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John Kemeny - Mathematician

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JOHN KEMENY: MATHEMATICIAN

John Kemeny was born on May 13, 1926, in Budapest Hungary. He attended primary school in Budapest. He came from a Jewish family and in 1940, due to the Holocaust, Kemeny’s father moved the family to the U.S. Kemeny’s family moved to New York, and John attended school in New York City. He attended Princeton University where he studied mathematics and philosophy. He took a year off during his undergraduate course to work on the Manhattan project in Los Alamos. John’s boss was Richard Feynman and he also worked with Von Neumann.

He returned to Princeton, and graduated with a B.A. in 1947. He then worked for his doctorate under the supervision of Alonzo Church. Kemeny received his doctorate in 1949 for a dissertation entitled Type-Theory vs. Set-Theory. He was appointed as Albert Einstein’s mathematical assistant while he was still a doctoral student. John continued to study both mathematics and philosophy, and became a professor of philosophy at Princeton in 1951. In 1953 he was appointed to the mathematics department at Dartmouth, and in two years he became chairman of the department. He held his position until 1967. He was president of Dartmouth between 1970, 1981, and 1982. He soon returned to be a full-time teacher.

Kemeny co-invented the Basic(Beginners All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) computer code. It was in 1963 that

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