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John von Neumann

"This man deserves more than for which we give him..."



by 5 Jurors

John von Neumann (/vɒn ˈnɔɪmən/; December 28, 1903 – February 8, 1957) was a Hungarian and American pure and applied mathematician, physicist, inventor and polymath. He made major contributions to a number of fields, including mathematics (foundations of mathematics, functional analysis, ergodic theory, geometry, topology, and numerical analysis), physics (quantum mechanics, hydrodynamics, and fluid dynamics), economics (game theory), computing (Von Neumann architecture, linear programming, self-replicating machines, stochastic computing), 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 (as one of the few originally appointed), 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 Hungarian-born American theoretical physicist Edward Teller and Polish mathematician Stanislaw Ulam, von Neumann worked out key steps in the nuclear physics involved in thermonuclear reactions and the hydrogen bomb.
Von Neumann wrote 150 published papers in his life; 60 in pure mathematics, 20 in physics, and 60 in applied mathematics. His last work, an unfinished manuscript written while in the hospital and later published in book form as The Computer and the Brain, gives an indication of the direction of his interests at the time of his death.

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img Anonymous posted a review

Young Johnny changed the shape of his profession rapidly and like a meteor leaving not detailed work behind but illumination. Some of his colleagues resented him for this but others took advantage of it which wanted them to. He was accused of being a cream skimmer which is often what such a superior mind should do. Only if he found it aesthetically amusing did he work it out and when he did perhaps too far. What I'm saying is, like Gauss, this guy had a hand in every major advance of the 20th Century. 

on August 25, 2017

We rate people based on intelligence. Now let's find out who's the smartest (or dumbest) people on earth!

img angel agat posted a review

Smartest guy ever. In 1945, mathematician John von Neumann undertook a study of computation that demonstrated that a computer could have a simple, fixed structure, yet be able to execute any kind of computation given properly programmed control without the need for hardware modification. Von Neumann contributed a new understanding of how practical fast computers should be organized and built; these ideas, often referred to as the stored-program technique, became fundamental for future generations of high-speed digital computers and were universally adopted. The primary advance was the provision of a special type of machine instruction called conditional control transfer--which permitted the program sequence to be interrupted and reinitiated at any point, similar to the system suggested by Babbage for his analytical engine and by storing all instruction programs together with data in the same memory unit, so that, when desired, instructions could be arithmetically modified in the same way as data. Thus, data was the same as program.

As a result of these techniques and several others, computing and programming became faster, more flexible, and more efficient, with the instructions in subroutines performing far more computational work. Frequently used subroutines did not have to be reprogrammed for each new problem but could be kept intact in "libraries" and read into memory when needed. Thus, much of a given program could be assembled from the subroutine library. The all-purpose computer memory became the assembly place in which parts of a long computation were stored, worked on piecewise, and assembled to form the final results. The computer control served as an errand runner for the overall process. As soon as the advantages of these techniques became clear, the techniques became standard practice. The first generation of modern programmed electronic computers to take advantage of these improvements appeared in 1947.

This group included computers using random access memory (RAM), which is a memory designed to give almost constant access to any particular piece of information. These machines had punched-card or punched-tape input and output devices and RAMs of 1,000-word. Physically, they were much more compact than ENIAC: some were about the size of a grand piano and required 2,500 small electron tubes, far fewer than required by the earlier machines. The first- generation stored-program computers required considerable maintenance, attained perhaps 70% to 80% reliable operation, and were used for 8 to 12 years. Typically, they were programmed directly in machine language, although by the mid-1950s progress had been made in several aspects of advanced programming. This group of machines included EDVAC and UNIVAC, the first commercially available computers.

on October 19, 2016

We rate people based on intelligence. Now let's find out who's the smartest (or dumbest) people on earth!

img mela jane posted a review

He published 150 papers in his life; 60 in pure mathematics, 20 in physics, and 60 in applied mathematics. At the age of 8, he was familiar with differential and integral calculus, he had a very strong eidetic memory, commonly called 'photographic' memory. His ability to instantaneously perform complex operations in his head stunned other mathematicians .At the age of 6 he could divide two 8-digit numbers in his head. on his honor IEEE John von Neumann Medal is awarded annually by the IEEE for outstanding achievements in computer-related science and technology.

on September 11, 2016

We rate people based on intelligence. Now let's find out who's the smartest (or dumbest) people on earth!

img jose balolog posted a review

He was a Physicist, Mathematician, Contributions to Game Theory, Economics, and Pioneering Computer Scientist. He was one of the Greatest Mthematicians of all time! He had Photographic Memory!

on August 28, 2016

We rate people based on intelligence. Now let's find out who's the smartest (or dumbest) people on earth!

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John von Neumann

This man deserves more than for which we give him credit.
Book rating: 88 out of 100 with 5 ratings