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John von Neumann was a Hungarian-American mathematician, physicist, computer scientist, engineer, and polymath, known to be “the last representative of the great mathematicians,” as he integrated both pure and applied sciences.
See the fact file below for more information on the John von Neumann or alternatively, you can download our 23-page John von Neumann worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION
- John von Neumann was born as János Lajos Neumann on December 28, 1903 in Budapest, Hungary.
- Von Neumann was the eldest of three brothers. His two younger siblings are named Mihály, with English name Michael von Neumann, and Miklós, with English name Nicholas von Neumann.
- Von Neumann’s father, Max von Neumann was a banker who also has a doctorate in law.
- Von Neumann’s mother was Margaret Kann.
- On February 20, 1913, Neumann’s father was elevated to the Hungarian nobility by Emperor Franz Joseph because of his service to the Austro-Hungarian Empire; due to that, the von Neumann family received the title Margittai.
- At the age of six, von Neumann could already divide two eight-digit numbers in his head. von Neumann could also converse in Ancient Greek at the age of six.
- At the age of eight, von Neumann was already familiar with differential and integral calculus.
- von Neumann’s interest back then was in history and he often read Wilhelm Oncken’s Allgemeine Geschichte in Einzeldarstellungen.
- In 1911, von Neumann entered the Lutheran Fasori Evangélikus Gimnázium.
- At the age of 15, von Neumann was already studying advanced calculus under the supervision of Gábor Szegő.
- At the age of 19, von Neumann had already published two mathematical papers. The second paper is about the modern definition of ordinal numbers.
- At the university, von Neumann decided to take chemical engineering as per his father’s request to invest his time in a more financially useful thing.
- von Neumann took a two-year, non-degree course in chemistry at the University of Berlin.
- In 1923, von Neumann took the entrance exam to ETH Zurich and passed.
- At the same time, von Neumann also attended Pázmány Péter University in Budapest as a Ph. D. candidate in mathematics.
- von Neumann chose to produce an axiomatization of Georg Cantor’s set theory for his thesis.
- In 1926, von Neumann graduated as a chemical engineer.
- von Neumann later on went to the University of Göttingen to study mathematics under the supervision of David Hilbert.
- von Neumann finished his habilitation on December 13, 1927.
- In 1928, von Neumann started conducting lectures as a Privatdozent at the University of Berlin, and was known to be the youngest Privatdozent ever in the university.
- By the end of 1927, von Neumann had already published 12 major papers in mathematics.
- By the end of 1929, von Neumann had already published 32 papers in mathematics.
- In 1929, von Neumann became a Privatdozent at the University of Hamburg, but ended his stint there in October after receiving a better offer from Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey.
- In 1933, von Neumann received an offer of lifetime professorship from the faculty of the Institute of Advanced Study in New Jersey.
- In 1937, von Neumann became a naturalized U.S. citizen. He later tried entering the United States Army’s Officers Reserve Corps as a lieutenant where he passed the exams but was rejected due to his age.
- In 1930, von Neumann married Marietta Kövesi.
- The two had only one child named Marina who was born in 1935.
- In 1937, von Neumann and Marietta decided to get a divorce.
- Later on, in October 1938, von Neumann married Klara Dan, whom he had met during his trip back to Budapest before the outbreak of World War II.
- Kara Dan was a Hungarian-American computer scientist and known to be one of the first computer programmers.
- On February 8, 1957, von Neumann died at the age of 53 at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., under the supervision of military personnels, as they were concerned he might reveal military secrets while heavily medicated.
- von Neumann’s remains were buried at Princeton Cemetery in Princeton, Mercer County, New Jersey.
- von Neumann contributed in different fields and topics including: mathematics (where he contributed to its foundation), functional analysis, ergodic theory, representation theory, operator algebras, geometry, topology, numerical analysis, physics (where he contributed to the study of quantum mechanics), hydrodynamics, quantum statistical mechanics, economics (where he gave proof for the modern game theory), computing (where he created the von Neumann architecture and contributed in linear programming), self-replicating machines, stochastic computing, and statistics.
- von Neumann is also one of the pioneering persons who talked about the application of operator theory to quantum mechanics in the development of functional analysis.
- von Neumann is also considered as one of the key persons in the development of game theory and the concept of cellular automata.
John von Neumann Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the John von Neumann across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use John von Neumann worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about John von Neumann who was a Hungarian-American mathematician, physicist, computer scientist, engineer, and polymath, known to be “the last representative of the great mathematicians,” as he integrated both pure and applied sciences.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- John von Neumann Facts
- Get To Know Him
- Test Yourself!
- Eidetic Memory
- His Architecture
- Quote It!
- Letter to John
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