West Virginia University kicks off its Festival of Ideas lecture series with economist and award-winning author Sylvia Nasar. Her lecture,A Beautiful Mind: Genius, Madness, Reawakening,will be held at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday (Feb. 24) in the Mountainlair Ballroom.

Nasar discovered the remarkable story of Nobel Laureate and West Virginia native John Nash while working as an economics reporter for The New York Times. Her book,A Beautiful Mind,chronicles the journey of Nash, who for years was overlooked for the Nobel Prize because he suffered from the mental illness schizophrenia.

A Beautiful Mindwas nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1998. The screen adaptation starring Russell Crowe and directed by Ron Howard won four Golden Globes and four Academy Awards in 2002.

Nasar earned her masters degree from New York University and has conducted research with Nobel Laureate Wassily Leontief at the Institute for Economic Analysis. She has served as senior economics reporter for both Fortune and The New York Times.

Nasar is the first to hold the Knight Chair in business journalism at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She has been a visiting scholar at Princeton University, Cambridge University and the Institute for Advanced Study. She is currently working on a book about 20th century economic thinkers.

The Feb. 24 presentation is free and open to the public. Seating is limited on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Festival of Ideas is produced by WVU Arts&Entertainment. For more information, call 304-293-SHOW or visithttp://www.events.wvu.edu.