Daughter Liz (1957) and mathematical models (1956-1964)

Meanwhile Everett was taken up with the life of young father. He and Nancy had been married in 1956 and their daughter Liz was born on July 7, 1957 (she lived only until July 11, 1996) [28]. However, Everett's wife and son later confessed that he, like John von Neumann and Einstein, "wasn't really made for family life." Everett lived mainly in the world of intellect [56, 57], and his work demanded a permanent fountain of ideas.

Here is how he succinctly characterized his work in 1965: "Responsible for research in mathematical techniques and models; selection, programming and operation of WSEG computing facility; project leader several WSEG projects; developed numerous mathematical models and techniques in field of military operations research; developed numerous computer programs, subroutines, and utility routines in support of WSEG projects" [14]. His obituaries spoke more revealingly about this period of his life. He made major contribution to national security, pioneered the application of game theory and optimization methods in the practical analysis of policy alternatives (almost superpositions!) [58], and in WSEG, which was assigned problems of particular challenge and complexity, he was the recognized leader-the one to whom everyone went for advice and counsel. Also in the solution of practical problems Everett was often ahead of his time. For example, in the late 1950s he created a computer text editor with page layout (what would now be called a word processor), which he later described as the most complicated task he had ever worked on. The term "Everett algorithms" is commonly used among mathematicians; these algorithms were the most effective in their time [13].

Needless to say, much of what Everett worked on was classified Secret or Top Secret. Only recently has some of that come to light. In 1957 WSEG participated in global-scale UFO research [59] and investigated the efficiency of Minuteman missiles. Later [60], this organization developed anti-noise radar techniques [61]. But most of the archives of IDA are still strictly classified. There are but two unclassified publications by Everett in eight years of activity in WSEG/IDA, not counting a monographic article on recursive games [23] in his "doctoral" year (mathematicians refer to this article as a "thesis" [29]). The two other unclassified articles are "The Distribution and Effects of Fallout in Large Nuclear Weapon Campaigns" [62], co-authored with one of his best friends, George E. Pugh, and a pioneer article on Lagrangian relaxations [63]. I will discuss these below in part.


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