A Lovely Mind Chapter 2 Summary
At Carnegie, Nash? s desire to end up being an engineer quickly paves the way to a growing interest in mathematics. Throughout his first term, he deserts engineering and decides to significant in chemistry. Nevertheless, he flounders here too, complaining about “the absence of rigor in the mathematics in the course” and declining “to do the problems the method the professor expected” (41 ). The math professors soon recognize Nash? s excellent potential, particularly his “creativity and his hunger for tough problems” (42 ).
In Nash? s 2nd year, after considerable effort, they persuade him to major in mathematics and pursue a profession in research study. Nash is not popular with his fellow students who, like his previous schoolmates, discover him “unusual and socially inept” (42 ). When invited to play bridge with his fellows, he proves to be a terrible gamer due to the fact that he consumes about the “theoretical aspects” (42) rather than playing the video game. Nash is seldom invited to affairs and is often the butt of pranks and jokes.
After Nash, who has recognized that he is attracted to men, makes “a pass” (43) at a fellow student, the jokes often take on a homophobic component and he is frequently called “Homo and Nash-mo” (43 ). He responds to this treatment with bursts of anger or by arrogantly questioning the intelligence of the other students. Nash is bitterly disappointed when he fails to rank in the top 5 winners of a prestigious national mathematics competitors. The support and motivation of his tutors counts for little as he yearns for “a more universal type of acknowledgment,” feeling that it is “constantly essential to be in the club” (44 ).
Despite this, he continues to master his studies and, in 1948, gets deals from Harvard, Princeton, Chicago, and Michigan, ultimately accepting a place at Princeton. The chairman of Princeton’s mathematics department helps Nash get a summer research study task with the Navy, something Nash hopes will help him prevent the draft if another war breaks out. Despite this task allowing him to pursue whatever research study he wishes, Nash struggles to produce any work at all and spends his time “simply walking rather aimlessly lost in idea” (48 ).