Reinhard Selten
(1930)
German mathematician who shared the 1994 Nobel Prize for Economics with
John F. Nash and John C. Harsanyi for their development of game theory,
a branch of mathematics that examines rivalries among competitors with
mixed interests.
The son of a bookseller, Selten studied mathematics at the University
of Frankfurt and graduated in 1957. He became interested in game theory
in the late 1940s when he read an article about the subject in the magazine
Fortune. Refining the research of Nash, Selten in 1965 proposed theories
that distinguished between reasonable and unreasonable decisions in
predicting the outcome of games. He taught at the Free University in
Berlin, the University of Bielefeld, and at the University of Bonn (from
1984).
