Von Neumann John 190357

JOHN von NEuMANN is a Hungarian-born American mathematician who contributed important theories to all the different branches of the discipline. His discoveries influenced quantum theory, automata theory, economics, and defense planning. Von Neumann was one of the founders of game theory and, along with Alan Turing and Claude Shannon, was one of the conceptual inventors of the stored-program digital computer. He is mostly remembered in the field of global warming for his elaboration of general circulation models and for his 1955 article in Fortune, in which he stated that "microscopic layers of colored matter spread on an icy surface, or in the atmosphere above one, could inhibit the reflection-radiation process, melt the ice, and change the local climate." This is one of the earliest conceptualizations of the problem of global warming.

John Von Neumann was born Janos Neumann in Budapest, Hungary, on December 28, 1903, into a wealthy and completely assimilated Jewish family. His father was a banker, and his mother originally came from a family who made a fortune selling farm equipment. John was a child prodigy and was initially educated by private tutors in mathematics and foreign languages. In 1911, he entered Budapest's most prestigious school, the Lutheran Gymnasium. When Bela Kun established his revolutionary government, Von Neumann's family fled Hungary and briefly emigrated to Austria. Kun's government failed after only five months. Because it was mainly composed by Jews, Von Neumann's family, no matter how hostile to the regime, was blamed, together with many other Jews, for the brutality of the revolutionary government. In 1921, Von Neumann completed his education at the gymnasium and his father strongly advised him to take up a career in business and not in mathematics, where Von Neumann's talent was already obvious. His father was afraid that mathematics would not allow Von Neumann to lead a wealthy and comfortable existence. As a compromise, it was decided that Von Neumann would study both chemistry and mathematics. In spite of the strict quotas for Jewish entry to university, Von Neumann succeeded in attending the University of Budapest for mathematics and the University of Berlin for chemistry. He later switched to the Swiss Federal Institute in Zürich, from where he graduated with a degree in chemical engineering in 1925. The following year, he obtained a doctorate in mathematics from the University of Budapest.

Von Neumann quickly gained a reputation in set theory, algebra, and quantum mechanics. In particular, his paper "An Axiomatization of Set Theory" (1925) was read and appreciated by the famous mathematician David Hilbert. Because of Hilbert's interest, Von Neumann worked at the University of Göttingen in 1926 and 1927. Von Neumann was then employed as a Privatdozent ("private lecturer") at the Universities of Berlin (1927-29) and Hamburg (1929-30). At a time when Europe was characterized by political unrest and totalitarianism, he was invited to visit Princeton University in 1929 to lecture on quantum theory. He was then hired at Princeton as visiting professor the following year, although teaching was not one of his strongest assets, and when the Institute for Advanced Studies was founded there in 1933, he was appointed to be one of the original six professors of mathematics, a position he retained for the rest of his life. In 1930, Von Neumann married Mariette Koevesi. They

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