(December 28, 1903 – February 8, 1957)
An iconic genius, a consummate mathematician, and among the most innovative minds of his generation: John von Neumann matured from a child prodigy to become one of the leading scientists of the 20th century. His contributions spanned a wide range of fields such as: Analysis, Geometry, Topology, Matrix Theory, Game Theory, Statistics, Hydrodynamics, etc. He excelled in pure and applied maths: pioneering works in computer science while advancing others in quantum physics. His collaboration with Paul Dirac led to the establishment of the first punctilious math framework for quantum mechanics. He generalized the Spectral Theorem (for use in Operator Theory); and was the first to state and prove the Minimax Theorem. His math models were instrumental to the nuclear and thermonuclear researches of the Manhattan Project. After that project, both the U.S. Army and the Air force solicited his consultancy services. Having analyzed the mechanisms of artificial intelligence, von Neumann developed cellular automata and pioneered works in linear programming, as well as in stochastic computing. Apart from co-inventing storable computer programme (with Alan Turing and Claude Shannon), he is credited as the first to apply finite element analysis, pseudo-random number generation and the merge-sort algorithm to computing. His vast scientific works culminated in over 150 publications. As a mark of honor, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ medal for outstanding achievements in computer-related science and technology is named after him. He is also the eponym of both the 22824 von Neumann minor planet and the von Neumann lunar crater.