Public Figure Profiles

John von Neumann

John von Neumann (December 28, 1903 – February 8, 1957) was a Hungarian-American mathematician, physicist, computer scientist, engineer and polymath. Von Neumann was regarded as perhaps the mathematician with the widest coverage of the subject in his time and was said to have been "the last representative of the great mathematicians who were equally at home in pure and applied mathematics". He integrated pure and applied sciences.

Von Neumann made major contributions to many fields, including mathematics (foundations of mathematics, functional analysis, ergodic theory, group theory, lattice theory, representation theory, operator algebras, geometry, and numerical analysis), physics (quantum mechanics, hydrodynamics, nuclear physics and quantum statistical mechanics), economics (game theory and general equilibrium theory), computing (Von Neumann architecture, linear programming, numerical meteorology, scientific computing, self-replicating machines, stochastic computing), and statistics. He was a pioneer of the application of operator theory to quantum mechanics in the development of functional analysis, and a key figure in the development of game theory and the concepts of cellular automata, the universal constructor and the digital computer.

Von Neumann published over 150 papers in his life: about 60 in pure mathematics, 60 in applied mathematics, 20 in physics, and the remainder on special mathematical subjects or non-mathematical ones. His last work, an unfinished manuscript written while he was in the hospital, was later published in book form as The Computer and the Brain.

His analysis of the structure of self-replication preceded the discovery of the structure of DNA. In a shortlist of facts about his life he submitted to the National Academy of Sciences, he wrote, "The part of my work I consider most essential is that on quantum mechanics, which developed in Göttingen in 1926, and subsequently in Berlin in 1927–1929. Also, my work on various forms of operator theory, Berlin 1930 and Princeton 1935–1939; on the ergodic theorem, Princeton, 1931–1932."During World War II, von Neumann worked on the Manhattan Project with theoretical physicist Edward Teller, mathematician Stanislaw Ulam and others, problem-solving key steps in the nuclear physics involved in thermonuclear reactions and the hydrogen bomb. He developed the mathematical models behind the explosive lenses used in the implosion-type nuclear weapon and coined the term "kiloton" (of TNT) as a measure of the explosive force generated. After the war, he served on the General Advisory Committee of the United States Atomic Energy Commission, eventually becoming commissioner, and consulted for many organizations including the United States Air Force, the Army's Ballistic Research Laboratory, the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project, and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. As a Hungarian émigré, concerned that the Soviets would achieve nuclear superiority, he designed and promoted the policy of mutually assured destruction to limit the arms race.

In honor of his achievements and contributions to the modern world, he was named in 1999 the Financial Times Person of the Century, as a representative of the century's characteristic ideal that the power of the mind could shape the physical world, and of the "intellectual brilliance and human savagery" that defined the 20th century.

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Some of their strengths

John von Neumann has many admirable traits.

Based on spiritual traditions from around the world, they are someone who can be described as Generous, Loyal, Honest, Energetic, Passionate, Truthful, and Social.

Smart and Hardworking

According to Mysticism’s Astrology tradition, John von Neumann is someone who is a smart, hardworking, reliable, and loyal person, who is detail-oriented and orderly, but also generous and optimistic. A person who is ambitious and motivated.

Active and Precise

Based on Daoism’s Ba-Zi or ‘Chinese Zodiac’ tradition, people who know John von Neumann well know them as someone who can be tough, active, and sharp, like a sword.

Truthful and Kind

According to Hinduism’s Jyotisha or ‘Vedic Astrology’ tradition, many would also describe John von Neumann as someone who is honest, compassionate, imaginative, and instinctual.

A person who enjoys new challlenges, is a magnet for attracting other creative types, good at identifying opportunities, and who is good at forming loyal, lifelong friendships.

Intelligent and Leadership-oriented

Based on the Mayan Tzolk’in or ‘Mayan Astrology’ tradition, John von Neumann is someone who is able to see things that others don't, and who can be an effective guide or mentor to others.

They are also someone who is calm, comforting, and stable, and who loves stability and being a good friend and loyal partner.

Patient and Perseverent

According to Judaism’s Kabbalah tradition, John von Neumann tends to be someone who is patient, faithful, hardworking and persistent, and who wants to achieve a lot in life. Who tends to be rather private when it comes to expressing feelings, enjoys being independent and self-sufficient, and who is not afraid of any obstacle.

Some of John von Neumann's challenges

While John von Neumann has many strengths, nobody is perfect. They also have some challenging traits they need to manage.

For example, John von Neumann can be Stubborn, Impulsive, Aggressive, Suspicious, Short-tempered, Unrealistic, and Indecisive.

Suspicious and Stubborn

One of John von Neumann's key challenges is that they are someone who can be suspicious and stubborn.

Unrealistic and Indecisive

John von Neumann is someone who can be unrealistic, indecisive, and lacking in confidence, who can be impulsive when it comes to making important decisions, have difficulty collaborating with others, can be argumentative and not willling to accept criticism, and who can be disappointed by the high expectations they place on others.

Callous and Stubborn

Finally, John von Neumann also can come across as cold and unemotional, be too dismissive of others' opinions, and be overly suspicious, selfish and crafty.

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