John von Neumann (1903, Budapest, Hungary; 1957, Washington
D.C., U.S.A.) was without doubt one of the scientific geniuses of 20th
Century. The *Financial Times *named him the *Man of
the XXth Century*. After von Neumann had graduated from high school,
he simultaneously studied chemistry in Zürich and mathematics in Budapest,
and after a brief post doctoral stay in Germany, he got appointed as one
of the first six permanent professors of the Institute of Advanced Study
in Princeton, U.S.A., with which he remained affiliated until the end of
his life.Von Neumann started his professional life as a mathematician by
work on axiomatic set theory. During his relatively short scientific career
he made lasting contributions to almost every major classical discipline
of pure and applied mathematics, and he had broken new grounds in mathematical
and theoretical physics (especially quantum theory), functional analysis,
operator algebras, game theory, theoretical computer science and computer
design. Von Neumann also had been actively involved in politics, science
management, had served on a number of commissions and advisory committees
and had a major impact on U.S. government decisions during and especially
after the Second World War.

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of John
von Neumann, the Hungarian mathematical society (*János Bolyai Mathematical
Society*) and the Hungarian computer science society (*John von Neumann
Computer Society*) organize several events in 2003. The highlight of
the celebration will be two conferences in October, 2003: the annual conference
of the von Neumann Society and a memorial conference of the János Bolyai
Mathematical Society. The two conferences will start with a day of joint
celebration. This event is planned to take place in the main building of
the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and it will be opened by the President
of Hungary. Representatives of several professional societies will be invited
(International Mathematical Union, International Aassociation on
Mathematical Physics, IEEE) and Domokos Szász, director of the Mathematical
Institute of Budapest University of Technology and Economics
will deliver the keynote address about the life and work of von Neumann.
After this opening day of celebration a conference on mathematics and mathematical
physics will take place in the Rényi Institute of the Hungarian Academy
of Science. The topic of the conference includes all areas in mathematics
and in mathematical physics which von Neumann contributed to, however the
emphasis is put on linear operators.