Hex: The Inventors
Born: December 16, 1905, in Copenhagen, Denmark
Scientist, mathematician, inventor, and author. Studied at the Institute for Theoretical Physics of the University of Copenhagen (later named the Niels Bohr Institute), and Technical University of Denmark. Awarded an honarary doctorate by Yale University in 1972. Lived in England, the U.S., and South America before returning to his native Denmark, where he died on April 18, 1996.
He is known primarily for his numerous original creations, including the super-ellipse and super-egg, the Soma cube, many intricate mathematical games, and the short, aphoristic poetical form he called the "grook" (gruk in Danish). He wrote thousands of grooks, sometimes under the psuedonym "Kumbel." (A few of the English language grooks appear scattered through these pages.)
Piet Hein said that the game of Hex occurred to him while contemplating
the well-known four-color problem in topology. He presented his idea
to students at the Institute in 1942. The game soon became very popular
in Denmark under the name Polygon.
Born: June 13, 1928, in Bluefield, West Virginia, USA
Mathematician and economist. Studied at Carnegie Mellon University and Princeton University (PhD, 1950). Instructor at M.I.T. from 1951 to 1959. Returned to Princeton in 1959. Awarded the 1994 Nobel Prize in Economic Science (along with John C. Harsanyi and Reinhard Selten) for his pioneering work on the application of game theory to the study of economics.
John Milnor, a Princeton undergraduate in the late 1940's, recalled in 1995 what Nash was like at that time: