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The Princeton Companion to Mathematics by Imre Leader, June Barrow-Green, Timothy Gowers

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VI.91 John von Neumann

b. Budapest, 1903; d. Washington, District of Columbia, 1957

Axiomatic set theory;quantum physics; measure theory; ergodic theory; operator theory; algebraic geometry;theory of games; computer engineering; computer science

Raised as a Hungarian Jew in the Austrian Empire, Neumann János Lajos’s political outlook was strongly affected by the five-month reign of the communist Béla Kun’s regime after World War I. It formed his liberal and democratic political credo (although he did insist on retaining the title of nobility “margittai,” acquired by his father in 1913, which he later translated to the German “von”). He was a child prodigy, learning several languages and demonstrating an early enthusiasm for mathematics.

During ...

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