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Biographies [John von Neumann, 1903-1957]
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Biographies [John von Neumann, 1903-1957]

Author: Stanislas Ulam
Edition/Format: Article Article
Publication:Annals of the History of Computing, v4 n2 (198204): 157-181
Summary:
The author starts with a short chronological life history of John von Neumann (1903-1957), followed by a few words on his personal characteristics. The bulk of the biography is an account of von Neumann's diverse achievements, in which each contribution is described, analyzed, and its ultimate importance and influence explained. The breadth of von Neumann's interests and accomplishments was such that this paper  Read more...
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Details

Document Type: Article
All Authors / Contributors: Stanislas Ulam
ISSN:0164-1239
Unique Identifier: 5872067727
Awards:

Abstract:

The author starts with a short chronological life history of John von Neumann (1903-1957), followed by a few words on his personal characteristics. The bulk of the biography is an account of von Neumann's diverse achievements, in which each contribution is described, analyzed, and its ultimate importance and influence explained. The breadth of von Neumann's interests and accomplishments was such that this paper reviews "a large part of the whole scientific development" of the three decades preceding his death. The biography is remarkable for the grace, skill, and comprehensiveness with which the author shows von Neumann's accomplishments and puts them into the appropriate scientific and historical context. The author is in a unique position to do this: he writes extremely well, he has the ability to make difficult things un derstandable, and he knew von Neumann for 25 years. He is also a leading mathematician and has the background and ability to comment on von Neumann's work.

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