Also impressed by how much they did with so little. For example, many of the first fusion particle simulations were one-dimensional on a radial axis from the center of the reaction. An infinitesimal sliver of the whole thing: just a serial line of particles.
Edit: George Dyson, not Freeman.
Does anyone know of someone alive today that is even comparable to Von Neumann?
Von Neumann also got the priviledge later in his life to work with Einstien and Kurt Gödel while in New Jersey.
The joke about infinite sums is one of Von Neumann's associates asked him
>"Two trains are 20 miles apart on the same track heading towards each other at 10 miles per hour, on a collision course. At the same time, a bee takes off from the nose of one train at 20 miles per hour, towards the other train. As soon as the bee reaches the other train, it bangs huwey and heads off at 20 miles per hour back towards the first train. It continues to do this until the trains collide, killing the bee.
>How far will the bee have traveled?"
This is called a mathematicians trap. And its similiar to XKCD 356 (Nerd Snipping) . There is a simple eloquent algebraic way to solve the problem, but it requires some insite. And there is a complex way involving summing an infinite series. Normally mathematicians end up preforming a very vast complex infinite series sum. 
When Von Neumann was asked the question it took him about 10 seconds to respond.
The associate who asked him stated, "Oh you must have heard the joke before."
To which Von Neumann responded, "No I just solved for the sum of the infinite series."
Newton is overrated, and has been for too long.
The mathematician Greg Chaitin thinks that Newton's contemporary Liebniz is superior in intellect.
Greek is a language with such a frighteningly large vocabulary I don't understand how he would be able to remember every word he ever looked up.
Unfortunately it seems autobiographers are more interested in his scientific accomplishments and gloss over these facts in the by-and-by. I'd be very interested in knowing just how he learned and mastered language.