
AMS Presidents: A Timeline
AMS Presidents: A Timeline home page

31. John von Neumann (19031957)
President 19511952
Ph.D. University of Budapest, Hungary, 1926
John von Neumann is perhaps best known known for his work in the early development of computers: As director of the Electronic Computer Project at Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study (19451955), he developed MANIAC (mathematical analyzer, numerical integrator and computer), which was at the time the fastest computer of its kind. He also made important contributions in the fields of mathematical logic, the foundations of quantum mechanics, economics and game theory. He was born in Budapest and received his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering there before coming to the U.S. His principal academic appointment was as professor at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ, from 1933 until his death in 1957, and he also worked on the Manhattan project to develop atomic weapons. He began the study of game theory and cowrote the classic text Theory of Games and Economic Behaviour with Oskar Morgenstern. In 1938, von Neumann was awarded the AMS Bôcher Memorial Prize. He was one of the most outstanding and best known mathematicians to serve as AMS president, and was a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.


For more information:

History of the Second Fifty Years: American Mathematical Society, 19391988, by Everett Pitcher (AMS, 1988), which includes AMS Presidents from 19391988 (and reports on all aspects of the Society during the period).

The MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive

Mathematics Genealogy Project

John von Neumann, 19031957, History of Economic Thought website

John von Neumann (19031957), University of Maryland website

John von Neumann, "Distinguished Members Gallery," National Academy of Sciences website

John Louis von Neumann, History of Computing, Virginia Tech/Norfolk State University website

John von Neumann, Princeton University website

John von Neumann, "Big Ideas," Educational Broadcasting Corporation (includes online video)

Who's That Mathematician? Images from the Paul R. Halmos Photograph Collection

AMS Presidents: A Timeline home page

