Early years and education
Papert worked on learning theories
, and was known for focusing on the impact of new technologies on learning in general, and in schools as learning organizations in particular.
Papert used Piaget's work in his development of the Logo programming language
while at MIT. He created Logo as a tool to improve the way children think and solve problems. A small mobile robot
called the "Logo Turtle
" was developed, and children were shown how to use it to solve simple problems in an environment of play
. A main purpose of the Logo Foundation research group is to strengthen the ability to learnknowledge
Papert insisted a simple language
that children can learn—like Logo—can also have advanced functionality for expert users.
- Counter-free automata, 1971, ISBN 0-262-13076-9
- Perceptrons, (with Marvin Minsky), MIT Press, 1969 (Enlarged edition, 1988), ISBN 0-262-63111-3
- Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas, 1980, ISBN 0-465-04674-6
- Papert, S. & Harel, I. (eds). (1991) Constructionism: research reports and essays 1985–1990 by the Epistemology and Learning Research Group, the Media Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ablex Pub. Corp, Norwood, NJ.
- The Children's Machine: Rethinking School in the Age of the Computer, 1993, ISBN 0-465-01063-6
- The Connected Family: Bridging the Digital Generation Gap, 1996, ISBN 1-56352-335-3
Papert also collaborated with the construction toy manufacturer Lego
on their Logo-programmable Lego Mindstorms
which were named after his groundbreaking 1980 book.
A curated archive of Papert's articles, speeches, and interviews may be found at The Daily Papert
Papert became a political activist early in his life. Janet Levine, a neighbour of the family in South Africa, says "My father said that he did not know why someone as talented as Seymour would throw his life away for the 'Schvartzes’ (a derogatory Yiddish expression for black people)."
He subsequently chose self exile.
He was a leading figure in the revolutionary socialist
circle around Socialist Review
while living in London in the 1950s.
Papert was also a prominent activist against South African apartheid
policies during his university education.
Papert's third wife was MIT professor Sherry Turkle
, and together they wrote the influential paper "Epistemological Pluralism and the Revaluation of the Concrete".
In his final 24 years, Papert was married to Suzanne Massie
, who is a Russian scholar and author of Pavlovsk: The Life of a Russian Palace
and Land of the Firebird
Accident in Hanoi
Papert (then aged 78), received a serious brain injury
when struck by a motor scooter
on 5 December 2006 while crossing the street with colleague Uri Wilensky when they were both attending the 17th International Commission on Mathematical Instruction
(ICMI) Study conference in Hanoi
He underwent emergency surgery
to remove a blood clot
at the French Hospital of Hanoi
before being transferred in a complex operation by Swiss Air Ambulance (REGA
) Bombardier Challenger
Jet to Boston
, Massachusetts.
He was moved to a hospital closer to his home in January 2007, but then developed sepsis
which damaged a heart valve, which was later replaced. By 2008 he had returned home, could think and communicate clearly and walk "almost unaided", but still had "some complicated speech problems" and was in receipt of extensive rehabilitation support.
His rehabilitation team used some of the very principles of experiential, hands-on learning that he had pioneered.
Papert died at his home in Blue Hill, Maine, on 31 July 2016.
Awards, honours and legacy Papert's work has been used by other researchers in the fields of education and computer science. He influenced the work of Uri Wilensky
in the design of NetLogo
and collaborated with him on the study of knowledge restructurations, as well as the work of Andrea diSessa
and the development of "dynaturtles". In 1981, Papert along with several others in the Logo group at MIT, started Logo Computer Systems Inc.
(LCSI), of which he was Board Chair for over 20 years. Working with LCSI, Papert designed a number of award-winning programs, including LogoWriter
and Lego/Logo (marketed as Lego Mindstorms
). He also influenced the research of Idit Harel Caperton
, coauthoring articles and the book Constructionism
, and chairing the advisory board of the company MaMaMedia
. He also influenced Alan Kay
and the Dynabook
concept, and worked with Kay on various projects.
MIT President L. Rafael Reif
summarized Papert's lifetime of accomplishments: "With a mind of extraordinary range and creativity, Seymour Papert helped revolutionize at least three fields, from the study of how children make sense of the world, to the development of artificial intelligence, to the rich intersection of technology and learning. The stamp he left on MIT is profound. Today, as MIT continues to expand its reach and deepen its work in digital learning, I am particularly grateful for Seymour's groundbreaking vision, and we hope to build on his ideas to open doors to learners of all ages, around the world."
In 2016 Papert's Alma Mater, University of Witwatersrand, awarded him the degree of "Doctor of Science in Engineering, honoris causa"  
- ^ a b c d e f g h Seymour Papert at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
- ^ a b c d Stager, Gary S. (2016). "Seymour Papert (1928–2016) Father of educational computing". Nature. London: Springer Nature. 537 (7620): 308. doi:10.1038/537308a. PMID 27629633.
- ^ Stager, Gary (2016). "Planet Papert: articles by and about Papert". stager.org.
- ^ a b c d e f g h "Professor Emeritus Seymour Papert, pioneer of constructionist learning, dies at 88". MIT News. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 1 August 2016. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
- ^ Papert, Seymour (2004). "Interviews with Seymour Papert". Computers in Entertainment. 2 (1): 9. doi:10.1145/973801.973816. ISSN 1544-3574. S2CID 52800402.
- ^ "Seymour Papert: short biography". MIT.
- ^ "Professor Seymour Papert: Papert.org". home page; includes a list of works by Papert
- ^ Seymour Papert at Curlie
- ^ "Daily Papert".
- ^ a b c Remembering Seymour Papert: Revolutionary Socialist and Father of A.I. Benjamin Ivry, 3 August 2016
- ^ Papert, Seymour Aubrey (1952). Sequential Convergence in Lattices With Special Reference To Modular And Subgroup Lattices (PhD thesis). University of the Witwatersrand. OCLC 775688121.
- ^ Papert, Seymour Aubrey (1960). The lattices of logic and topology (PhD thesis). University of the Cambridge. ProQuest 301315242. (subscription required)
- ^ a b c Papert, Seymour A. in American Men and Women of Science, R.R. Bowker. (1998–99, 20th ed). p. 1056.
- ^ "Lifelong Kindergarten :: Homepage".
- ^ "Seymour Papert". mit.edu. MIT. Archived from the original on 8 March 2015.
- ^ Thornburg, David (2013). From the campfire to the holodeck : creating engaging and powerful 21st century learning environments. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. p. 78. ISBN 9781118748060.
- ^ "Logo Foundation". Retrieved 3 August 2016.
- ^ "LEGO Mindstorms".
- ^ Jim Higgins: "More Years for the Locust: The Origins of the SWP" Published by IS Group, London, 1997. Chapter 5 page 1 "Another South African, Seymour Papert – a man of considerable talent ... was recruited by Kidron and, for a few years, he added considerably to the impact of Socialist Review. His review of John Strachey’s, at that time very influential book, Contemporary Capitalism, for example, is an excellent attack on Strachey and, incidentally, one of the better statements on the permanent arms economy.""'More Years for the Locus' reproduced in the Marxist Internet Archive"
- ^ Turkle, Sherry; Papert, Seymour (1992). "Epistemological Pluralism and Revaluation of the Concrete". Journal of Mathematical Behavior. 11 (1).
- ^ Suzanne Massie's website. Retrieved 19 April 2009.
- ^ "Artificial Intelligence Pioneer Seymour Papert in Coma in Hanoi". InformationWeek. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
- ^ thelearningbarn.org (copy) (aka. the Seymour Papert Institute) (verified through the IRS as being a 501(c)3, as they claim)
- ^ Linda Matchan (12 July 2008). "In search of a beautiful mind". Boston Globe. Retrieved 16 July 2008.
- ^ see this history
- ^ Marconi Foundation – the Marconi Fellows. Retrieved 28 March 2009.
- ^ Henderson, Harry. 2003. A to Z of Computer Scientists. New York: Facts on File. p. 208.
- ^ From the cover of Mindstorms. (date needed).
- ^ 25 years EIAH, colloque EIAH 2003 
- ^ Interview from 11 July 2004, on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation network
- ^ Conférence vidéo, colloque EIAH 2003 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 21 December 2007. Retrieved 16 May 2009.
Last edited on 16 March 2021, at 00:40
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