US Diaries 2017
Note #6: Meeting with a Nobel Prize contender
It was a memorable day for all of us today for, we got a chance to spend one hour with a Nobel Prize Contender and Padmavibhushan (2016) over a cup of coffee. Prof. Avinash Dixit is a Prof of Economics and an expert in Game Theory. An author of various books and research articles, his CV runs into 24 pages. A very kind person at heart, he agreed to meet all of us and spent time answering all our questions. He is an Emiritus (retd Prof.) at Princeton. I came to know about him through Hariharan who suggested a couple of articles written by him on Game Theory which was very lucid even for a beginner. Thanks to Hariharan’s suggestion, he agreed to meet all of us.
He genuinely asked what we all were doing and about the course that we are currently pursuing. Sitting with him for an hour opened up a lot of ideas to explore in teaching Economics and Math, not under different buckets, but under one single bucket. During the interactions, I asked him how he manages to write in such lucid language unlike other research articles which make us feel intimidated. He replied, “I have taken a lot of efforts to make it simple.” And truly he has. (Read ‘Restoring Fun to Game Theory’ by Prof. Avinash Dixit. Highly recommended for teachers in economics/math. Also recommended ‘A very short introduction of Micro Economics, Oxford University Press, by Prof. Dixit’).
Because it was just four students and I for the meeting we could interact with him very closely. The doubts that students asked was answered elaborately by him. He said, ‘If I were in your place today and if I had to do something in applied Math, I would look for something in biology or data structures or something like that which is coming up today.’ Had it not been for my friend Hariharan Iyer, we would not have got this golden opportunity to meet such a knowledgeable person.