America 1930-1939: Science and Technology Research Article from American Decades

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1903-1957
Mathematician, Physicist, Computer Pioneer

Polymath.

In an age of increasing specialization within the sciences, John von Neumann seemed to be involved in everything, from mathematics to physics to computers. During the 1930s he was notable for his applications of mathematics to quantum physics and his pioneering work in game theory. He possessed an inquisitive mind and an extraordinary ability to learn about new fields quickly and offer solutions others had not considered.

Prodigy.

Born Johann von Neumann in Budapest, Hungary, in 1903, at age twenty he offered a definition of ordinal numbers that was adopted everywhere. He completed a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering at the Zurich Institute in 1925, and the following year, at age twenty-three, a Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Budapest. His dissertation on set theory was also widely influential. At age twenty-nine he published Mathematische Grundlagen der Quantenmechanik (1932; translated...

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This section contains 344 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the America 1930-1939: Science and Technology Encyclopedia Article
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America 1930-1939: Science and Technology from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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