John von Neumann

Mathematician, Computer Scientist

1903 – 1957

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Who was John von Neumann?

John von Neumann was a Hungarian-born American pure and applied mathematician and polymath. He made major contributions to a number of fields, including mathematics, physics, economics, computer science, and statistics. He was a pioneer of the application of operator theory to quantum mechanics, in the development of functional analysis, a principal member of the Manhattan Project and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and a key figure in the development of game theory and the concepts of cellular automata, the universal constructor, and the digital computer.

Von Neumann's mathematical analysis of the structure of self-replication preceded the discovery of the structure of DNA. In a short list of facts about his life he submitted to the National Academy of Sciences, he stated "The part of my work I consider most essential is that on quantum mechanics, which developed in Göttingen in 1926, and subsequently in Berlin in 1927–1929. Also, my work on various forms of operator theory, Berlin 1930 and Princeton 1935–1939; on the ergodic theorem, Princeton, 1931–1932." Along with Teller and Stanislaw Ulam, von Neumann worked out key steps in the nuclear physics involved in thermonuclear reactions and the hydrogen bomb.

Famous Quotes:

  • Young man, in mathematics you don't understand things. You just get used to them.

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Born
Dec 28, 1903
Budapest
Also known as
  • margittai Neumann János
Parents
Spouses
Children
Religion
  • Judaism
Ethnicity
  • Ashkenazi Jews
Nationality
  • Kingdom of Hungary
Profession
Education
  • Diploma, ETH Zurich
    Chemical Engineering
  • PhD, Eötvös Loránd University
    Mathematics; Experimental physics
  • Chemistry
Employment
  • Princeton University
  • Humboldt University of Berlin
  • Institute for Advanced Study
Lived in
  • United States of America
Died
Feb 8, 1957
Washington, D.C.

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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"John von Neumann." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 26 Jan. 2023. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/john_von_neumann>.

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