Affordable Access

John von Neumann: selected letters

American Mathematical Society
Publication Date
  • Qa Mathematics
  • Computer Science
  • Education
  • Mathematics
  • Political Science


John von Neumann was perhaps the most influential mathematician of the twentieth century. Not only did he contribute to almost all branches of mathematics, he created new fields and was a pioneering influence in the development of computer science. During and after World War II, he was a much sought-after technical advisor. He served as a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee at the Ballistic Research Laboratories, the Navy Bureau of Ordinance, and the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project. He was a consultant to the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory and was appointed by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower to the Atomic Energy Commission. He received the Albert Einstein Commemorative Award, the Enrico Fermi Award, and the Medal of Freedom. This collection of about 150 of von Neumann's letters to colleagues, friends, government officials, and others illustrates both his brilliance and his strong sense of responsibility. It is the first substantial collection of his letters, giving a rare inside glimpse of his thinking on mathematics, physics, computer science, science management, education, consulting, politics, and war. With an introductory chapter describing the many aspects of von Neumann's scientific, political, and social activities, this book makes great reading. Readers of quite diverse backgrounds will be fascinated by this first-hand look at one of the towering figures of twentieth century science.

There are no comments yet on this publication. Be the first to share your thoughts.