[TUHS] Happy birthday, John von Neumann!

Nemo cym224 at gmail.com
Fri Feb 2 10:04:43 AEST 2018

On 27/12/2017, Dave Horsfall <dave at horsfall.org> wrote (in part):
> We gained John von Neumann on this day in 1903, and if you haven't heard
> of him then you are barely human...  As computer science goes, he's right
> up there with Alan Turing.  There is speculation that he knew of Babbage's
> work;
> --
> Dave Horsfall DTM (VK2KFU)  "Those who don't understand security will
> suffer."

This does not answer the potential Babbage connection but I ran across
the following paragraph by Dyson ("A Walk through Johnny von Neumann's
Garden" from here http://www.ams.org/notices/201302/index.html):

"I got to know Johnny personally when I came
to the Institute for Advanced Study in 1948. He
was then actively engaged in building the institute
computer and learning how to use it. He under-
stood from the beginning that two of the most
important uses of the machine would be to predict
weather and to model climate. He hired engineers
to build the machine and meteorologists to use
it. The chief engineer was Julian Bigelow, and the
chief meteorologist was Jules Charney. Each of
them had a gang of young people to do the heavy
work, persuading a totally new kind of machine to
produce some real science. I enjoyed very much the
young people, with their rowdy conversation and
irreverent behavior. There was an amusing clash
of cultures between these young hooligans and the
older members of the institute. As Einstein wrote
to his friend the queen of the Belgians when he
arrived at the institute in 1933, Princeton was a
quaint and ceremonious village populated by demi-
gods on stilts. The culture of the older members
was based on formal politeness and respect for
the academic hierarchy. Johnny and I were on the
side of the hooligans."


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