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The Hungarian-US mathematician, John von Neumann

The Hungarian-US mathematician, John von Neumann

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SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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The Hungarian-American mathematician, John von Neumann, 1903-1957. Born in Budapest, and educated there, in Berlin and Gottingen, he went to America in 1930. Von Neumann did work in many branches of advanced mathematics: he showed that Schrodinger's wave mechanics and Heisenberg's matrix mechanics were mathematically equivalent. He developed "game theory" in his book: The Theory of Games and Economic Behavior. But is principally remembered for the concept of the "stored-program computer" (called von Neumann machines) whose two components are a memory and a control unit. Modern computers all work in this way. He worked on the US atomic bomb project, and received the Fermi Award (1956).

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