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Artificial Life

Summer 1998, Vol. 4, No. 3, Pages 229-235
(doi: 10.1162/106454698568567)
© 1998 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
John von Neumann: The Founding Father of Artificial Life
Article PDF (52.41 KB)

Aside from being known for his contributions to mathematics and physics, John von Neumann is considered one of the founding fathers of computer science and engineering. Not only did he do pioneering work on sequential computing systems, but he also carried out a major investigation of parallel architectures, leading to his work on cellular automata. His exceptional vision and daring, borrowing from biology the concept of genomic information even before the discovery of DNA's double helix, led him to propose the concept of self-reproducing automata.