Person: Selten, Reinhard
Reinhard Selten was a Polish mathematician and economist who shared the 1994 Nobel Prize in Economics with John Nash for his work on game theory.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Adolf Selten had not received much in the way of education, spending only three years at school.
- The coming to power of the Nazi party in Germany in 1933 led to the passing of laws which prevented Jews from holding employment connected to the press, so Adolf Selten was forced to sell his business.
- Adolf and Käthe had decided that, given their religious positions, they would let Reinhard grow up without any religious attachment so that he could make his own choice when he reached the appropriate age.
- Then they moved to Hesse where they lived in a small village and Selten again worked as a farm worker.
- When he completed high school, Selten knew that he wanted to study mathematics but he also had many other interests including economics and psychology.
- Continuing to work at Frankfurt for a Master's degree, Selten had to present a minor topic for examination in addition to writing a mathematical dissertation.
- In 1957 Selten was awarded a Master's degree in mathematics from Frankfurt.
- Selten was awarded his doctorate from Frankfurt in 1961.
- Shortly after this he accepted an invitation from Oskar Morgenstern to participate in a game theory conference in Princeton, and Morgenstern also arranged financial support to allow Selten to spend a few weeks at Princeton after the conference ended.
- Before returning to Germany, Selten spent a couple of days in Pittsburgh following the game theory conference so that he could make contact with Herbert Simon, who had produced work on bounded rationality that was significant to Selten's research.
- After spending the year 1967-68 visiting the University of California, Berkeley, Selten submitted his Habilitationsschrift on multiproduct pricing to Frankfurt University, the award being made in 1968.
- In 1969 Selten was appointed to a chair of economics at the Free University in Berlin.
- The respective contributions of Nash and Selten are as follows.
- Selten worked on this concept and he refined the Nash equilibrium concept for analysing dynamic strategic interaction.
- Selten has also applied his refined version of these concepts to other problems such as analysing competition when there are only a small number of sellers.
- On receiving the Nobel prize, Selten gave his Nobel Lecture on 9 December 1994.
- Selten has been honoured by many awards in addition to the Nobel Prize.
Born 5 October 1930, Breslau, Germany (now Wrocław, Poland). Died 23 August 2016, Poznań, Poland.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Origin Poland, Prize Nobel
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive