# John von Neumann

Updated: 04/30/2020 by Computer Hope

**Name:** Neumann János Lajos

**Born:** December 28, 1903, Budapest, Austria-Hungary

**Death:** February 8, 1957 (Age: 53)

## Computer-related contributions

- Helped create von Neumann architecture, a single-memory stored program architecture still in use today.
- Although not described as a computer virus, John von Neumann is the first to describe how a computer program could reproduce itself.
- First to implement the Monte Carlo method algorithm in a computer, which solves deterministic problems with probabilistic simulations.
- Developed a process of generating pseudorandom numbers.
- Helped develop flowcharts.
- Credited as creator of the merge sort algorithm.
- Pioneer of the application of operator theory to quantum mechanics.
- Key member of the Manhattan Project and resolved the nuclear physics involved in thermonuclear reactions and the hydrogen bomb.
- Created the field of cellular automata.

## Significant publications

- Theory of Self-Reproducing Automata (1966).
- Collected Works of John von Neumann (1963).
- First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC (1945).
- Theory of Games and Economic Behavior (1944).
- Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics (1932).
- An axiomatization of set theory (1925).
- On the introduction of transfinite numbers (1923).
- Authored 150 published papers in his life; 60 in pure mathematics, 20 in physics, and 60 in applied mathematics.

## Honors and awards

- Often regarded as one of the greatest mathematicians in modern history.
- Presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Dwight Eisenhower on February 15, 1956.
- Awarded the Enrico Fermi Award in 1956.
- On of four scientists commemorated on a US postage stamp.
- The crater Von Neumann on the Moon is named after him.
- The John von Neumann Computing Center in Princeton, New Jersey was named in his honor.
- The professional society of Hungarian computer scientists, John von Neumann Computer Society, is named after John von Neumann.
- The John von Neumann Medal is awarded annually by the IEEE.
- John von Neumann Award of the Rajk László College for Advanced Studies was named in his honor.