John von Neumann University

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Smart university, Modern campus

English Created: 2019.04.29 11:39 Modified: 2019.04.30 12:37

Smart university, modern campus

A digital knowledge bank, free “smart” devices and Wi-Fi, a 500-person lecture hall and holographic projector ― a state-of-the-art, 21st-century University Campus in Kecskemét will open its gates in 2019.

The newly established Faculty of Economics and Business at John von Neumann University features an impressive building complex with a vast, landscaped park and lookout point. Environment-friendly solutions are deployed in the Campus's “green” building design, and electricity for the Wi-Fi and outdoor USB ports will be partly supplied by solar energy.

As traditional “frontal instruction” teaching methods have started to be pushed into the background in recent years and 21st-century educational technologies have gained ground, methods relying on integrated and interactive technical devices have come to the fore.

Students no longer attend lectures as passive listeners, but actively participate in them, and in the spirit of two-way communication they can react immediately. In the seminar rooms they can immerse themselves in small-group project assignments and accomplish set tasks more efficiently.

The Kecskemét Campus will provide instructors and students with access to several efficient and state-of-the-art amenities that are still quite rare in Hungary (special applications, virtual spaces, real-time holographic projection etc.). Modern educational technologies support distance learning, thus facilitating the harmonisation of studies, work and private life, as well as international cooperation and knowledge-sharing. In addition to the freely available smart devices, computers and Wi-Fi service, applications will also help students to manage their life and better organise their daily routine.

The Campus’s own social media platform will allow students to keep in touch with each other and support the flow of the latest information, while the combined blended-learning educational model will offer a community experience. Using this model, instructors can combine traditional classroom-teaching instruments with possibilities opened up through the Internet and digital media.

Educational centres all over the world place an emphasis on making their facilities accessible for the disabled. John von Neumann University will offer mobility and access solutions for the visually and hearing impaired, as well as for students with physical disabilities.

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Cultural opportunities

English Created: 2019.04.29 11:36 Modified: 2019.08.02 11:07

Stimulating leisure opportunities

While Kecskemét offer a broad spectrum of cultural programmes with its theatres, cultural centres, museums, and festivals, the University itself also caters to the diverse interests of our student body.

Drama Society
Students with a theatrical bent are welcome to join the Drama Society, which stages teaching-oriented performances for children.

Theatre
Students may purchase tickets at a reduced price for performances of the Katona József Theatre in Kecskemét. Furthermore, by choosing “theatre attendance” as an elective course, students can even receive credits as regular theatre-goers.

“KEFOLK” Ensemble
An enthusiastic community of folk-music lovers and amateur musicians, the KEFOLK Ensemble holds rehearsals and events at the Teacher Training Faculty.  The Ensemble’s programme repertoire includes dances, songs, and instrumental music.

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Services/Facilites

English Created: 2019.04.29 11:21 Modified: 2019.05.28 15:20

Students’ Union

The aims of the Students’ Union:

  • Advocate for students’ interests in all questions pertaining to students, and in all university-, regional- and national-level bodies and forums.
  • Exercise students’ collective rights to make decisions and proposals, their right to approve and to control procedures, and their right to be consulted. These rights are conferred to the Students’ Union by the “Act on Higher Education” and other pieces of legislation, University and Faculty regulations, and Senate and Faculty Council decisions.

The duties of the Students’ Union:

  • Take part in the work of higher educational representative organisations.
  • Support the communal activities of students (e.g. professional, academic or sporting associations), as well as the efforts of self-organised student groups.
  • Investigate students’ problems and take appropriate measures to remedy them.
  • Use available communication channels to inform students continuously about the work of the Students’ Union, university-related issues, calls for applications, scholarships, grants, and job opportunities.
  • Promote a vibrant university life by organising cultural and traditional programmes.
  • Enhance the development of students’ professional, cultural and other relations in Hungary and abroad.
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John von Neumann: The man behind the name

English Created: 2019.04.29 11:14 Modified: 2019.04.30 12:15

John von Neumann — “Margittai Neumann János Lajos” in Hungarian — was born in Budapest on 28 December 1903.

At the age of six, he could divide eight-digit numbers in his head. At the age of eight, differential calculus came to him with ease. At the age of ten, he spoke six languages, and would joke with his father in Ancient Greek.

He attended “Fasori” Lutheran Secondary School, as did Eugene Paul Wigner, Kálmán Kandó and, later on, John Harsányi.

In those years, Budapest produced a multitude of world-famous scientists, but whenever someone called von Neumann’s Nobel Prize-winning colleagues and friends “geniuses”, they replied that there was really only one true genius among them — “ Jancsi”, or Johnny, as he came to be known. In the words of the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Eugene Paul Wigner: “There are two types of men in the world: Johnny von Neumann and the rest of us.”

Von Neumann studied Mathematics in Budapest and Chemistry in Berlin, and obtained a degree in Chemical Engineering in Zürich. In 1926, his doctoral dissertation revolutionised set theory.

George Pólya was von Neumann’s professor in Zürich. Whenever he got to an unsolved problem during the lecture, von Neumann would put his hand up five minutes later and then scribble the solution on the board. Pólya confessed that von Neumann was the only student he had ever been afraid of.

After completing his studies, von Neumann did research in Göttingen. He was a privatdozent in Berlin and Hamburg before being invited by the University of Princeton in 1930, where he became the youngest-ever university professor in the United States. In 1932, he produced the mathematical foundations for quantum mechanics, and from 1933 he worked at the Institute of Advanced Studies together with Albert Einstein.

He spoke English with a heavy accent. Even when he accidentally pronounced a word properly, he quickly corrected himself, falling back into his Hungarian accent.

Before relocating to the United States, he married Marietta Köves. In 1935, they had a daughter, Marina von Neumann Whitman, who is now a Professor of Business Administration and Public Policy at the University of Michigan. Following a divorce from his first wife, he later married Klára Dán.

“If people don’t believe that mathematics is simple, it’s only because they don’t realise how complicated life is,” von Neumann reputedly said.

From 1944, von Neumann participated in designing the first electronic computer. The foundations of computer science have gone down in academic history as “Neumann’s Principle”. His interest in applied mathematics later oriented him towards the Manhattan Project.

Though von Neumann wasn’t particularly good at gambling, he often played poker with Edward Teller and their friends in Los Alamos — experience that helped him to produce his “game theory”.

His “minimax theorem”, created in 1944 in cooperation with Oskar Morgenstein, has been applied ever since in the domains of economics, psychology, sociology, law, political science, and evolution studies. The guiding principle of subsequent U.S. foreign policy, the strategy of nuclear deterrence was also based on his game theory.

 

“(1) John von Neumann can prove any claim.

(2) Whatever von Neumann has proved is true.”

Edward Teller, the “Father of the H-bomb”

 

In 1955, von Neumann was appointed member of the United States Atomic Energy Commission. Most likely due to the radiation poisoning to which he was exposed during his work, he developed bone cancer and died on 8 February 1957 in Washington, D.C. in the hospital bed reserved for U.S. Presidents. His last book, left unfinished, was titled The Computer and the Brain.

 

I have sometimes wondered whether a brain like von Neumann's does not indicate a species superior to that of man". —  Hans Bethe, Nobel Prize winner physicist

 

John von Neumann considered his achievements to be public property, and would not have them patented. A minor planet, a lunar crater, streets, grammar schools, technical schools, faculties, awards, and societies have all been named after him — as has our University, of course.

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