Jeffrey LewisTom Schelling Wins Nobel Prize

Tom Schelling has won the Nobel Prize in economics!

Just fantastic news.

Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences selected Tom and Robert Aumann, a mathematician at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, for “The Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.”

You may know Tom as a founder of game-theory. His 1960 article in Daedalus, “Reciprocal Measures for Arms Stabilization,” was a game theoretic approach to arms control that basically invented the scholary study of the subject.

Tom is a wonderful teacher and an incredibly kind person.

You may notice that news reports place Tom’s age at 84—Tom may be 84, but he isn’t old.

A few semesters ago, I went over to Tom’s house to talk about my dissertation. He proceeded to serve a very civilized lunch, a bottle of red wine and, before too long, what remained of my dissertation. It was one of the best experiences of my graduate studies, not the least because the dissertation was better for the trouble.

I am lucky enough to serve on our School’s committee to host the annual public lecture in his name, an opportunity to serve in small repayment of the debt I owe Tom for being a wonderful teacher.

Congratulations, Tom!


  1. Arrigo (History)

    Goodness me! They’re running out of heavy iron pans in Sweden really fast…

    I’m impressed that they gave this Nobel prize to Game Theorists and in particular those who explained the deadly balance of MAD. MAD was still very much on the cards when I first studied Game Theory and it didn’t make the subject a particularly cheerful one as I remember asking myself “but if they know, why do it?”. Ah, the innocence of youth.

  2. Bill Ricker (History)
  3. Jeffrey Lewis (History)

    I think Kaplan’s piece is more than a little unfair.