JOHN VON NEUMANN – The Father of Set theory/ The game planner of Mathematics
Jon Von Neumann was born on December 28th, 1903 in Budapest, Hungary. His name was Janos Lajos Margittai Neumann. He had been granted his grandfather hereditary title in 1913 as Von to his surname. His parents were Neumann Miksa and Kann Margit. His father was a doctor of laws and worked in a bank as a lawyer. His mother belonged to a prosperous family.
Neumann showed incredible memory since when he was a child. He used to have photographic memory and used to memorize and recite back in few minutes. He was interested in mathematics since childhood. He could divide eight digit numbers when he was just six years old. By the age of 8 he read all forty four volumes of the universal history in his family library.
Neumann received lot of encouragement from his parents and being a genius they never forced or pushed their child to be more successful soon. He received his primary education under the guidance of M.Fekete. He also published his paper with the same teacher at the age of 18. He entered the University of Budapest in 1921. There he studied chemistry and received his diploma in 1925 in Chemical Engineering. He returned to Maths after receiving doctorate in 1928.
Neumann got married to Mariette Kovesi in 1930. She was his friend since childhood. They had a daughter in 1935. He was never helpful in child caring or household work as he considered it to be wife’s job. Hence the gap occurred between them and they finally broke up in 1936. Later he met Klara Dan and they got married in 1938.
Neumann was invited to Princeton University in 1930 and he was appointed as original professor of Mathematics in the newly founded Institute of Advance Studies in 1933. He remained there till his death. He received Bocher memorial prize for his work in analysis in 1938. Later he started working for the Manhattan project in 1943. He tackled the huge calculations needed for the construction of an atomic bomb. There he started developing interest towards computers. He largely contributed to the construction of the first modern computers. His area of interest was game theory which deals with the study of conflict between two opponents seeking to arrive at two different goals beating each other. He also laid a methodical foundation for quantum mechanics and in algorithms too along with field of numerical hydrodynamics.
He was termed to be a practical joker and the life of party. He loved games and toys. He was diagnosed with cancer and he worked for more time as he wanted to achieve more before he die. He used to attend all family ceremonies held in his honor using a wheelchair. He died on February 8th, 1957 after 18 months after he was diagnosed with cancer.