John von Neumann
Accepting an invitation from Oswald Veblen to lecture on quantum theory at Princeton University, John von Neumann was one of a group of Hungarian and Jewish intellectuals to escape to the United States from the turmoil of Europe. During the war, von Neumann’s intellect tackled hydrodynamics, ballistics, meteorology, game theory, and statistics, applying mathematical rigor to practical problems in these fields. He worked on the Manhattan Project and by the latter years of World War II was a consultant to several government committees, moving between groups of scientists in government, university, and industry research laboratories. His broad perspective allowed him to envision applications for computers beyond that of speedy calculating devices, and he initiated the Electronic Computer Project at the Institute.