Harold W. Kuhn
Born(1925-07-29)July 29, 1925
DiedJuly 2, 2014(2014-07-02) (aged 88)
Alma materPrinceton University
Known forHungarian method
Karush–Kuhn–Tucker conditions
Kuhn poker
AwardsJohn von Neumann Theory Prize (1980)
Scientific career
InstitutionsPrinceton University
Doctoral advisorRalph Fox
Doctoral studentsJames G. MacKinnon
Guillermo Owen
Richard Stearns

Harold William Kuhn (July 29, 1925 – July 2, 2014) was an American mathematician who studied game theory. He won the 1980 John von Neumann Theory Prize jointly with David Gale and Albert W. Tucker. A former Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at Princeton University, he is known for the Karush–Kuhn–Tucker conditions, for Kuhn's theorem, and for developing Kuhn poker. He described the Hungarian method for the assignment problem, but a paper by Carl Gustav Jacobi, published posthumously in 1890 in Latin, was later discovered that had described the Hungarian method a century before Kuhn.[1][2]


Kuhn was born in Santa Monica in 1925.[3] He is known for his association with John Forbes Nash, as a fellow graduate student, a lifelong friend and colleague, and a key figure in getting Nash the attention of the Nobel Prize committee that led to Nash's 1994 Nobel Prize in Economics.[4] Kuhn and Nash both had long associations and collaborations with Albert W. Tucker, who was Nash's dissertation advisor. Kuhn co-edited The Essential John Nash,[5] and is credited as the mathematics consultant in the 2001 movie adaptation of Nash's life, A Beautiful Mind.[6]

Harold Kuhn served as the third president of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). He was elected to the 2002 class of Fellows of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.[7]

In 1949, he married Estelle Henkin, sister of logician Leon Henkin. His oldest son was oral historian Clifford Kuhn (1952-2015), an associate professor at Georgia State University noted for his scholarship on the American South. Another son, Nicholas Kuhn, is a professor of mathematics at the University of Virginia.[8] His youngest son, Jonathan Kuhn, is Director of Art and Antiquities for the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.

Kuhn died on July 2, 2014.[9]



  1. ^ Ollivier, F.; Sadik, B. (2007). "La borne de Jacobi pour une diffiete' definie par un systeme quasi regulier". Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences de Paris. 345 (3): 139–144. arXiv:math/0701838. doi:10.1016/j.crma.2007.06.010.
  2. ^ Harold W. Kuhn, The Hungarian Method for the Assignment Problem and how Jacobi beat me by 100 Years, Seminar, Concordia University, September 12, 2006
  3. ^ Siegfried Gottwald, Hans J. Ilgauds, Karl H. Schlote (Hrsg.): Lexikon bedeutender Mathematiker. Verlag Harri Thun, Frankfurt a. M. 1990 ISBN 3-8171-1164-9
  4. ^ The Times Higher Education Supplement: The autumnal sadness of the Princeton ghost
  5. ^ The Essential John Nash, edited by Harold W. Kuhn & Sylvia Nasar, Princeton University Press
  6. ^ Harold Kuhn, consultant: Princeton
  7. ^ Fellows: Alphabetical List, Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, archived from the original on May 10, 2019, retrieved October 9, 2019
  8. ^ Nick Kuhn, Professor of Mathematics, Department of Mathematics, University of Virginia Archived 2009-03-10 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Professor Emeritus Harold W. Kuhn died on July 2, 2014". math.princeton.edu. July 3, 2014. Archived from the original on July 15, 2014.
  10. ^ Motzkin, Theodore S. (1957). "Review: H. W. Kuhn and A. W. Tucker, Linear inequalities and related systems". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 63 (3): 202–203. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1957-10103-7.
  11. ^ Wolfowitz, J. (1951). "Review: Contributions to the theory of games, Vol. 1, ed. H. W. Kuhn and A. W. Tucker". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 57 (6): 495–497. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1951-09550-6.
  12. ^ Wolfowitz, J. (1954). "Review: Contributions to the theory of games, Vol. 2, ed. H. W. Kuhn and A. W. Tucker" (PDF). Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 60 (1): 90–92. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1954-09766-5.