For refining Nash's work
Reinhard Selten, 1994
The 1994 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences awarded to Reinhard Selten for his contributions to Game Theory, namely as the first person to "refine the Nash equilibrium concept for analyzing dynamic strategic interaction."
SELTEN, Reinhard (1930-2016). The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel awarded to Reinhard Selten in 1994. 18 carat gold, 65mm diameter, 180.4 grams. Profile of Alfred Nobel facing left on obverse, with "Sveriges Riksbank till Alfred Nobels Minne 1968" (The Sveriges Riksbank, in memory of Alfred Nobel, 1968) around the upper side and the bank’s crossed horns of plenty below, reverse with the North Star emblem of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, dating from 1815, with the words “Kungliga Vetenskaps Akademien” (The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences). "R. Selten" engraved on the edge of medal. Housed in original red morocco gilt case, lettered "R. Selten," interior lined with velvet and satin. WITH: Reinhard Selten's 1994 Nobel Prize Diploma, two leaves, 330 x 207mm, in tan morocco gilt portfolio and original suede-lined blue cloth clamshell box (box with a little minor soiling); both portfolio and box gilt-lettered with recipient’s initials on upper covers.
25 years ago, on 11 October 1994, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences decided to award the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel jointly to Professor Dr. Reinhard Selten, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, Bonn, Germany; Dr. John F. Nash, Princeton University; and Professor John C. Harsanyi, University of California, Berkeley, for their pioneering analysis of equilibria in the theory of non-cooperative games. Reinhard Selten "was the first to refine the Nash equilibrium concept for analyzing dynamic strategic interaction," and further "applied these refined concepts to analyses of competition with only a few sellers." In short: Nash's equilibria provided a framework for analyzing conflict across disciplines, but it could at times produce an embarrassment of riches. Selten's principal idea was to use stronger conditions not only to reduce the number of possible equilibria, but also to avoid equilibria which are unreasonable in economic terms. It was a contribution with direct significance in discussions of credibility in economic policy, the analysis of oligopoly, and the economics of information, and is considered the most fundamental refinement of Nash equilibrium.
Reinhard Selten was born in Breslau, Germany (now Wroclaw, Poland) in 1930, to a German-Jewish family. In 1945 they fled Nazi Germany for Austria where he worked as a laborer. After the war he studied mathematics at Goethe University in Frankfurt, completing his undergraduate studies in 1955 before earning a master's degree in 1957 and a doctorate in 1961. In his biographical essay for the Nobel Prize, Selten would recall: "My first contact with game theory was a popular article in Fortune Magazine which I read in my last high school year. I was immediately attracted to the subject matter and when I studied mathematics I found the fundamental book by von Neumann and Morgenstern in the library and studied it. Somewhat later I saw the announcement of a student seminar for economists on game theory, headed by Professor Ewald Burger who taught advanced mathematical courses but also mathematics for economists. I participated in the seminar and Ewald Burger gave me the chance to write a master’s thesis in cooperative game theory. My master’s thesis and later my Ph.D. thesis had the aim of axiomatizing a value for e-person games in extensive form. This work made me familiar with the extensive form, in a time when very little work on extensive games was done. This enabled me to see the perfectness problem earlier than others and to write the contributions for which I am now honored by the prize in memory of Alfred Nobel." Professor Selten passed away in 2016 at the age of 86.
The Nobel Prize and diploma are together with a group of 11 photographs of Dr Selten, all 1990s-2000s, various sizes, including shots of him teaching as well as accepting his Nobel Prize.
Fifty percent of the net proceeds of this sale (after all seller’s costs) will be donated to be used as financial aid for gifted students in mathematics and information technology from Eastern Europe studying at the California Institute of Technology.