He participated in the Manhattan Project, originated the Teller–Ulam design of thermonuclear weapons, discovered the concept of

*cellular**automaton*, invented the Monte Carlo method of computation, and suggested nuclear pulse propulsion. In pure and applied mathematics, he proved some theorems and proposed several conjectures. Born into a wealthy Polish Jewish family, Ulam studied mathematics at the Lwów Polytechnic Institute, where he earned his PhD in 1933 under the supervision of Kazimierz Kuratowski. In 1935, John von Neumann, whom Ulam had met in Warsaw, invited him to come to the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, for a few months.