More than 1,500 people flocked to the University of Hong Kong last night to hear the real star of Hollywood blockbuster A Beautiful Mind in action. Nobel prize-winning mathematics genius John Nash of Princeton University - played in the Academy Award-winning film by heart-throb Russell Crowe - was in town to give a public lecture on 'game theory'. But if anyone turned up hoping the performance would have any of the drama of Crowe's, they would have been disappointed. This was maths of the highest order delivered by one of its high priests. Only those initiated into the solemn order of game theory would have understood most of Professor Nash's lecture, delivered from page after page of prepared notes projected on to a screen behind him. He then launched into an explanation of an even more complex series of graphs and equations. The 74-year-old professor, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for economics in 1994, described in detail his mathematical models that demonstrate how players in a 'game' might elect each other as agents in any number of complex combinations to benefit from their association. As the lecture increased in complexity, so his audience, spread across four lecture theatres, started to thin out. The lecture may have lacked the broad appeal of Crowe's portrayal, but it was a vurtuoso performance by the professor nonetheless.