Education: University of Budapest
Active role in the revolution: NO
In United States of America
Arrival: 1956, 1961,
University of Sydney
University of Lyon
Workplace: UC Berkeley, Berkeley, California
1994 – Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences
1994 – John von Neumann Award
For their pioneering work in game theory, John C. Harsanyi, John Nash, and Reinhard Selten shared the 1994 Nobel Prize in Economics. Game theory is a system for using mathematics to predict the outcome of competitive games like chess or poker, which can also be applied to political and economic conflicts such as labor negotiations, business competition, international political tensions, etc.
Harsanyi studied pharmacy in college, but his education was interrupted by World War II. His father was Catholic, but his mother was Jewish, and that was enough to enslave Harsanyi in a Nazi forced labor camp. In transit to the death camps, he escaped, and spent the remainder of the war hidden by Jesuits in the cellar of their monastery. When Hitler was defeated, Harsanyi went back to college, but having had years to reconsider, he switched his major to philosophy. After graduating, he taught sociology until his anti-Marxist views made him persona non grata in the increasingly hard-line communist Hungary. Escaping the Iron Curtain into Austria with his girlfriend, they settled in Australia, where they were married. Harsanyi worked in a factory while attending night school and teaching himself English. He later earned a second PhD in his second language, and taught for several decades at the University of California in Berkeley.