On Thursday, April 21,2005, Professor John Nash from Princeton University came to Rutgers to give a talk on cooperative Game at Math Department at Rutgers.
When I was in Madison, Wisconsin, I heard there will be a movie called "A Beautiful Mind" which talking about Mathematician who got a Nobel prize. So I went to watch it with my brother. That was the first time I heard about him.
I was very excited when Bill told me that he is coming to Rutgers. So on the afternoon before the talk start, I waited at the common room at 7th floor of Hill Center. Since I know he might come to get some coffee or chit-chat with people before the talk and I might get a chance to talk to him that way. I actually expected to get a picture with him so that I can update my new picture on thefacebook. Fifteen minutes before the talk started, I saw him coming, walking in with my advisor, Dr.Z. John Nash looked really calm and did not make an eye contact with anyone. Since he is quite famous, many people tried to talk to him too. Liza, computer lady, was the one who got a chance to talk to him. I was trying to move closer to him , hoping that my advisor will introduce me to him. But he turned around to talk to my advisor instead. So I missed it.
A lot of people were coming to listen to the talk. I saw all kind of people there, high school students with their teacher, undergrad students, grad students from other department and of course Math professors and Math grad students. The room was not big enough, lots of people could not get into the room to see him. Once John Nash walked in, people start taking a photo and they all looked really excited. They probably expected to understand the talk. I have been in Math Department for a couple of years and I learn that it is difficult to understand the talk ( how could you understand a research somebody worked for a long time within 50 minutes anyway?). Giving a talk is only the way Mathematician socializing with each others. This talk is not an exception, I harldy understood anything. It was pretty funny to see the audiences start to get bored by the end of the talk. However it is so impressive to see him still doing a research at the age 68. Mathematics is so attractive and it is a passion for a life time.
After the talk, I got invited by my advisor to the private dinner at Bombay Bristo on George Street. I was there a couple minutes late. So I missed the chance to sit next to him. Actually he sit quite far away.
Remark: Later the same year, Professor Nash went back to our Math Department at Rutgers University again to attend a talk. When I bumped in with him on the first floor, he was already on his way back. But he could not find the parking lot, which I was not so suprised as our Math building is quite complex anyway for visitors. He was asking for direction with my friend who did not realize that this person who asking him a direction is the famous John Nash. So I interrupted the conversation and volunteer to walk Professor Nash to the parking lot. It was raining a little bit outside. There was only one umbrella. So I got a chance to share the umbrella with him. I did not try to make a conversation with him though as I don't want to bother him.