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Models of My Life
     

Models of My Life

by Herbert A. Simon
 

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In this candid and witty autobiography, Nobel laureate Herbert A. Simon looks at his distinguished and varied career, continually asking himself whether (and how) what he learned as a scientist helps to explain other aspects of his life.A brilliant polymath in an age of increasing specialization, Simon is one of those rare scholars whose work defines fields of

Overview

In this candid and witty autobiography, Nobel laureate Herbert A. Simon looks at his distinguished and varied career, continually asking himself whether (and how) what he learned as a scientist helps to explain other aspects of his life.A brilliant polymath in an age of increasing specialization, Simon is one of those rare scholars whose work defines fields of inquiry. Crossing disciplinary lines in half a dozen fields, Simon's story encompasses an explosion in the information sciences, the transformation of psychology by the information-processing paradigm, and the use of computer simulation for modeling the behavior of highly complex systems.Simon's theory of bounded rationality led to a Nobel Prize in economics, and his work on building machines that think — based on the notion that human intelligence is the rule-governed manipulation of symbols — laid conceptual foundations for the new cognitive science. Subsequently, contrasting metaphors of the maze (Simon's view) and of the mind (neural nets) have dominated the artificial intelligence debate.There is also a warm account of his successful marriage and of an unconsummated love affair, letters to his children, columns, a short story, and political and personal intrigue in academe.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Simon observes himself as an object for scientific inquiry in this refreshingly innovative autobiography. Principal architect of the field of artificial intelligence, this polymath has applied the metaphor of a decision-making maze to human cognition, management science, economics and politics--winning a Nobel Prize in 1978. Instead of a dry, rationalist exercise, this traipse through the branching paths of his personal labyrinth turns out to be a quirky, soul-baring self-analysis. In early chapters on his introspective Milwaukee childhood, he refers to himself in the third person as ``the boy.'' He is equally objective in discussing his 1930s flirtation with political radicalism, his half-century-long marriage and the politics of scientific infighting. This is a disarming self-portrait by a gifted writer who believes that the real self is an illusion and that one's life need not have a unifying thread. Photos. (Mar.)
Library Journal
Simon is a veritable Renaissance man: considered the father of artificial intelligence, he also contributed to the theory of organizational behavior and was the first social scientist to be admitted to the National Academy of Science. In this extensive and entertaining autobiography, he writes smoothly and provocatively on a range of topics from his early youth to his years at UC Berkeley, Illinois, and, finally Carnegie Mellon. He is surprisingly candid in discussing how he ``prepared'' for his Nobel prize in economics, and his descriptions of political and personal in-fighting in academe document an aspect often not shown. Simon has participated in some of the most wide-ranging intellectual developments of this century, and his autobiography surely will interest many readers.-- Hilary D. Burton, Lawrence Livermore National Lab., Livermore, Cal.
Booknews
Intellectual and personal autobiography of the 1978 Nobel Prize-winner for economics, equally well known for his seminal contribution to the theory of organizational behavior and for laying the conceptual foundations for artificial intelligence and the new cognitive science. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262691857
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
10/08/1996
Series:
Sloan Science Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
464
Sales rank:
1,015,164
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.06(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Herbert Simon is Professor of Psychology at Carnegie-Mellon University. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics in 1978.

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