Aaron Falbel on Edith Ackermann

By Aaron Falbel

I was a doctoral student at the MIT Media Lab in the Epistemology and Learning group between 1984 and 1989. Edith and I kept in touch after I left MIT until the day she died, as a friend, not as a colleague per se. We did co-author a couple of papers together in the 1990s, and I helped her prepare some of her manuscripts for publication, since English was not her native language. Mostly, I just enjoyed being in her company. We would have the most fascinating discussions about virtually every topic imaginable. She possessed a certain joie de vivre that made her irresistible, a joy to be around. It is not an exaggeration to say that everyone loved her.

Edith was more than just a brilliant theorist and academic, though she was certainly that. She was also a lovely human being.

There are many brilliant, scholarly people at MIT, just as there are many on the faculty who are really able to nurture students and connect with them. It is rare, however, to find both of these qualities in one person. Edith was such a person. She had both in abundance.  

Related Content