On 18 January, the opening event of the János Neumann commemorative year will be held at the University of Óbuda, where they will pay tribute to one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century with a professional conference, and at the same time celebrate Hungarian IT Day, the János Neumann Society told MTI.

János Neumann was one of the most important scientists of his time, he also founded the operating principles of modern computers. "In 1999, the Financial Times also chose him as the man of the 20th century, since he laid the foundations of a new world with the mathematical clarification of quantum mechanics, he created great things in the fields of atomic physics, game theory (economics), cellular automata or even numerical meteorology," writes the MTI with reference to the announcement of Neumann Society.

János Neumann (Source: Wikimedia Commons/Los Alamos National Laboratory)

At the opening event of Neumann's 120th anniversary at the University of Óbuda, speakers will present a number of topics, from the history of the development of IT in Hungary to the results achieved up to the present day, from Neumann's game theory to the current achievements of robotics and medical informatics.

In the framework of the commemorative year, a conference will be held at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences on the impact of Neumann's oeuvre to this day. Among the events of the festive year are a travelling exhibition of the history of science, a fine art exhibition, the planting of a commemorative tree, as well as the publication of a decorative album presenting the thinking of János Neumann. The Hungarian National Bank plans to issue a coin for the anniversary, but there will also be IT city history walks as part of the program. The salon of the Neumann Family, the milieu in which the later famous mathematician lived, is presented at the Fasori Evangelical High School, the school where Neumann studied.

János Neumann was born in Lipótváros on 28 December 1903, in the house at today's 62 Bajcsy Zsilinszky Road. He was considered a child prodigy, he stood out among his peers mainly with his memory and mental arithmetic skills. His parents enrolled him in the Fasori Evangelical High School in 1913, where Jenő Wigner, the later famous physicist, and János Harsányi, who later became a renowned economist, studied as well.

Neumann studied mathematics at the University of Budapest, then obtained a degree in chemical engineering in Zurich in 1925, and a doctorate in mathematics in 1926 in Budapest. He was invited to the United States as a visiting professor in 1930 and later participated in the secret program related to the production of the first atomic bomb. He achieved outstanding results in many fields of mathematics and IT.

He died in Washington on 8 February 1957, at the age of 53. His grave is in the Princeton Cemetery in New Jersey, where many famous people are buried.

At the birthplace of János Neumann in Budapest, at 62 Bajcsy-Zsilinszky Road in the 5th District, two plaques announce today that one of the most outstanding mathematicians of the 20th century, a pioneer of computer technology, lived there. There is also a memorial plaque on the house at 13 Eötvös Road in the 12th District, announcing that the building belonged to János Neumann's family from the 1920s until the end of the war.

His bust was erected in 1993 on the promenade in front of the L building of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. He also has busts in the garden of Óbuda University, in the sculpture park of scientists since 2007, in the 9th District, in the courtyard of the Tivadar Puskás Secondary Technical School for Telecommunications under 22 Gyáli Road since 2003, and since 1993, one of his busts has also been standing in the Fasori Evangelical High School, in the first-floor corridor.

More information about the commemorative year can be found at https://n120.njszt.hu/.

Source: MTI, Neumann Society, Pestbuda

Cover photo: János Neumann (Source: njszt.hu)