Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Harold Kuhn 1925-2014


"Harold Kuhn, a Princeton University mathematician who advanced game theory approaches to economics, died of congestive heart failure on July 2. He was 88 years old.
...
"While Kuhn was working on his dissertation, he began exploring the emerging field of game theory, which focuses on the behavior of decision makers whose choices affect each other. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, he was involved in organizing many conferences in game theory. John Nash was a classmate, and in 1994 Kuhn was invited by the Nobel Prize committee to chair a panel discussion of Nash’s work on the occasion of Nash’s award of the Nobel Prize in economics.

“Game theory blossomed in Princeton in the mid-20th century. Kuhn was a key member of a brilliant group that ushered it in, which included the genius John von Neumann and Nobel Prize winners John Nash, Lloyd Shapley and Robert Aumann, amongst other greats,” said Dilip Abreu, a professor of finance and economics at Princeton. “Kuhn’s now-standard formulation of extensive form games completely eclipsed von Neumann’s own, and his results on imperfect recall, mixed and behavioral strategies continue to stimulate, intrigue and delight.”


More here:
"Kuhn wrote a dissertation in geometric group theory advised by Professor Ralph Fox. Concurrently, he began a long collaboration with Professor Albert Tucker and fellow graduate student David Gale exploring and developing the emerging fields of nonlinear optimization and game theory, which focuses on the behavior of decision makers whose choices affect each other. Another fellow student was John Nash, and in 1994, Kuhn was invited by the Nobel Prize committee to chair a panel discussion of Nash's work, on the occasion of Nash's award of the Nobel Prize in economics.

In 1951, Kuhn and Tucker described what are known as the Karush-Kuhn-Tucker conditions for nonlinear programming, now an economics staple that address optimization within constraints. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Kuhn was involved in organizing conferences in game theory. "

Here are two pictures I snapped of Kuhn, one with his wife Estelle, and one with the late Bill Lucas, at a festival in honor of Lloyd Shapley at Stony Brook in July 2003.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It was also him, who discovered the work of Konigh and Egervary on the maximum size and maximum weight matching problems, and developed their algorithms further under the name of Hungarian method, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungarian_algorithm