Talk:John von Neumann

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Good article John von Neumann has been listed as one of the Warfare good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
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September 16, 2006 Good article nominee Not listed
May 28, 2016 Good article nominee Listed
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Current status: Good article

Invention of the Stored Program Concept[edit]

The stored program concept, which is part of so-called von Neumann architecture, is one of the key inventions in the History of computer science. Now, the wiki article devoted to John von Neumann contains following sentence:

Although the single-memory, stored program architecture is commonly called von Neumann architecture as a result of von Neumann's paper, the architecture's description was based on the work of J. Presper Eckert and John William Mauchly, inventors of the ENIAC computer at the University of Pennsylvania.

This sentence clearly points to names of J. Presper Eckert and John William Mauchly as co-inventors of the stored program concept. Since the article is devoted to von Neumann, it is very important to clarify his personal attitude to this invention, because von Neumann never claimed this invention to himself (see references below), but to someone else actually. And even more, von Neumann was encouraging his co-workers to pay thorough attention to the work of this other person who invented the stored program concept.

Editor, please review this addition with the referenced sources and lets get it merged into wiki article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ivan.getta (talkcontribs) 01:11, 28 January 2017 (UTC)

  • I think an important point is being made here. Eckert and Mauchly got into a patent/priority dispute with the rest of the world, claiming they invented the stored program concept. Von Neumann's view was that they were being silly, because the concept was obvious, and anyway had already been used by Turing, et al. It would be appropriate to insert a sourced sentence here about von Neumann's take on this situation. Eleuther (talk) 17:17, 29 January 2017 (UTC)
    Von Neumann's take was that he didn't agree with American concepts of claiming priority for invention, or of intellectual property. The article correctly credits Eckert and Mauchly. Hawkeye7 (talk) 19:56, 29 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Okay, okay, let Eckert and Mauchly be the "correct" original geniuses behind everything involved, you can have that if you want it. It would still be appropriate to add a sourced sentence regarding von Neumann's personal opinion about the matter. Eleuther (talk) 04:33, 1 February 2017 (UTC)

Mental Calculation abilities[edit]

Claims of being able to multiply two eight digit numbers are contradicted by a first hand account by Eugene Wigner[1] — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A02:C7F:500A:1C00:65E5:4F98:8235:396C (talk) 20:03, 31 March 2017 (UTC)

Thanks for that. Claim removed from the article. Hawkeye7 (talk) 21:09, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
Well the Wigner anecdote is a multiplication, not division. Also WP:SYNTH. Avaya1 (talk) 05:04, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
The multiplication claim is still up, I believe the origin of the division claim is this[2] — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A02:C7F:500A:1C00:C8C4:EB31:532E:5C84 (talk) 11:10, 1 April 2017 (UTC)

References

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Defaultsort parameter[edit]

Here I am asked by User:Hawkeye7 why I changed the Defaultsort from "Neumann, John" to "Von Neumann, John" (now reverted).

He became an American, yet he continued being known as John von Neumann (not "John Neumann", as the defaultsort would have us believe). The "von" part of his name ceased being a nobiliary particle, and became an intrinsic part of his surname. His surname became "von Neumann", and sorts under V, just as Dick Van Dyke and Frederica von Stade and many others do (and Wernher von Braun should). Just because he spelt it with a lower case v has no bearing on this argument. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 10:07, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

He didn't change his name to Vonneumann like his brother did, which seems to indicate that he didn't agree with you. Hawkeye7 (talk) 13:07, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
What is relevant here is Wikipedia:Categorization of people#Sort by surname: American, Australian, Canadian and English names generally sort on the prefix, regardless of capitalization. However, there are discrepancies between different sources on whether to sort on the prefix or not. So it strands as it is. Hawkeye7 (talk) 13:17, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
As always, there's the bigger picture to consider:
Over. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:33, 11 July 2017 (UTC)
My big picture was that I want to avoid changing things and then changing them back, particularly involving mass changes. Having documented the reasons why we want it under V, at the risk of some editors being surprised, I am willing to accept the proposed change. Hawkeye7 (talk) 00:54, 12 July 2017 (UTC)
That's very gracious of you. Thanks. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 03:04, 12 July 2017 (UTC)

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