WEST WINDSOR: Princeton Junction Pocket Park to be renamed John Nash Park

By Lea Kahn, Staff Writer
WEST WINDSOR — It’s just a small patch of grass, behind the Valero gasoline station on the corner of Princeton-Hightstown Road and Alexander Road — but on Oct. 23, it will be dedicated in memory of the late John Nash by West Windsor Township officials.
Known as the Princeton Junction Pocket Park, it will be renamed John Nash Park in a 3 p.m. ceremony to honor the Princeton University mathematician. He lived in the Princeton Junction section of the township. Mr. Nash and his wife, Alicia, were killed in an accident on the New Jersey Turnpike earlier this year.
Renaming the park was suggested by Mayor Shing-Fu Hsueh.
Mr. Nash won the Nobel Prize in economics in 1994. He and his wife were on their way home from Norway when they were killed in the accident. They had just returned from a ceremony in which he was awarded the Abel Prize in mathematics, which was established by the government of Norway.
Mr. Nash was also the subject of the award-winning film “A Beautiful Mind.” The biographical drama won four Academy Awards after its release in 2001.
At Township Council’s Oct. 13 meeting, township resident Virginia Manzari suggested that township officials should create a theme for the park that is just down Alexander Street from the late mathematician’s home.
Since Mr. Nash was well known as a mathematician, it would be “cool” to honor his life’s work through some creative way that would tie into the park, Ms. Manzari said.
Mr. Nash was a pioneer in mathematics, and specifically in differential geometry and game theory, Ms. Manzari said. Using plantings, statues or benches in the park that have a geometric theme — either by themselves or used together in patterns — could be a very creative way to honor his work, she said.
Including math-oriented games for children would also reflect on his contributions, while at the same time perhaps inspiring a love of math in the children who visit the park, Ms. Manzari said. It would be a good way to get children interested in math, she said.
Township Council President Bryan Maher agreed that it might inspire children to become interested in math.
Township Council Vice President Linda Geevers said she liked Ms. Manzari’s suggestion to incorporate a mathematical theme into the park. It would be helpful to have a plan for the park in order to seek contributions toward its development, she said. 