Klara Dan | |

Marina von Neumann Whitman | |

University of BudapestETH Zurich | |

Budapest | |

Hungary | |

Male | |

Neumann Miksa | |

Kann Margit | |

Capricorn | |

Budapest | |

53 | |

Washington, D.C. | |

## Who is John von Neumann?

John von Neumann was a Hungarian-American mathematician, physicist, inventor, computer scientist, and polymath. Born in Budapest into a Jewish family, he shifted to the USA before the rise of Nazi power. There he started teaching mathematics in Princeton University, but was not successful as a professor mainly because his students found it hard to keep up with his speed. Later, as he joined a non-teaching position at the Institute of Advanced Study which closely collaborates with Princeton University, he began to flourish truly. Although he began his career as a pure mathematician, he later became more interested in applied mathematics, and as the Second World War broke out, he used his knowledge to contribute to war efforts. Throughout his life, he had published over 150 papers. Among them, sixty were in pure mathematics; another sixty in applied mathematics; twenty in physics and the rest were on miscellaneous subjects. He was a prolific writer and his last book, written from hospital bed, was published posthumously as âThe Computer and the Brainâ.

## John von Neumann Childhood & Early Life

John von Neumann was born as Neumann JĂĄnos Lajos on December 28, 1903 into an affluent family in Budapest. His father, Miksa Neumann, was a banker. His mother, Kann Margit, came from a prosperous merchant family. He had two younger brothers, Michael and Nicholas.

Born a child prodigy, he could mentally divide and multiply multi-digit numbers from the age of six and became familiar with differential and integral calculus by the age of eight. Besides, he received lessons in Hungarian, English, French, German and Italian while studying at home under a governess.

In 1911, JĂĄnos was admitted to Fasori EvangĂ©likus GimnĂĄzium. Here his mathematical talent was quickly spotted by his teacher. Since his father insisted that he studied in grades appropriate to his age, additional especial tuitions were arranged for him to train him in fields in which he displayed an aptitude.

Neumann completed his education at the gymnasium in 1921. Although he wanted to study mathematics his father convinced him to study chemical engineering because it had better prospects. With that aim, he enrolled at the University of Berlin in 1921 for a two-year course in chemistry.

Simultaneously, he also enrolled at the University of Budapest with mathematics; but did not attend the classes there. Sometime now, he published two major mathematical papers.

The first paper, written jointly with Fekete, an assistant professor at the University of Budapest who had been tutoring him, was published in 1922. His second paper was published in 1923. In it, he provided the definition of ordinal number, which is still in use.

Also in 1923, after completing the two year course at Berlin, Neumann entered EidgenĂ¶ssische Technische Hochschule ZĂŒrich to study chemical engineering. Sometime during this period, he also passed out from the University of Budapest with brilliant results.

Thereafter, along with studying chemical engineering at ETH Zurich he started his doctoral work in mathematics at PĂĄzmĂĄny PĂ©ter University in Budapest. In 1926, he graduated from ETH Zurich. Soon after that, he also received his PhD degree from PĂĄzmĂĄny PĂ©ter. His dissertation was on axiomatization of Cantor's set theory.

Neumann then joined University of GĂ¶ttingen to study mathematics under David Hilbert on a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. On December 13, 1927 he completed his habilitation. By then he had published twelve major papers in mathematics.

## John von Neumann Early Career in Europe

In 1928, Neumann started his career as a privatdozent at the University of Berlin. In the same year, he published âZurTheorie der Gesellschaftsspieleâ (On the Theory of Parlor Games), an important paper in the field of game theory.

All along, he kept on working with Hilbert. The work culminated into his first major book, âThe Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanicsâ; however, it was published much later in 1932.

In 1929, Neumann shifted to University of Hamburg as privatdozent because it offered better scope to become a tenured professor. However, he did not continue there for long.

In October 1929, he was invited to lecture on quantum theory at the Princeton University in New Jersey, USA. He accepted the offer; but since he was engaged to be married, he first went to Budapest to complete the ceremony and then moved to USA with his wife.

## John von Neumann At Princeton University, USA

In 1930, Neumann became a visiting lecturer at Princeton University. Some time now, he started working on the theory of rings of operators with the aim of developing a mathematical technique suitable for quantum phenomenon. The work took almost a decade to finish and is now known as âvon Neumann algebrasâ.

In 1931, he was appointed a full professor. He now began to write a series of articles in which he made foundational contributions to quasi ergodic theory.

However, as a professor of mathematics, he was not very popular with the students. This was because they could not keep up with him and found it hard to follow his fluid lines of thought. He wrote too quickly and rubbed it off before his students could copy it.

Contrarily, he was able to convey the complicated ideas in physics much more easily. After a talk, his students always returned with the feeling that the problem was actually very simple.

In 1933, the Institute of Advance Study was established at Princeton. Neumann became one of the six original Professors in Mathematics at the institute, a position he maintained throughout his life. In the same year, he also became co-editor of the âAnnals of Mathematics.â

Until 1933, every summer he used to return to Germany, where he maintained his academic position. However, with the rise of the Nazis in Germany, he thought it prudent to resign and shifted permanently to Princeton.

In 1935, he became co-editor of âCompositio Mathematica.â Concurrently, he also functioned as the co-editor of Annals of Mathematics and held both these positions until his death.

In 1937, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States of America. Around this time he also anglicized his name into John and added von Neumann as a mark of German nobility.

From 1937 to 1939, von Neumann concentrated on the Lattice Theory, in which he provided an abstract exploration of dimension in complemented modular topological lattices and later founded the field of continuous geometry based on it.

## John von Neumann During Second World War

By late the 1930s, von Neumann had developed an expertise in explosions and became known as the leading authority of the mathematics of shaped charges. Later as the Second World War set in, he decided to join the United States Army, but was rejected because of his age.

Instead, because of his expertise in the mathematics of shaped charges, he was invited to work as a consultant in a number of military projects. Then in late 1943, he was invited to join the Manhattan Project.

At Manhattan, Neumann mainly worked on the explosive lenses, which are capable of compressing the plutonium core of the âFat Manâ, the nuclear bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki. He not only provided the concept, but also contributed to its design. Later as the committee was set up to choose the target cities, Neumann was inducted in it.

Moreover, he also oversaw calculations concerning the impact of the bomb blast, e.g. the estimated size of the blast, expected death tolls, the distance at which the bomb should be denoted for the maximum effect, etc.

## John von Neumann Post War Period

In the post war period, Neumann began to work as a consultant both to the government and the industry. In fact, he started this work even before the end of the War. In 1944, for example, he worked with the U.S. Army contributing important ideas to the development of the hard-wired ENIAC computer.

Later, he worked as a consultant to the RAND Corporation, a think tank charged with planning nuclear strategy for the U.S. Air Force. In this capacity, he supported building of hydrogen bombs. Around 1950, he also advocated nuclear strike to destroy Soviet Unionâs nuclear capability.

In 1954, Neumann was elected a member of the Atomic Energy Commission. He served in that capacity till 1956. During this period, he worked to develop the policy of nuclear deterrence for President Dwight D. Eisenhowerâs administration.

## John von Neumann Major Works

Von Neumann was the founder of many theories such as the Ergodic Theory, the Operator Theory, the Lattice Theory, Game Theory and the Measure Theory as well as a branch of geometry known as continuous geometry and the Von Neumann Algebras.

âTheory of Games and Economic Behaviorâ, which Neumann had co-authored with economist Oskar Morgenstern, is however his most significant work. The book, published in 1944, created the interdisciplinary research field of game theory. The work was based on Neumannâs 1928 research work, âOn the Theory of Parlor Gamesâ.

## John von Neumann Awards & Achievements

John von Neumann had received several awards; among them BĂŽcher Memorial Prize (1938), Navy Distinguished Civilian Service Award (1946), Medal for Merit (1946), Medal of Freedom (1956) and Enrico Fermi Award (1956) are the most significant.

## John von Neumann Personal Life & Legacy

On January 1, 1930, von Neumann married Mariette KĂ¶vesi, who had studied economics at Budapest University. Soon after that, they shifted to the U.S.A, where their only child, Marina von Neumann Whitman, was born. The couple divorced in 1937.

Marina later grew up to be noted economist. She is now a Professor of Business Administration and Public Policy at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business as well as The Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

In October 1938, von Neumann married Klara Dan, a scientist, and a pioneering computer programmer. The couple did not have any children. They remained married until his death in 1957.

In 1955, von Neumann was diagnosed with cancer and his health deteriorated very quickly. In spite of that, he continued to work and in 1956, in an essay written for James Newmanâs âThe World of Mathematicsâ, he defended applied mathematics.

During his last days, fearing that he might reveal military secrets under medication, he was provided with military security. He died on February 8, 1957 at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington DC.

Apart from numerous mathematical formulas named after von Neumann, his legacy is being carried forward by a number of awards and lectures instituted in his honor.

A lunar impact crater that lies on the far side of the Moon, in the northern hemisphere, has also been named Von Neumann after him.

In 2005, he was depicted on 37-cent self adhesive US postage stamp, issued by United States Postal Service.

## John von Neumann Trivia

Unlike most mathematicians, von Neumann worked better under chaotic conditions in living rooms and such places rather than in his study, which was rather secluded. He liked to socialize a lot and entertained regularly at home.

## John von Neumann awards

### Other

- 1956 - Enrico Fermi Award
- 1938 - BĂŽcher Memorial Prize

## John von Neumann biography timelines

- John von Neumann was born as Neumann JĂĄnos Lajos on December 28, 1903 into an affluent family in Budapest. His father, Miksa Neumann, was a banker. His mother, Kann Margit, came from a prosperous merchant family. He had two younger brothers, Michael and Nicholas.28th Dec 1903
- In 1911, JĂĄnos was admitted to Fasori EvangĂ©likus GimnĂĄzium. Here his mathematical talent was quickly spotted by his teacher. Since his father insisted that he studied in grades appropriate to his age, additional especial tuitions were arranged for him to train him in fields in which he displayed an aptitude.1911
- Neumann completed his education at the gymnasium in 1921. Although he wanted to study mathematics his father convinced him to study chemical engineering because it had better prospects. With that aim, he enrolled at the University of Berlin in 1921 for a two-year course in chemistry.1921
- The first paper, written jointly with Fekete, an assistant professor at the University of Budapest who had been tutoring him, was published in 1922. His second paper was published in 1923. In it, he provided the definition of ordinal number, which is still in use.1923
- Thereafter, along with studying chemical engineering at ETH Zurich he started his doctoral work in mathematics at PĂĄzmĂĄny PĂ©ter University in Budapest. In 1926, he graduated from ETH Zurich. Soon after that, he also received his PhD degree from PĂĄzmĂĄny PĂ©ter. His dissertation was on axiomatization of Cantor's set theory.1926
- Neumann then joined University of GĂ¶ttingen to study mathematics under David Hilbert on a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. On December 13, 1927 he completed his habilitation. By then he had published twelve major papers in mathematics.13th Dec 1927
- In 1928, Neumann started his career as a privatdozent at the University of Berlin. In the same year, he published âZurTheorie der Gesellschaftsspieleâ (On the Theory of Parlor Games), an important paper in the field of game theory.1928
- âTheory of Games and Economic Behaviorâ, which Neumann had co-authored with economist Oskar Morgenstern, is however his most significant work. The book, published in 1944, created the interdisciplinary research field of game theory. The work was based on Neumannâs 1928 research work, âOn the Theory of Parlor Gamesâ.1928 To 1944
- In 1929, Neumann shifted to University of Hamburg as privatdozent because it offered better scope to become a tenured professor. However, he did not continue there for long.1929
- In 1930, Neumann became a visiting lecturer at Princeton University. Some time now, he started working on the theory of rings of operators with the aim of developing a mathematical technique suitable for quantum phenomenon. The work took almost a decade to finish and is now known as âvon Neumann algebrasâ.1930
- On January 1, 1930, von Neumann married Mariette KĂ¶vesi, who had studied economics at Budapest University. Soon after that, they shifted to the U.S.A, where their only child, Marina von Neumann Whitman, was born. The couple divorced in 1937.1st Jan 1930
- In 1931, he was appointed a full professor. He now began to write a series of articles in which he made foundational contributions to quasi ergodic theory.1931
- All along, he kept on working with Hilbert. The work culminated into his first major book, âThe Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanicsâ; however, it was published much later in 1932.1932
- In 1933, the Institute of Advance Study was established at Princeton. Neumann became one of the six original Professors in Mathematics at the institute, a position he maintained throughout his life. In the same year, he also became co-editor of the âAnnals of Mathematics.â1933
- In 1935, he became co-editor of âCompositio Mathematica.â Concurrently, he also functioned as the co-editor of Annals of Mathematics and held both these positions until his death.1935
- In 1937, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States of America. Around this time he also anglicized his name into John and added von Neumann as a mark of German nobility.1937
- From 1937 to 1939, von Neumann concentrated on the Lattice Theory, in which he provided an abstract exploration of dimension in complemented modular topological lattices and later founded the field of continuous geometry based on it.1937 To 1939
- John von Neumann had received several awards; among them BĂŽcher Memorial Prize (1938), Navy Distinguished Civilian Service Award (1946), Medal for Merit (1946), Medal of Freedom (1956) and Enrico Fermi Award (1956) are the most significant.1938 To 1956
- In October 1938, von Neumann married Klara Dan, a scientist, and a pioneering computer programmer. The couple did not have any children. They remained married until his death in 1957.1938 To 1957
- In the post war period, Neumann began to work as a consultant both to the government and the industry. In fact, he started this work even before the end of the War. In 1944, for example, he worked with the U.S. Army contributing important ideas to the development of the hard-wired ENIAC computer.1944
- Later, he worked as a consultant to the RAND Corporation, a think tank charged with planning nuclear strategy for the U.S. Air Force. In this capacity, he supported building of hydrogen bombs. Around 1950, he also advocated nuclear strike to destroy Soviet Unionâs nuclear capability.1950
- In 1954, Neumann was elected a member of the Atomic Energy Commission. He served in that capacity till 1956. During this period, he worked to develop the policy of nuclear deterrence for President Dwight D. Eisenhowerâs administration.1954
- In 1955, von Neumann was diagnosed with cancer and his health deteriorated very quickly. In spite of that, he continued to work and in 1956, in an essay written for James Newmanâs âThe World of Mathematicsâ, he defended applied mathematics.1955
- During his last days, fearing that he might reveal military secrets under medication, he was provided with military security. He died on February 8, 1957 at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington DC.8th Feb 1957

## Frequently asked questions about John von Neumann

#### What is John von Neumann birthday?

John von Neumann was born at December 28, 1903

#### Where is John von Neumann's birth place?

John von Neumann was born in Budapest

#### What is John von Neumann nationalities?

John von Neumann's nationalities is Hungarian,American

#### Who is John von Neumann spouses?

John von Neumann's spouses is Klara Dan

#### Who is John von Neumann childrens?

John von Neumann's childrens is Marina von Neumann Whitman

#### What was John von Neumann universities?

John von Neumann studied at University of Budapest, ETH Zurich university

#### Who is John von Neumann's father?

John von Neumann's father is Neumann Miksa

#### Who is John von Neumann's mother?

John von Neumann's mother is Kann Margit

#### What is John von Neumann's sun sign?

John von Neumann is Capricorn

#### When was John von Neumann died?

John von Neumann was died at February 8, 1957

#### Where was John von Neumann died?

John von Neumann was died in Washington, D.C.

#### Which age was John von Neumann died?

John von Neumann was died at age 53