In memory: Marvin Minsky

Marvin Minsky 1927-2016

On Sunday, January 24 the world lost Marvin Minsky, one of its greatest minds in science. As a founding faculty member of the Media Lab, he brought equal measures of humor and deep thinking, always seeing the world differently.

Marvin taught us that the difficult is often easy, but the easy can be really hard. 

"Marvin taught us that the difficult is often easy, but the easy can be really hard. "
–Nicholas Negroponte (January 25, 2016)

Philosopher and scientist Marvin Minsky was universally regarded as one of the world's leading authorities in the field of artificial intelligence, having made fundamental contributions in the sectors of robotics and computer-aided learning technologies. In recent years he worked chiefly on imparting to machines the human capacity for common-sense reasoning. His book Society of Mind is considered a basic text for exploring intellectual structure and function, and for understanding the diversity of the mechanisms interacting in intelligence and thought.

Minsky received his BA and PhD in mathematics from Harvard and Princeton, respectively. In 1951 he built the SNARC, the first neural network simulator. His other inventions include mechanical hands and other robotic devices, the confocal scanning microscope, the "Muse" synthesizer for musical variations (with E. Fredkin), and the first LOGO "turtle" (with S. Papert).

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