Read John Von Neumann biography

If people do not believe that mathematics is simple, it is only because they do not realize how complicated life is.
Remark made by von Neumann as keynote speaker at the first national meeting of the Association for Computing Machinery in 1947, as mentioned by Franz L. Alt at the end of "Archaeology of computers: Reminiscences, 1945--1947", Communications of the ACM, volume 15, issue 7, July 1972, special issue: Twenty-fifth anniversary of the Association for Computing Machinery, p. 694. |

Any one who considers arithmetical methods of producing random digits is, of course, in a state of sin. For, as has been pointed out several times, there is no such thing as a random number — there are only methods to produce random numbers, and a strict arithmetic procedure of course is not such a method.

John Von Neumann— On mistaking pseudorandom number generators for being truly "random" — this quote is often erroneously interpreted to mean that von Neumann was against the use of pseudorandom numbers, when in reality he was cautioning about misunderstanding their true nature while advocating their use. From "Various techniques used in connection with random digits" by John von Neumann in

The sciences do not try to explain, they hardly even try to interpret, they mainly make models. By a model is meant a mathematical construct which, with the addition of certain verbal interpretations, describes observed phenomena. The justification of such a mathematical construct is solely and precisely that it is expected to work.

John Von Neumann— "Method in the Physical Sciences", in

When we talk mathematics, we may be discussing a secondary language built on the primary language of the nervous system.

John Von Neumann— As quoted in

It is just as foolish to complain that people are selfish and treacherous as it is to complain that the magnetic field does not increase unless the electric field has a curl. Both are laws of nature.

John Von Neumann— As quoted "John von Neumann (1903 - 1957)" by Eugene Wigner, in

Young man, in mathematics you don't understand things. You just get used to them.

John Von Neumann— Reply to Dr. Felix T. Smith at Stanford Research Institute who had said "I'm afraid I don't understand the method of characteristics." —as quoted in footnote of pg 208, in

The goys have proven the following theorem…

John Von Neumann— Statement at the start of a classroom lecture, as quoted in

You wake me up early in the morning to tell me that I'm right? Please wait until I'm wrong.

John Von Neumann— As quoted by Jacob Bronowski in

If one has really technically penetrated a subject, things that previously seemed in complete contrast, might be purely mathematical transformations of each other.

John Von Neumann— As quoted in

There probably is a God. Many things are easier to explain if there is than if there isn't.

John Von Neumann— As quoted in