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Seymour Papert (born March 1, 1928 Pretoria, South Africa) is an MIT mathematician, computer scientist, and prominent educator. He is one of the pioneers of artificial intelligence, as well as an inventor of the Logo programming language.
- Developer of an interesting and original vision on learning called Constructionism, built upon the work of Jean Piaget (Constructivism). Rethinks how schools should work based on these theories of learning. Also focuses on the impact of new technologies on learning in general and schools as a learning organisation in particular.
- Used Piaget's work while developing the Logo programming language. He created Logo as a tool to improve the way that children think and solve the problems. A small robot called "Logo Turtle" was developed and children have been encouraged to solve the problem with Logo turtle. A main purpose of the Logo Foundation research group is to strengthen the ability to learn the knowledge. Papert insists a language or program that children can learn does not have to lack functionality for expert users.
- Is one of the principals for the One Laptop Per Child initiative to manufacture and distribute The Children's Machine in developing nations.
- Has been called (by Marvin Minsky) "the greatest living mathematics educator" [cover of Mindstorms]
- A proponent of the Knowledge Machine.
- Worked with Jean Piaget during the 1960s and is widely considered the most brilliant and successful of Piaget's proteges. Piaget once said that "no one understand my ideas as well as Papert." [Direct Observation]
- Influenced Alan Kay and the Dynabook concept. Continues to work with Kay on various projects.
- Created the Epistemology & Learning Research Group and the MIT Media Lab
- Influenced the research of Idit Harel Caperton - collaborated on research grants and published together articles, and the book Constructionism; and has been the Advisory Board Chair of her company MaMaMedia.
- A collaborator with Lego on their Logo-programmable Lego Mindstorms robotics kits.
- Influenced the work of Uri Wilensky in the design of NetLogo and collaborated with him on the study of knowledge restructurations.
- Influenced the work of Andrea diSessa and the development of dynaturtles.
- Was a leading figure in the revolutionary socialist circle around Socialist Review while living in London in the 1950s.
- Is married to Suzanne Massie Papert, Russian scholar and author of "Pavlovsk, Life of a Russian Palace" and "Land of the Firebird"
Accident in Hanoi
While attending the 17th ICMI Study conference in Hanoi, Papert was struck by a motorcycle while crossing a road near his hotel on Tuesday December 5, 2006. He underwent brain surgery at the French Hospital of Hanoi on Wednesday December 6 to remove the blood clot that had formed. By the evening of Tuesday December 12, he was in stable but critical condition. In order to support him and his family, a group of people are creating a virtual bunch of flowers.www.flowersforseymour.com
On Dec 16th he was transferred by Air Ambulance to Boston, Massachusetts, and on 23rd January he was transferred to a hospital in his home state of Maine. He is currently undergoing extensive rehab. Though he has regained consciousness, he cannot speak clearly, walk or function on his own. His family reports that he remains hospitalized and his recovery is uncertain.
- Counter-free automata, 1971, ISBN 0-262-13076-9
- Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas, 1980, ISBN 0-465-04674-6
- Perceptrons, (with Marvin Minsky), MIT Press, 1969 (Enlarged edition, 1988), ISBN 0-262-63111-3
- The Children's Machine: Rethinking School in the Age of the Computer, 1992, ISBN 0-465-01063-6
- The Connected Family: Bridging the Digital Generation Gap, 1996, ISBN 1-56352-335-3
- Flowers for Seymour project
- Seymour Papert short biography at MIT
- Professor Seymour Papert: Papert.org home page
- Planet Papert articles by and about Papert
- Logo Foundation
- LEGO Mindstorms
- MaMaMedia Inc. firm cofounded by Papert
- Open Directory: Computers: History: Pioneers: Papert, Seymour
- Association for Computing Machinery Video Interview with Seymour Papert
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