School of Information Science - Hall of Fame

John von Neumann
  • John von Neumann
  • Born: December 3, 1903
  • Died: February 8, 1957
  • Field: Mathematics; physics; economics; computer science
  • Focus: Versatile and brilliant scientist whose theories and contributions had tremendous and wide-spread influence.
  • Country: Hungary
  • Era: 1900 to 1949

John von Neumann was truly one of the most well-rounded and versatile scholars of the 20th century. His works crossed many areas of study and he is recognized for his essential contributions to mathematics, quantum physics, logic, meteorology, computer science and economics. His mathematical work on high-speed calculations for H-bomb development contributed to the development of computers, and he also introduced game theory (1944), which was a major influence on economics.

Von Neumann was recognized as a child prodigy in mathematics. At the age of eight, he was able to divide eight digit numbers in his head and was known to amuse family members by reciting memorized lists of facts and figures. He attended the University of Budapest from 1921-25, receiving a diploma in Chemical Engineering. He continued to study in both Berlin and Zurich and completed his doctoral degree in mathematics at the University of Budapest in 1928 at the age of 23.

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