37¢ John von Neumann
Issue Date: May 4, 2005
City: New Haven, CT
Printed By: Banknote Corporation of America for Sennett Security Products
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut 10.75
John von Neumann
John von Neumann (1903-57) was an American mathematician born in Hungary. He had a fun-loving nature, and even as a boy, he had a brilliant mind. At only six years old, John could divide eight-digit numbers in his head and joke with his father in classical Greek.
Von Neumann came to the U.S. in 1930 and taught at Princeton University until 1933. As a teacher, he was notorious for dashing out equations and erasing them before students could copy them. In 1933, he became part of the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) where he was a mathematics professor until the end of his life.
Von Neumann’s early interests were logic and theory, like the mathematical Games Theory later used to devise military strategy. He was also a major contributor to quantum theory and helped create the atomic bomb at the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos, New Mexico.
After World War II, von Neumann worked to develop large scale, high-speed electronic computers with stored programs. His design of the IAS computer – the von Neumann Architecture – became the model for most of its successors.
In 1956, President Eisenhower awarded John von Neumann the Presidential Medal for Freedom for his service in furthering the security of the United States.