Norbert Wiener

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Norbert Wiener
Born(1894-11-26)November 26, 1894
DiedMarch 18, 1964(1964-03-18) (aged 69)
Alma materTufts College BA 1909
Harvard University PhD 1912
Known forCybernetics
Scientific career
InstitutionsMassachusetts Institute of Technology

Norbert Wiener (November 26, 1894 – March 18, 1964) was an American theoretical and applied mathematician. He was a child prodigy. His father was a teacher of languages.

Wiener founded cybernetics, the science of control and communication in animals and machines. It is a field that uses the notion of feedback, and is important for engineering, systems control, computer science, biology, philosophy, and the organization of society. The name of the science comes from his book, Cybernetics: Or the Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine (1948).

"Information is information, not matter or energy". – Norbert Wiener, Cybernetics (1948, 155)

Wiener was born in Columbia, Missouri. He died in Stockholm, Sweden.

Books by Norbert Wiener[change | change source]

  • 1933: The Fourier Integral and certain of its applications. Cambridge Univ. Press; reprint by Dover.
  • 1942: Extrapolation, interpolation and smoothing of stationary time series. A war-time classified report nicknamed "the yellow peril" because of the color of the cover and the difficulty of the subject. Published postwar 1949 MIT Press.
  • 1948: Cybernetics, or control and communication in the animal and the machine. Wiley, New York 1948. 2nd revised ed. 1961. ISBN 9780262730099
  • 1950: The human use of human beings: cybernetics and society. Houghton Mifflin, New York.
  • 1953: Ex-prodigy: my childhood and youth. Autobiography of his younger years
  • 1956: I am a mathematician. Gollancz, London. Autobiography.
  • 1958: Nonlinear problems in random theory. MIT Press & Wiley.
  • 1959: The Tempter. Random House. Fiction.
  • 1964: Selected papers of Norbert Wiener. Cambridge Mass. MIT Press & SIAM.
  • 1966: Generalized harmonic analysis and Tauberian theorems. MIT Press.
  • 1966: God & Golem, Inc.: a comment on certain points where cybernetics impinges on religion. MIT Press.
  • 1966: Norbert Wiener 1894–1964. Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 72(1). Also published in book form.
  • 1976-84: The mathematical work of Norbert Wiener. Masani P (ed) 4 vols, Camb. Mass. MIT Press. This contains a complete collection of Wiener's mathematical papers with commentaries.
  • 1994: Invention: the care and feeding of ideas. MIT Press.