80 Year-old Computer Scientist Urges a Revolution in Computer Design. Dr. Neumann’s vision of the future was shaped by a single encounter in 1952. What was to become Professor Neumann’s illustrious career began as a humble but promising Harvard math student back in the 50’s. In 1952, an unusual set of circumstances presented the young Neumann an opportunity to have breakfast with Albert Einstein. That single experience profoundly transformed young Neumann’s future path in life. During the course of the two hour dialog, the young engineering student grasped onto Einstein’s theory of how everything in the universe needs to be engineered. During that discussion, Einstein advised the impressionable young man that “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.”
Since experiencing that epiphany 60 years ago, the esteemed professor has been a force for change in driving recent advancements in internet security. At the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa), Dr. Neumann has been working furiously to try to turn the tide. He developed a mantra based on the theorem that says complex systems break down in complex ways. This breakthrough in thinking is transformed computer design for the better.
His belief is that we need to kill the computer and re-invent an entirely new concept. The doctor is concerned that the current vulnerability of our computer network represents our country’s greatest threat. However, recent nefarious and aggressive activities conducted by foreign powers underline Neumann’s sense of urgency. He has begun to be heard above the din in congress and is bringing the call to urgency to a complacent society..
Ironically, It may well be that Dr. Neumann’s contribution to our security may reflect the impact Einstein had on securing peace during WW II.