Great thinkers whose work has helped shaped today's world.

John von Neumann

LANL, Attribution, via Wikimedia Commons

1903

1957

John von Neumann was a brilliant mathematician known for his pioneering work in various fields, including game theory, quantum mechanics, and computer science. Born in Hungary in 1903, von Neumann made significant contributions to mathematics during his career.

One area he is best known for is his work in game theory, which studies strategic interactions between rational decision-makers. School students may understand game theory as a mathematical approach to analyzing strategic decisions and outcomes in situations like rock-paper-scissors or chess.

In addition to game theory, von Neumann also played a crucial role in the development of quantum mechanics, a branch of physics that deals with phenomena at the atomic and subatomic levels. Students may be familiar with the concept of quantum mechanics as the study of particles like electrons and photons.

Furthermore, von Neumann's involvement in computer science revolutionized the field through his contributions to the design of modern computers. His work on the architecture of stored-program digital computers laid the foundation for digital computing as we know it today. School students may recognize this as the fundamental principles behind how computers process information and perform calculations.

Overall, John von Neumann was a remarkable mathematician whose work continues to influence various fields of study, making him a celebrated figure in the world of mathematics and science.

Appreciate the work of John von Neumann by trying some of the maths that this mathematician is known for.

There is an activity called Ultimate Noughts and Crosses that you could try right now. A game requiring you to devise a strategy far more complex than that required for the standard game.

So there's no better time than the present to learn some mathematics from the past: let's Go!

Transum has many activities for the topic 'Games' and recommends you try some of them.

Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today: let's Go!

Print this large QR code and display it on your classroom's History of Mathematics timeline. When people scan the code with their phones, they'll be directed to this page about John von Neumann.