John von Neumann AKA János Lajos Margittai Neumann Born: 28Dec1903 Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary Died: 8Feb1957 Location of death: Washington, DC Cause of death: Cancer  Prostate Remains: Buried, Princeton Cemetery, Princeton, NJ
Gender: Male Religion: Roman Catholic Race or Ethnicity: White Sexual orientation: Straight Occupation: Mathematician, Scientist Nationality: United States Executive summary: Computing pioneer, inventor of Game Theory American mathematician John von Neumann is considered a founding father of game theory (the application of mathematics to economic, military, political, and social conflict) and computer design. He first proposed a mathematical technique for analysis of conflict in 1927, and developed this into Theory of Games and Economic Behavior, coauthored with Oskar Morgenstern in 1944. He was involved with planning and building the Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer (ENIAC), the first generalpurpose electronic computer, and his concept of computer design is still referred to as the von Neumann Architecture.
He also calculated the first rigorous mathematical formulation of quantum mechanics as linear operators on Hilbert spaces, and developed the merge sort algorithm, by which the two halves of an array are first sorted recursively and then merged together. His research in shock wave dynamics helped determine the optimal height of explosions in attacks on buildings, his work on the Manhattan Project was crucial to the development of the implosion trigger for the first atomic bomb, and he was a key designer of the first US intercontinental ballistic missiles.
He was born in Hungary as János Neumann, and appended the "von" to his name in his youth, when his father purchased a title of nobility. He was a high school classmate and lifelong friend of Nobel laureate Eugene Wigner. His daughter is the economist Marina v.N. Whitman. Father: Miksa Neumann ("Max", banker, d. 1929) Mother: Margit Kann ("Margaret") Wife: Marietta Kovesi (m. 1930, div. 1937) Daughter: Marina v.N. Whitman (b. 1936) Wife: Klára Dán (m. 1938)
High School: Fasori Lutheran Gymnasium, Budapest, Hungary (1921) University: University of Berlin (attended 192123) University: BS Chemical Engineering, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (1925) University: PhD Mathematics, University of Budapest (1926) Scholar: Mathematics, University of Göttingen (192627) Teacher: Mathematics, University of Berlin (192729) Teacher: Mathematics, University of Hamburg (192930) Teacher: Mathematical Physics, Princeton University (193033) Professor: Mathematics, Institute for Advanced Studies (193357)
US Atomic Energy Commission 195357 Accademia dei Lincei American Academy of Arts and Sciences American Mathematical Society Presient (195152) American Philosophical Society IEEE Institute for Advanced Study 193357 London Mathematical Society Foreign Member Los Alamos National Laboratory 194355 National Academy of Sciences Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences
AMS Bôcher Prize 1938
Navy Distinguished Service Medal 1947 Enrico Fermi Award 1956 Albert Einstein Commemorative Award 1956
Presidential Medal of Freedom 1956 Presidential Medal for Merit 1957
Information Processing Hall of Fame 1985
Manhattan Project Naturalized US Citizen 1937 Converted to Catholicism 1957 (deathbed) Austrian Ancestry
Hungarian Ancestry
Jewish Ancestry
Russian Ancestry
Lunar Crater Von Neumann (40.4° N 153.2° E, 78 km. diameter)
Author of books:
Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics (1926, nonfiction) The Theory of Games and Economic Behavior (1944, nonfiction, with Oskar Morgenstern) Probabilistic Logics (1952, nonfiction) The Computer and the Brain (1958, nonfiction) Theory of Selfreproducing Automata (1966, nonfiction; posthumous) The Theory and Techniques of Electronic Digital Computers (1985, nonfiction) Papers of John von Neumann on Computing and Computer Theory (1987, nonfiction; posthumous) John von Neumann: Selected Letters (2005, nonfiction, posthumous)
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