John Von Neumann: The Scientific Genius who Pioneered the Modern Computer, Game Theory, Nuclear Deterrence, and Much More

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American Mathematical Soc., 1999 - Biography & Autobiography - 405 pages
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This volume is the reprinted edition of the first full-scale biography of the man widely regarded as the greatest scientist of the century after Einstein. Born in Budapest in 1903, John von Neumann grew up in one of the most extraordinary of scientific communities. From his arrival in America in the mid-1930s - with bases in Boston, Princeton, Washington, and Los Alamos - von Neumann pioneered and participated in the major scientific and political dramas of the next three decades, leaving his mark on more fields of scientific endeavor than any other scientist.Von Neumann's work in areas such as game theory, mathematics, physics, and meteorology formed the building blocks for the most important discoveries of the century: the modern computer, game theory, the atom bomb, radar, and artificial intelligence, to name just a few. From the laboratory to the highest levels of government, this definitive biography gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the politics and personalities involved in these world-changing discoveries. Written more than 30 years after von Neumann's untimely death at age 54, it was prepared with the cooperation of his family and includes information gained from interviewing countless sources across Europe and America. Norman Macrae paints a highly readable, humanizing portrait of a man whose legacy still influences and shapes modern science and knowledge.

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JOHN VON NEUMANN: The Scientific Genius Who Pioneered the Modern Computer, Game Theory, and Nuclear Deterrance

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Macrae, former editor of the Economist and author of The 2025 Report (1985), offers an oddly jocular biography of the Hungarian mathematical prodigy who would become a highly influential cold warrior ... Read full review

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I have almost finished this book. I assume the rest part would not change my impression.
This is a book about genius and assiduous great soul of our age. It is inevitable that at the first glare
, it feels tedious and trifle about the background. I nearly gave up when I managed to cross the first chapter. I take a cup of coffee and decide to read at least another chapter. I had adapted to it before I finished the second part.
I figured that If I want to walk through such a great demigod's life which impacted our life so much, it is necessary to know his Jewish family and the European elite education he underwent. Also , his contemporary colleges who although usually were less clever than him also served well as supporting roles. Really, if we hold grudge to learn just the importance of Johnny's achievements, we would hardly realize what his relentless thinking and work mean to us. Fortunately, the biographer correctly chose to be less flattering to the readers, and depicted a very complete picture of Johnny's glossy life, with clarity maybe partly inspired by Johnny himself.
It's not a legend fiction. Even the affairs and anecdotes are carefully filtered and selected. It's not a book which you would most like to read after a day's heavy work to relax your nervous heart. However, it would bring you into a clever man's thought, hopefully you will enjoy the journey after the previous adaptation.

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