. He played chess. He whistled entire Bach melodies.
TEXT-S-9 “John was always looking for a different way to do things,” said Mrs. Legg, a tall, handsome woman who is a potter in Roanoke. In elementary school, one of his teachers told John’s mother that her son was having trouble in math. “He could see ways to solve problems that were different from his teacher’s,” Mrs. Legg said, laughing. In the fall of 1945, Mr. Nash enrolled at Carnegie-Mellon, then Carnegie Tech, in Pittsburgh. It was there that the label “genius” was first applied to Mr. Nash. His mathematics professor called him “a young Gauss” in class one day, referring to the great German mathematician. Mr. Nash switched from chemistry to math in his freshman year. Two years later he had a B.S. and was studying for an M.S.