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  John von Neumann

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John von Neumann (1903-1957)

Budapest born bon vivant and mathematical genius whose work redefined the fields of quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, philosophy, economics (inventing game theory), and computing. He emigrated to the U. S. from Germany in 1933 and joined the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. He worked on high-speed calculations for A-bomb development at Los Alamos, and later became an influential advocate for the arms race. Inspired by the Turing machine and the structure of the brain, he established the architecture for nearly all digital computers, foreseeing their future speed and ability. Before he died from cancer caused by radiation exposure, he tried to develop an information theory involving cellular automata which could unify the mechanisms of computing and life. He directly influenced and was influenced by his contemporaries Wiener and Turing.

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