John von Neumann

Robbert Dijkgraaf, Director and Leon Levy Professor, gives a talk to incoming scholars on the history and mission of the Institute during Welcome Day on September 25, 2017. 

The following excerpt is from the article “Can We Survive Technology?” by John von Neumann, published by Fortune magazine in 1955. Von Neumann was among the Institute’s first Professors and its youngest. Having pioneered the modern computer, game theory, nuclear deterrence, and more, von Neumann illuminated the fields of pure and applied mathematics, computer science, physics, and economics. 

In 2012–13, the Institute’s School of Mathematics hosted a special year devoted to the topic “Univalent Foundations of Mathematics,” organized by Steve Awodey, Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, Thierry Coquand, Professor at the University...

The history of digital computing can be divided into an Old Testament whose prophets, led by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, supplied the logic, and a New Testament whose prophets, led by John von Neumann, built the machines. Alan Turing, whose “On...

What explains “the unreasonable effectiveness” of mathematics, as the late Princeton University physicist Eugene Wigner phrased it, in answering questions about the real world?

Natural phenomena could have been structured in a way...

This sketch of earlier attempts to bring biology to the Institute for Advanced Study is not a history. I have not dug into the archives to find official documents and exact dates. I am only recording my own fallible memories of events that I...

Seventy-five years ago, after nearly four years of discussion and planning, the Institute for Advanced Study opened on Monday, October 2, 1933. The Director, Abraham Flexner, called together the Faculty of its only school, the School of...

Kurt Gödel’s achievement in modern logic is singular and monumental—indeed it is more than a monument, it is a landmark which will remain visible far in space and time.
—John von Neumann

Upon presenting Kurt Gödel (1906-1978...