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John von Neumann

John von Neumann (born János Lajos Neumann). 1903 – 1957. A Hungarian-American mathematician who has made important contributions to quantum physics, quantum logics, functional analysis, set theory, computer science, economics, and some other branches of science.


1. All processes that are stable we shall predict. All processes that are unstable we shall control.

2. Anyone who considers arithmetical methods of producing random digits is, of course, in a state of sin.

3. There is no sense in being precise when you don’t know what you're talking about.

4. In mathematics, you don’t understand things. You just get used to them.

5. You insist that there is something that the machine can’t do. If you tell me precisely what it is that a machine can’t do, then I can always make a machine which will do just that.

6. If people do not believe that mathematics is simple, it is only because they do not realize how complicated life is.

7. With four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk.

8. A truly outstanding talent may venture into the land of improbable.

9. You don't have to be responsible for the world that you're in.

10. As a mathematical discipline travels from its empirical source, it is classical; when it shows signs of becoming baroque the danger signal is up.