David Gale

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David Gale (1921 – 2008) was an American mathematician and economist. He was a fellow Ph.D. student of John Nash at Princeton University in the 1940s and made several early contributions to Hex.

  • He was the person to whom Nash first described the game of Hex in abstract form. Gale converted Nash's design to the now-familiar hexagonal pattern and built the first physical Hex board at Princeton University (although Hex boards already existed elsewhere after Piet Hein's prior invention of the game).
  • He invented the game of Bridg-It, which was described in Martin Gardner's Scientific American column in October 1958, and which was also known as "Gale". Bridg-It is similar to Hex, but simpler. It is a solved game, i.e., an explicit winning strategy is known.
  • He suggested to Nash to sell the game of Hex to Parker Brothers, but neither Nash nor Parker Brothers were interested. Parker Brothers did later publish Hex, but obtained the rights from its original inventor Piet Hein, rather than from Nash or Gale.

See also