Importance Of Mathematicians During World War Ii

1344 words - 5 pages

Mathematics has always been a necessary component in modern warfare. During the World War II era, mathematicians Alan Turing and John von Neumann were responsible for some of the technological and scientific developments which contributed Allied victory. After considering their accomplishments before the war, their contributions during the war, and how they were recognized after the war, you will see that each mathematician is remembered very differently for their contributions. Turing is barely honored for his code breaking techniques, which helped preemptively end the war with the use of nonviolent programmable machinery, while von Neumann is honored and respected for ending the war by developing nuclear weapons, something that many people fear to this day.
Turing produced some noteworthy achievements leading up to his involvement in World War II. Born June 23, 1912, Alan Mathison Turing was recognized by his preliminary and secondary school teachers for having a natural talent in the subjects of mathematics and science, while having mediocre talents in the non-sciences. In 1931, inspired by the death of a childhood friend who also had exemplary skills in the sciences, he decided to receive his undergraduate studies in Mathematics at the University of Cambridge's King's College, UK(Dyson, 459). In 1935, he became a fellow of King's University after completing a dissertation on the Central Limit Theorem which showcased his mathematical genius(Dyson, 459). That same year, his interest in solving David Hilbert's "decision problem" led to his paper, "On computable numbers, with an application to the Entscheidungsproblem."
Hilbert's problem questions whether a mechanical procedure can determine the truth of any logical statement in a finite number of iterations. Turing's solution is heavily influenced by the work of Kurt Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem which states, "no consistent system of axioms whose theorems can be listed by an effective algorithm is capable of determining the truth about relations of the natural numbers"(Wikipedia). In order to solve the problem, Turing conceived the idea of the Turing machine: a black box that that obeys preset instructions which are encoded as symbols stored in the internal state of mind of the machine(Dyson, 459). His response to the Hilbert's open problem was no, and proved that it would take an uncountable number of steps to determine the truth of any given logical statement using such machines. John von Neumann paraphrased Turing's solution in a lecture by saying, "you can build an organ which can do anything that can be done, but you cannot build an organ which tells you whether it can be done"(Dyson, 460). Turing's work essentially pioneered the programming of mathematical logic into machines, and was published in 1936 while he was graduate student at Princeton University, New Jersey(Dyson, 460). By 1936 he completed his PhD and returned to Britain at the outbreak of World War II.
John von...

Find Another Essay On Importance of Mathematicians During World War II

Roles of American Women During World War II

1152 words - 5 pages (From a film and lecture course, covering the segment "Women and World War II")Roles of American Women in World War IIEssay TwoDuring World War II, Hollywood films strongly influenced the roles American women played, both while men were away and directly after they returned. These films often sent the message that while their men were away, women must be romantically loyal and keep a secure home for the men to return to. The films also often

The Holocaust: Genocide of Jews During World War II

1481 words - 6 pages The Holocaust, what is the true depth of the word? As sad as it may seem, it had the most damaging effects on the human mind in history. Many horrific events consisting of genocide of Jews during World War II came to play during the Holocaust. Accounts of life during the genocide of the Jewish culture emerged among of which are Elie Wiesel’s memoir Night, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Letters to George C. Marshall, Mein Kampf and The Jewish

The Policy of Evacuating Children During World War II

849 words - 3 pages The Policy of Evacuating Children During World War II During World War 2 many children and other vulnerable civilians such as pregnant women and mothers with young children were evacuated to the safer country areas. In this essay I will look at the reaction's of many of the many different people involved with the evacuation such as the children evacuated, mothers and the clashes they had with the other parents in their

American Propaganda During World War II

2360 words - 10 pages No one anticipated the international chaos that would emerge during the twentieth century, especially the devastation caused by World War I, World War II, and the Cold War. World War II was the most destructive war in human history and changed the history of the world forever, engaging the world’s most influential superpowers in the largest international event of the era. World War II was fought not only by the armed forces, but also by the

Women During World War II and Beyond

1916 words - 8 pages Women played a crucial role during World War II, both with the production of war materials, and keeping our country from sliding back into a depression. Since the 1940s, women have continued to struggle to prove that they can do the same jobs that a male worker can do, and should get paid the same amount for it. Equal pay for women has continued to be an intensely debated subject since World War II, when women stepped up to fill the void in the

Radar's Significance During World War II

2198 words - 9 pages Radar's SignificanceDuring World War IIAndrew Simpson250335535History 020Dr. AcresJuly 23, 2007The Allied forces use of radar during World War II can be considered one of the most important factors in helping to turn the tide of the war in favour of the Allies. Radar finds its origins decades before the outbreak of fighting the Second World War but the form with which it was used during the war stems from the work of Sir Robert Watson-Watt. His

Russian Tactics During World War II

1919 words - 8 pages Russian Tactics During World War II The Russians began the war in a disorganised way as a result of the purges of officers prior to the outbreak. In addition Stalin ignored intelligence concerning the German invasion plans. Thus the issue here is to reflect on just how the Russians managed to become one of the victor nations. Among the factors one would

Internment In Australia during World War II

867 words - 3 pages Internees were civilians who were deemed to be potentially dangerous to national security. With the introduction of National Security Act 1939 during World War II, thousands of men, women and children were placed into internment camps all over Australia allowing the accommodation of Internees and Prisoners of War in Internment Camps. The people that were affected by the Government’s legislation were mainly Germans, Italians and Japanese

Japanese-American Internment During World War II

1467 words - 6 pages Japanese-American Internment was the relocation of many Japanese-American and Japanese descendents into camps known as “War Relocation Camps” during World War II (specifically after the attack on Pearl Harbor). In 1942, the United States government relocated and interned approximately 120,000 Japanese-American citizens and people of Japanese descent into relocation camps. This internment lasted for about four years, and was backed by the

The Japanese Internment during World War II

1332 words - 5 pages With Liberty and Justice for All?The United States Misuse of Power over Japanese Americans during World War IIThe internment of Japanese Americans during World War II has long been a topic of debate. The government of the United States has claimed this action, after the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, was a "military necessity", taken as a means of national security. Hirabayashi v. United States and Korematsu v. United States were two of the

The Hungarian Jews During World War II

738 words - 3 pages Powers. The Nazi Party helped regain land that was lost in World War 1 gaining some of Hungary’s trust (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum). German told Hungary to enforce anti-Semitism laws and degrees. Hungary followed the command not knowing that Germany was slower turning up the heat on Hungary. At this time Hungary has the population of 825,000 Jews, a large portion of their population (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum). During

Similar Essays

Use Of Paratroopers During World War Ii

3067 words - 12 pages Wilhelm Bittrich, a German leader during Operation Market Garden, once commented on the British paratroopers at Arnhem saying, “In all my years as a soldier, I have never seen men fight so hard.” This is just one instance of bravery and dedication that paratroopers exhibited on a consistent basis throughout World War II. Paratroopers were an elite infantry force that went through some of the toughest training their military had to offer in

Persecution Of Jews During World War Ii

761 words - 3 pages Persecution of Jews increased during World War two as Nazis invaded more countries; which contained thousands of Jews. The increased number of Jews meant that the problem increased greatly. The ways in which the Nazis dealt with the Jews gradually changed throughout the years. First it started by isolating them from society, then exportation out of Europe, then ghettoisatiion;which failed because of the mass number of people. Later on they

Importance Of Blitzkrieg In World War Ii

1095 words - 4 pages generally referred to as the Panzerkampfwagen. The Panzergruppen were an instrumental component of the Blitzkrieg coordinated-attacks, these divisions were credited with much of the success of the German campaign into Russia, and operated widely throughout the various fronts during World War II. The Blitzkrieg was particularly effective against France. The Wehrmacht bypassed the main French defenses, such as the Maginot Line, the line of

Warfare During World War Ii Essay

745 words - 3 pages Technology and the kinds of savage warfare conducted by the American and enemy forces during World War II both played a crucial role in determining the outcome of the war. The war began with most armies utilizing technology that had changed little from World War I, and in some cases, had remained unchanged since the 19th century. The war began with cavalry, trenches, and World War I-era battleships, but within only six years, armies around the