# John von Neumann

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

**Died:**February 8, 1957 (Washington, DC)

## Education

**1921–1923:**University of Berlin**1925:**ECh, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, Zurich**1926:**PhD, University of Budapest

## Major Positions

**1926–1926:**University of Göttingen, Rockefeller Fellow**1927–1929:**University of Berlin, Privatdozent**1929–1929:**University of Hamburg, Privatdozent**1930–1931:**Princeton University, Lecturer**1931–1933:**Institute for Advanced Study, Visiting Professor of Mathematical Physics**1933–1957:**Institute for Advanced Study, Permanent Member and Research Professor**1955–1957:**United States Atomic Energy Commission, Commissioner

## Other Positions

**1945–1957:**Institute for Advanced Study, Director, Electronic Computer Project**1951–1953:**American Mathematical Society, President

## Selected Part-Time Positions

**1940–1957:**Member, Scientific Advisory Committee, Ballistics Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, United States Army**1941–1955:**Consultant, Bureau of Ordnance, United States Navy**1943–1955:**Consultant, Los Alamos National Laboratory**1947–1955:**Consultant, Naval Ordnance Laboratory, United States Navy**1949–1953:**Member, Research and Development Board, United States Department of Defense**1949–1954:**Consultant, Oak Ridge National Laboratory**1950–1955:**Consultant, Armed Forces Special Weapons Project**1950–1955:**Consultant, Weapons Systems Evaluation Group, United States Department of Defense**1950–1957:**Member, Board of Advisors, University of the Andes**1951–1957:**Member, Scientific Advisory Board, United States Air Force**1952–1954:**Member, General Advisory Committee, United States Atomic Energy Commission**1953–1957:**Member, Technical Advisory Board on Atomic Energy, United States Department of Defense**1954–1957:**Chair, Advisory Committee on Guided Missiles, United States Department of Defense

## Selected Awards and Honors

**1937:**National Academy of Sciences, Member**1956:**United States Atomic Energy Commission, Enrico Fermi Award

## Archival Resources

Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Washington, DC

Online Finding Aid

## Published Resources

S. Bochner, "John von Neumann: 1903-1957", *Biographical Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences*

Steve J. Heims, *John von Neumann and Norbert Wiener: From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life
and Death* (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1980)

Tamás Legendi and Tibor Szentivanyi, *Leben und Werk von John von Neumann: Ein Zusammenfassender Uberblick* (Mannheim : Bibliographisches Institut, 1983)

Mohammed Dore, Sukhamoy Chakravarty, and Richard Goodwin, eds., *John von Neumann and Modern Economics* (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989)

William Aspray, *John von Neumann and the Origins of Modern Computing* (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1990)

James Glimm, John Impagliazzo, and Isadore Singer, eds., *The Legacy of John von Neumann* (Providence: American Mathematical Society, 1990)

Norman Macrae, *John von Neumann* (New York: Pantheon Books, 1992)

William Poundstone, *Prisoner's Dilemma: John von Neumann, Game Theory, and the Puzzle of the
Bomb* (New York: Doubleday, 1992)

Miklós Rédei and Michael Stöltzner, eds., *John von Neumann and the Foundations of Quantum Physics* (Boston: Klewer Academic, 2001)

László Kovács, *László Rátz and John von Neumann: A Gifted Teacher and His Brilliant
Pupil* (Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2003)

István Hargittai, *The Martians of Science: Five Physicists Who Changed the Twentieth
Century* (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006)

Robert Leonard, *Von Neumann, Morgerstern, and the Creation of Game Theory: From Chess to Social
Science, 1900-1960* (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010)

John Todd, "John von Neumann and the National Accounting Machine," *SIAM Review* 16 (1974): 525-530

Trevor J. Pinch, "What Does a Proof Do If It Does Not Prove? A Study of the Social Conditions and
Metaphysical Divisions Leading to David Bohm and John von Neumann Failing to
Communicate in Quantum Physics," in *Social Production of Scientific Knowledge*, ed. Everett Mendelsohn (Dordrecht: Reidel: 1977), 171-216

Steve J. Heims, "Gregory Bateson and the Mathematicians: From Interdisciplinary Interaction to
Societal Functions," *Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences* 13 (1977): 141-159

Nancy Stern, "John von Neumann's Influence on Electronic Digital Computing, 1944-1946," *Annals of the History of Computing* 2 (1980): 349-362

Stanislaw Ulam, "John von Neumann, 1903-1957," *Annals of the History of Computing* 4 (1982): 157-181

Herman H. Goldstine, "The Role of John von Neumann in the Computer Field," in *Springs of Scientific Creativity: Essays on Founders of Modern Science*, ed. Rutherford Aris (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press: 1983), 308-327

Marcello Cini, "The Context of Discovery and the Context of Validation: The Proposals of Von
Neumann and Wiener in the Development of 20th-Century Physics," *Rivista di Storia della Scienza* 2 (1985): 99-122

William Aspray, "The Mathematical Reception of the Modern Computer: John von Neumann and the
Institute for Advanced Study Computer," in *Studies in the History of Mathematics*, ed. Esther R. Phillips (Washington, DC: Mathematical Institute of America: 1987), 166-194

Helmut Schnelle, "Turing Naturalized: Von Neumann's Unfinished Project," in *Universal Turing Machine: A Half-Century Survey*, ed. Rolf Herken (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press: 1988), 539-559

Jean R. Brink and C. Roland Haden, eds., "The Computer and the Brain: An International Symposium in Commemoration of John
von Neumann (1903-1957)," *Annals of the History of Computing* 11 (1989): 159-201

William Aspray, "The Transformation of Numerical Analysis by the Computer: An Example from the
Work of John von Neumann," in *History of Modern Mathematics, Vol. 2*, ed. David E. Rowe and John McCleary (Boston: Academic Press: 1989), 307-322

Philip Mirowski, "What Were von Neumann and Morgenstern Trying to Accomplish?," in *Toward a History of Game Theory*, ed. E. Roy Weintraub (Durham: Duke University Press: 1992)

Urs Rellstab, "New Insights into the Collaboration between John von Neumann and Oskar
Morgenstern on the 'Theory of Games and Economic Behavior'," in *Toward a History of Game Theory*, ed. E. Roy Weintraub (Durham: Duke University Press: 1992)

Paul A. Samuelson, "Economics and Thermodynamics: Von Neumann's Problematic Conjecture," in *Rational Interaction: Essays in Honor of John C. Harsanyi*, ed. Reinhard Selten (Berlin: Springer: 1992)

Michael D. Godfrey and David F. Hendry, "The Computer as Von Neumann Planned It," *Annals of the History of Computing* 15 (1993): 11-21

Louis Caruana, "John von Neumann's 'Impossibility Proof' in a Historical Perspective," *Physis: Rivista Internazionale di Storia della Scienza* 32 (1995): 109-124

Henry Krips, "Rhetoric, Ideology, and Desire in von Neumann's 'Gründlagen'," in *Science, Reason, and Rhetoric*, ed. Henry Krips, et al. (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press: 1995), 279-293

Luca Dell'Aglio, "Divergences in the History of Mathematics: Borel, von Neumann, and the Genesis of
Game Theory," *Rivista di Storia della Scienza* 3 (1995): 1-45

Miklós Rédei, "Why John von Neumann Did Not Like the Hilbert Space Formalism of Quantum
Mechanics (and What He Liked Instead)," *Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics* 27 (1996): 493-510

Eftichios Bitsakis, "On the Validity of Von Neumann's Theorem," in *Issues and Images in the Philosophy of Science*, ed. Dimitri Ginev and Robert S. Cohen (Dordrecht: Kluwer: 1997), 47-62

Lily E. Kay, "Cybernetics, Information, Life: The Emergence of Scriptural Representations of
Heredity," *Configurations: A Journal of Literature, Science, and Technology* 5 (1997): 23-91

Pierre Marchal, "John von Neumann: The Founding Father of Artificial Life," *Arificial Life* 4 (1998): 229-235

Eloína Peláez, "The Stored-Program Computer: Two Conceptions," *Social Studies of Science* 29 (1999): 359-389

Jan Lacki, "The Early Axiomatizations of Quantum Mechanics: Jordan, von Neumann, and the
Continuation of Hilbert's Program," *Archive for History of Exact Sciences* 54 (2000): 279-318

Tinne Hoff Kjeldsen, "John von Neumann's Conception of the Minimax Theorem: A Journey through Different
Mathematical Contexts," *Archive for History of Exact Sciences* 56 (2001): 39-68

Amy Dahan Dalmédico, "History and Epistemology of Models: Meteorology (1946-1963) as a Case
Study," *Archive for History of Exact Sciences* 55 (2001): 395-422

Giorgio Israel and Ana Millán Gasca, "Von Neumann : La Matematica per il Dominio della Realtà," *Grandi della Scienza* 5 (2002): 4-95

Joseph D. Zund, "George David Birkhoff and John von Neumann: A Question of Priority and the
Ergodic Theorems, 1931-1932," *Historia Mathematica* 29 (2002): 138-156

Antonio Venezia, "Un Caso Storico Irrisolto: Le Critiche di Popper alla Logica Quantistica di
Birkhoff e Von Neumann," *Historia Mathematica* 29 (2002): 138-156

Leah Henderson, "The von Neumann Entropy: A Reply to Shenker," *British Journal for the Philosophy of Science* 54 (2003): 291-296

Angelo Guerraggio and Elena Molho, "The Origins of Quasi-Concavity: A Development between Mathematics and
Economics," *Historica Mathematica* 31 (2004): 62-75

Lon Becker, "That von Neumann Did Not Believe in a Physical Collapse," *British Journal for the Philosophy of Science* 55 (2004): 121-135

Salim Rashid, "John von Neumann and Scientific Method," *Journal of the History of Ideas* 68 (2007): 501-527

Jeremy Bernstein, "John von Neumann and Klaus Fuchs: An Unlikely Collaboration," *Physics in Perspective* 12 (2010): 36-50

Giambattista Formica, "Von Neumann's Methodology of Science: From Incompleteness Theorems to Later
Foundational Reflections," *Perspective on Science* 18 (2010): 480-499