Peter Lax saved a computer that was taken hostage.
The year was 1970, and let's just say that computers were a tad more bulky back then than they are today. The Vietnam War was in full effect, and shootings at Kent State led to numerous protests around America. A group of NYU students decided to attack the most expensive item on campus — the computer. It cost $2 million! (About $12 million in today's money.)
Since they couldn't carry the computer, they strapped bombs to it. A list of demands was sent out, which included freeing a jailed member of the Black Panthers. For two days, the students were barricaded in a room, before a group of professors, including Lax, broke through and diffused the bomb.
So who is Lax? He was a Hungarian Jew who emigrated to America at the onset of World War II. Lax has been called "the most versatile mathematician of his generation." He won the Abel Prize, one of the top honors in mathematics.
But all of that pales in comparison from saving a computer that was taken hostage...