Heinz von Foerster
Heinz von Foerster was an Austrian American scientist combining physics and philosophy, attributed as the originator of Second-order cybernetics. He was twice a Guggenheim fellow and was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1980, he is well known for his 1960 Doomsday equation formula published in Science predicting future population growth. As a polymath, he wrote nearly two hundred professional papers, gaining renown in fields from computer science and artificial intelligence to epistemology, researched high-speed electronics and electro-optics switching devices as a physicist, in biophysics, the study of memory and knowledge, he worked on cognition based on neurophysiology and philosophy and was called "one of the most consequential thinkers in the history of cybernetics". He came to the United States, stayed after meeting with Warren Sturgis McCulloch, where he received funding from The Pentagon to established the Biological Computer Laboratory, which built the first parallel computer, the Numa-Rete.
Working with William Ross Ashby, one of the original Ratio Club members, together with Warren McCulloch, Norbert Wiener, John von Neumann and Lawrence J. Fogel, Heinz von Foerster was an architect of cybernetics and one of the members of the Macy conferences becoming editor of its early proceedings alongside Hans-Lukas Teuber and Margaret Mead. Von Foerster was born in 1911 in Austria-Hungary, as Heinz von Förster, he was the grandson of Austrian architect Emil Ritter von Foerster. He studied physics at the Technical University of Vienna and at the University of Breslau, where in 1944 he received a Ph. D. in physics. His relatives included Erwin Lang and Hugo von Hofmannsthal. Ludwig Förster was his great-grandfather, his Jewish roots didn't cause him much troubles while he worked in radar laboratories during the Nazi era, as "he hid his ancestry with the help of an employer who chose not to press him for documents on his family."He moved to the USA in 1949, worked at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, where he was a professor of electrical engineering from 1951–1975.
He was professor of biophysics and Director of the Biological Computer Laboratory. Additionally, in 1956–57 and 1963–64 he was a Guggenheim Fellow and President of the Wenner-Gren-Foundation for anthropological research from 1963–1965, he knew well and was in conversation with John von Neumann, Norbert Wiener, Humberto Maturana, Francisco Varela, Gordon Pask, Gregory Bateson, Lawrence J. Fogel and Margaret Mead, among many others, he influenced generations of students as inclusive, enthusiastic collaborator. Von Foerster was influenced by the Vienna Ludwig Wittgenstein, he is known as the inventor of second-order cybernetics. He made important contributions to constructivism, he is known for his interest in computer music and magic. In 1949, von Foerster started work at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign at the electron tube laboratory of the Electrical Engineering Department, where he succeeded Joseph Tykociński-Tykociner. With his students he developed many innovative devices, including ultra-high-frequency electronicsHe worked on mathematical models of population dynamics and developed a general model now called the "von Foerster equation" The mathematical formula can be derived from first principles and reads: ∂ n ∂ t + ∂ n ∂ a = − m n, where: n = n, t stands for time and a for age.
M is the death in function of the population age. When m = 0, we have: ∂ n ∂ t = − ∂ n ∂ a It relates that a population ages, that fact is the only one that influences change in population density, it is therefore a transport equation. Another way is by similarity solution. To get the solution, the following boundary conditions should be added: n = ∫ 0 ∞ b n d t, which states that the initial births should be conserved, that n = f, which states that the initial population must be given. In 1958, he formed the Biological Computer Lab, studying similarities in cybernetic systems in biology and electronics, he was the youngest member of the core group of the Macy conferences on Cybernetics and editor of the five volumes of Cybernetics, a series of conference transcripts that represent important foundational conver
Vienna is the federal capital and largest city of Austria, one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primate city, with a population of about 1.9 million, its cultural and political centre. It is the 7th-largest city by population within city limits in the European Union; until the beginning of the 20th century, it was the largest German-speaking city in the world, before the splitting of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in World War I, the city had 2 million inhabitants. Today, it has the second largest number of German speakers after Berlin. Vienna is host to many major international organizations, including the United Nations and OPEC; the city is located in the eastern part of Austria and is close to the borders of the Czech Republic and Hungary. These regions work together in a European Centrope border region. Along with nearby Bratislava, Vienna forms a metropolitan region with 3 million inhabitants. In 2001, the city centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In July 2017 it was moved to the list of World Heritage in Danger.
Apart from being regarded as the City of Music because of its musical legacy, Vienna is said to be "The City of Dreams" because it was home to the world's first psychoanalyst – Sigmund Freud. The city's roots lie in early Celtic and Roman settlements that transformed into a Medieval and Baroque city, the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, it is well known for having played an essential role as a leading European music centre, from the great age of Viennese Classicism through the early part of the 20th century. The historic centre of Vienna is rich in architectural ensembles, including Baroque castles and gardens, the late-19th-century Ringstraße lined with grand buildings and parks. Vienna is known for its high quality of life. In a 2005 study of 127 world cities, the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked the city first for the world's most liveable cities. Between 2011 and 2015, Vienna was ranked second, behind Melbourne. In 2018, it replaced Melbourne as the number one spot. For ten consecutive years, the human-resource-consulting firm Mercer ranked Vienna first in its annual "Quality of Living" survey of hundreds of cities around the world.
Monocle's 2015 "Quality of Life Survey" ranked Vienna second on a list of the top 25 cities in the world "to make a base within."The UN-Habitat classified Vienna as the most prosperous city in the world in 2012/2013. The city was ranked 1st globally for its culture of innovation in 2007 and 2008, sixth globally in the 2014 Innovation Cities Index, which analyzed 162 indicators in covering three areas: culture and markets. Vienna hosts urban planning conferences and is used as a case study by urban planners. Between 2005 and 2010, Vienna was the world's number-one destination for international congresses and conventions, it attracts over 6.8 million tourists a year. The English name Vienna is borrowed from the homonymous Italian version of the city's name or the French Vienne; the etymology of the city's name is still subject to scholarly dispute. Some claim that the name comes from Vedunia, meaning "forest stream", which subsequently produced the Old High German Uuenia, the New High German Wien and its dialectal variant Wean.
Others believe that the name comes from the Roman settlement name of Celtic extraction Vindobona meaning "fair village, white settlement" from Celtic roots, vindo-, meaning "bright" or "fair" – as in the Irish fionn and the Welsh gwyn –, -bona "village, settlement". The Celtic word Vindos may reflect a widespread prehistorical cult of a Celtic God. A variant of this Celtic name could be preserved in the Czech and Polish names of the city and in that of the city's district Wieden; the name of the city in Hungarian, Serbo-Croatian and Ottoman Turkish has a different Slavonic origin, referred to an Avar fort in the area. Slovene-speakers call the city Dunaj, which in other Central European Slavic languages means the Danube River, on which the city stands. Evidence has been found of continuous habitation in the Vienna area since 500 BC, when Celts settled the site on the Danube River. In 15 BC the Romans fortified the frontier city they called Vindobona to guard the empire against Germanic tribes to the north.
Close ties with other Celtic peoples continued through the ages. The Irish monk Saint Colman is buried in Melk Abbey and Saint Fergil served as Bishop of Salzburg for forty years. Irish Benedictines founded twelfth-century monastic settlements. Evidence of these ties persists in the form of Vienna's great Schottenstift monastery, once home to many Irish monks. In 976 Leopold I of Babenberg became count of the Eastern March, a 60-mile district centering on the Danube on the eastern frontier of Bavaria; this initial district grew into the duchy of Austria. Each succeeding Babenberg ruler expanded the march east along the Danube encompassing Vienna and the lands east. In 1145 Duke Henry II Jasomirgott moved the Babenberg family residence from Klosterneuburg in Lower Austria to Vienna. From that time, Vienna remained the center of the Babenberg dynasty. In 1440 Vienna became the resident city of the Habsburg dynasty, it grew to become the de facto capital of the Holy Roman Empire in 1437 and a cultural centre for arts and science and fine cuisine.
Hungary occupied the city between 1485 and 1490. In the 16th and 1
University of Wrocław
The University of Wrocław is a public research university located in Wrocław, Poland. The University of Wrocław was founded in 1945. Following the territorial changes of Poland's borders, academics from the Jan Kazimierz University of Lwów restored the university building damaged and split as a result of the Battle of Breslau. Nowadays it is one of the most prominent educational institutions in the region; the University is the largest in Lower Silesian Voivodeship with over 100,000 graduates since 1945 including some 1,900 researchers among whom many received the highest awards for their contribution to the development of scientific scholarship. The University of Wrocław is renowned for its high quality of teaching, placing 44th on the QS University Rankings: EECA 2016, is located in the same campus as the former University of Breslau, which produced 9 Nobel Prize winners; the oldest mention of a university in Wrocław comes from the foundation deed signed on July 20, 1505, by King Vladislaus II of Bohemia and Hungary for the Generale litterarum Gymnasium in Wrocław.
However, the new academic institution requested by the town council wasn't built because the King's deed was rejected by Pope Julius II for political reasons. The numerous wars and opposition from the Cracow Academy might have played a role; the first successful founding deed known as the Aurea bulla fundationis Universitatis Wratislaviensis was signed two centuries on October 1, 1702, by the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I of the House of Austria, King of Hungary and Bohemia. The predecessor facilities, which existed since 1638, were converted into Jesuit school, upon instigation of the Jesuits and with the support of the Silesian Oberamtsrat Johannes Adrian von Plencken, donated as a university in 1702 by Emperor Leopold I as a School of Philosophy and Catholic Theology with the designated name Leopoldina. On 15 November 1702, the university opened. Johannes Adrian von Plencken became chancellor of the University; as a Catholic institute in Protestant Breslau, the new university was an important instrument of the Counter-Reformation in Silesia.
After Silesia passed to Prussia, the university lost its ideological character but remained a religious institution for the education of Catholic clergy in Prussia. After the defeat of Prussia by Napoleon and the subsequent reorganisation of the Prussian state, the academy was merged on August 3, 1811, with the Protestant Viadrina University located in Frankfurt, re-established in Breslau as the Königliche Universität zu Breslau – Universitas litterarum Vratislaviensis. At first, the conjoint academy had five faculties: philosophy, law, Protestant theology, Catholic theology. Connected with the university were three theological seminars, a philological seminar, a seminar for German Philology, another seminar for Romanic and English philology, an historical seminar, a mathematical-physical one, a legal state seminar, a scientific seminar. From 1842, the University had a chair of Slavic Studies; the University had twelve different scientific institutes, six clinical centers, three collections.
An agricultural institute with ten teachers and forty-four students, comprising a chemical veterinary institute, a veterinary institute, a technological institute, was added to the university in 1881. In 1884, the university had 1,481 students in attendance, with a faculty numbering 131; the library in 1885 consisted of 400,000 works, including about 2,400 incunabula 250 Aldines, 2840 manuscripts. These volumes came from the libraries of the former universities of Frankfurt and Breslau and from disestablished monasteries, included the oriental collections of the Bibliotheca Habichtiana and the academic Leseinstitut. In addition, the university owned an observatory. In the late 19th century, numerous internationally renowned and notable scholars lectured at the University of Breslau, Peter Gustav Lejeune Dirichlet, Ferdinand Cohn, Gustav Kirchhoff among them. According to Polish professor of history Henryk Barycz in the academic year of 1813/1814 Polish youth constituted the majority of students at the University.
All students, including German and Jewish, established their own student fraternities. Polish student organizations included Concordia, a branch of the Sokol association. Many of the students came from areas of partitioned Poland; the Jewish students unions were the Student Union. Teutonia, a German Burschenschaft founded in 1817, was one of the oldest student fraternities in Germany, founded only two years after the Urburschenschaft; the Polish fraternities were all disbanded by the German professor Felix Dahn, in 1913 Prussian authorities established a numerus clausus law that limited the number of Jews from non-German Eastern Europe that could study in Germany to at most 900
TU Wien is one of the major universities in Vienna. The university has received extensive international and domestic recognition in teaching as well as in research, it is a esteemed partner of innovation oriented enterprises, it has about 26,200 students, eight faculties and about 4,000 staff members. The university's teaching and research is focused on engineering, computer science, natural sciences; the university's educational offerings have achieved wide domestic recognition. The institution was founded in 1815 by Emperor Francis II as the kaiserlich-königliches Polytechnisches Institut, it was renamed the Technische Hochschule in 1872. When it began granting doctoral and higher degrees in 1975, it was renamed the Vienna University of Technology. TU Wien is one of the most prestigious universities of technology in the world by presenting a top level of research and education. TU Wien is among the most successful technical universities in Europe and is Austria’s largest scientific-technical research and educational institution.
As a university of technology, TU Wien covers a wide spectrum of scientific concepts from abstract pure research and the fundamental principles of science to applied technological research and partnership with industry. For 200 years, TU Wien has been a place of research and learning in the service of progress. TU Wien is ranked 199th by the QS World University Ranking as of 2019, positioned among the best 251-300 higher education institutions globally by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Over the years the university has retained a good positioning of their Engineering and Computer Science departments; the has been ranked among the top 80 computer science departments in the world by the QS World University Ranking and The Times Higher Education World University Rankings respectively. In 2014, U. S. News ranked Computer Science at TU Wien as number 14 in Europe, equaling number 3 within German speaking universities. TU Wien has eight faculties led by deans: Architecture and Planning, Civil Engineering, Computer Sciences, Electrical Engineering and Information Technology and Geoinformation, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Physics.
The University is led by four Vice Rectors. The Senate has 26 members; the University Council, consisting of seven members, acts as a supervisory board. Development work in all areas of technology is encouraged by the interaction between basic research and the different fields of engineering sciences at TU Wien; the framework of cooperative projects with other universities, research institutes and business sector partners is established by the research section of TU Wien. TU Wien has sharpened its research profile by defining competence fields and setting up interdisciplinary collaboration centres, clearer outlines will be developed. Research focus points of TU Wien are introduced as computational science and engineering, quantum physics and quantum technologies and matter, information and communication technology and energy and environment; the EU Research Support provides services at TU Wien and informs both researchers and administrative staff in preparing and carrying out EU research projects.
Siegfried Becher, professor of economics Ottó Titusz Bláthy, Hungarian mechanical engineer Günter Blöschl, Austrian hydrologist Christian Andreas Doppler, Austrian mathematician and physicist Hugo Ehrlich, Croatian architect Paul Eisler, inventor of the printed circuit Tillman Gerngross, Professor of Engineering at Dartmouth College, leading entrepreneur and bioengineer, founder of GlycoFi and Adimab Princess Marie-Therese of Hohenberg, Austrian architect and princess Adolph Giesl-Gieslingen, Austrian locomotive designer and engineer Karl Gölsdorf, Austrian engineer and locomotive designer Edmund Hlawka, Austrian mathematician Ingeborg Hochmair, electrical engineer, developed the first microelectronic, multi-channel cochlear implant Viktor Kaplan, inventor of the Kaplan turbine Leon Kellner, grammarian and Zionist Hermann Knoflacher, Austrian engineer Benno Mengele, Austrian electrical engineer Milutin Milanković, Serbian geophysicist and civil engineer Yordan Milanov, one of the leading Bulgarian architects from the end of 19th and the beginning of the 20th century Richard von Mises, scientist Hubert Petschnigg, architect Ferdinand Piëch, Austrian business magnate and executive, the chairman of the supervisory board of Volkswagen Group Franz Pitzinger, Constructor General of the Austrian Navy Herman Potočnik, Slovene space pioneer Alfred Preis, designer of the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor Zvonimir Richtmann, Croatian physicist, philosopher and publicist Peter Schattschneider, Austrian physicist Rudolph Michael Schindler, early Modern architect Paul Schneider-Esleben, visiting professor of architecture Edo Šen, Croatian architect Camillo Sitte, Austrian architect Peter Skalicky, rector of the Vienna University of Technology from 1991-2011 Irfan Skiljan, author of the image viewer software Irfanview Hellmuth Stachel, Austrian mathematician Rud
Norbert Wiener was an American mathematician and philosopher. He was a professor of mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A child prodigy, Wiener became an early researcher in stochastic and mathematical noise processes, contributing work relevant to electronic engineering, electronic communication, control systems. Wiener is considered the originator of cybernetics, a formalization of the notion of feedback, with implications for engineering, systems control, computer science, neuroscience and the organization of society. Norbert Wiener is credited as being one of the first to theorize that all intelligent behavior was the result of feedback mechanisms, that could be simulated by machines and was an important early step towards the development of modern AI. Wiener was born in Columbia, the first child of Leo Wiener and Bertha Kahn, Jews from Poland and Germany, respectively. Through his father, he was related to Maimonides, the famous rabbi and physician from Al Andalus, as well as to Akiva Eger, chief rabbi of Posen from 1815 to 1837.
Leo had educated Norbert at home until 1903, employing teaching methods of his own invention, except for a brief interlude when Norbert was seven years of age. Earning his living teaching German and Slavic languages, Leo read and accumulated a personal library from which the young Norbert benefited greatly. Leo had ample ability in mathematics and tutored his son in the subject until he left home. In his autobiography, Norbert described his father as calm and patient, unless he failed to give a correct answer, at which his father would lose his temper, he became an agnostic. After graduating from Ayer High School in 1906 at 11 years of age, Wiener entered Tufts College, he was awarded a BA in mathematics in 1909 at the age of 14, whereupon he began graduate studies of zoology at Harvard. In 1910 he transferred to Cornell to study philosophy; the next year he returned to Harvard. Back at Harvard, Wiener became influenced by Edward Vermilye Huntington, whose mathematical interests ranged from axiomatic foundations to engineering problems.
Harvard awarded Wiener a Ph. D. in 1912, when he was 17 years old, for a dissertation on mathematical logic, supervised by Karl Schmidt, the essential results of which were published as Wiener. In that dissertation, he was the first to state publicly that ordered pairs can be defined in terms of elementary set theory. Hence relations can be defined by set theory, thus the theory of relations does not require any axioms or primitive notions distinct from those of set theory. In 1921, Kazimierz Kuratowski proposed a simplification of Wiener's definition of ordered pairs, that simplification has been in common use since, it is =. In 1914, Wiener traveled to Europe, to be taught by Bertrand Russell and G. H. Hardy at Cambridge University, by David Hilbert and Edmund Landau at the University of Göttingen. During 1915–16, he taught philosophy at Harvard was an engineer for General Electric and wrote for the Encyclopedia Americana. Wiener was a journalist for the Boston Herald, where he wrote a feature story on the poor labor conditions for mill workers in Lawrence, but he was fired soon afterwards for his reluctance to write favorable articles about a politician the newspaper's owners sought to promote.
Although Wiener became a staunch pacifist, he eagerly contributed to the war effort in World War I. In 1916, with America's entry into the war drawing closer, Wiener attended a training camp for potential military officers, but failed to earn a commission. One year Wiener again tried to join the military, but the government again rejected him due to his poor eyesight. In the summer of 1918, Oswald Veblen invited Wiener to work on ballistics at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. Living and working with other mathematicians strengthened his interest in mathematics. However, Wiener was still eager to serve in uniform, decided to make one more attempt to enlist, this time as a common soldier. Wiener wrote in a letter to his parents, "I should consider myself a pretty cheap kind of a swine if I were willing to be an officer but unwilling to be a soldier." This time the army accepted Wiener into its ranks and assigned him, by coincidence, to a unit stationed at Aberdeen, Maryland. World War I ended just days after Wiener's return to Aberdeen and Wiener was discharged from the military in February 1919.
Wiener was unable to secure a permanent position at Harvard, a situation he blamed on anti-semitism at the university and in particular on the antipathy of Harvard mathematician G. D. Birkhoff, he was rejected for a position at the University of Melbourne. At W. F. Osgood's suggestion, Wiener became an instructor of mathematics at MIT, where he spent the remainder of his career, becoming promoted to professor. There is a photograph of him prominently displayed in one of the hallways used in giving directions. In 1926, Wiener returned to Europe as a Guggenheim scholar, he spent most of his time at Göttingen and with Hardy at Cambridge, working on Brownian motion, the Fourier integral, Dirichlet's problem, harmonic analysis, the Tauberian theorems. In 1926, Wiener's parents arranged his marriage to Margaret Engemann, his sister, married Philip Franklin. Their daughter, Wiener's niece, married Václav E. Beneš. Many tales apocryphal, were told of him at MIT concerning his absent-mindedness, it was said.
He inquired of a neighborhood girl the reason, she said that the family
Memory is the faculty of the brain by which information is encoded and retrieved when needed. Memory is vital to experiences, it is the retention of information over time for the purpose of influencing future action. If we could not remember past events, we could not learn or develop language, relationships, or personal identity. Memory is understood as an informational processing system with explicit and implicit functioning, made up of a sensory processor, short-term memory, long-term memory; this can be related to the neuron. The sensory processor allows information from the outside world to be sensed in the form of chemical and physical stimuli and attended to various levels of focus and intent. Working memory serves as an encoding and retrieval processor. Information in the form of stimuli is encoded in accordance with explicit or implicit functions by the working memory processor; the working memory retrieves information from stored material. The function of long-term memory is to store data through various categorical models or systems.
Explicit and implicit functions of memory are known as declarative and non-declarative systems. These systems lack thereof. Declarative, or explicit, memory is the conscious recollection of data. Under declarative memory resides episodic memory. Semantic memory refers to memory, encoded with specific meaning, while episodic memory refers to information, encoded along a spatial and temporal plane. Declarative memory is the primary process thought of when referencing memory. Non-declarative, or implicit, memory is the unconscious recollection of information. An example of a non-declarative process would be the unconscious learning or retrieval of information by way of procedural memory, or a priming phenomenon. Priming is the process of subliminally arousing specific responses from memory and shows that not all memory is consciously activated, whereas procedural memory is the slow and gradual learning of skills that occurs without conscious attention to learning. Memory is not a perfect processor, is affected by many factors.
The ways by which information is encoded and retrieved can all be corrupted. The amount of attention given new stimuli can diminish the amount of information that becomes encoded for storage; the storage process can become corrupted by physical damage to areas of the brain that are associated with memory storage, such as the hippocampus. The retrieval of information from long-term memory can be disrupted because of decay within long-term memory. Normal functioning, decay over time, brain damage all affect the accuracy and capacity of the memory. Memory loss is described as forgetfulness or amnesia. Sensory memory holds sensory information less than one second; the ability to look at an item and remember what it looked like with just a split second of observation, or memorization, is the example of sensory memory. It is an automatic response. With short presentations, participants report that they seem to "see" more than they can report; the first experiments exploring this form of sensory memory were conducted by George Sperling using the "partial report paradigm".
Subjects were presented with a grid of 12 letters, arranged into three rows of four. After a brief presentation, subjects were played either a high, medium or low tone, cuing them which of the rows to report. Based on these partial report experiments, Sperling was able to show that the capacity of sensory memory was 12 items, but that it degraded quickly; because this form of memory degrades so participants would see the display but be unable to report all of the items before they decayed. This type of memory cannot be prolonged via rehearsal. Three types of sensory memories exist. Iconic memory is a fast decaying store of visual information. Echoic memory is a fast decaying store of auditory information, another type of sensory memory that stores sounds that have been perceived for short durations. Haptic memory is a type of sensory memory. Short-term memory is known as working memory. Short-term memory allows recall for a period of several seconds to a minute without rehearsal, its capacity is very limited: George A. Miller, when working at Bell Laboratories, conducted experiments showing that the store of short-term memory was 7±2 items.
Modern estimates of the capacity of short-term memory are lower of the order of 4–5 items. For example, in recalling a ten-digit telephone number, a person could chunk the digits into three groups: first, the area code a three-digit chunk and lastly a four-digit chunk; this method of remembering telephone numbers is far more effective than attempting to remember a string of 10 digits. This may be reflected in some countries in the tendency to display telephone numbers as several chunks of two to four numbers. Short-term memory is believed to rely on an acoustic code for storing information, to a lesser extent a visual code. Conrad found that test subjects had more difficulty recalling collections of letters that were acoustically similar (e.g. E
Andrew Gordon Speedie Pask was an English author, educational theorist and psychologist who made significant contributions to cybernetics, instructional psychology, experimental epistemology and educational technology. Pask first learned about cybernetics in the early 1950s when the originator of the subject, Norbert Wiener, spoke at Cambridge University, where Pask was an undergraduate student. Pask was asked to be of assistance during Wiener's talk. Holding three doctorate degrees, Pask published more than 250 journal articles, books and technical reports from funding from United States Armed Forces, the British Ministry of Defence, the British Home Office and the British Road Research Laboratory, he taught at the University of Illinois, Old Dominion University, Concordia University, Open University, University of New Mexico, Architectural Association School of Architecture and MIT. Pask was born in Derby, England, in 1928, educated at Rydal Penrhos. Before qualifying precociously as a mining engineer at Liverpool Polytechnic, now Liverpool John Moores University, Pask studied geology at Bangor University.
He obtained an MA in natural sciences from Cambridge in 1952 and a PhD in psychology from the University of London in 1964. Whilst visiting professor of educational technology, he obtained the first DSc from the Open University and an ScD from his college, Downing Cambridge in 1995. From the 1960s Pask directed commercial research at System Research Ltd in Richmond and his partnership, Pask Associates. Pask's primary contributions to cybernetics, educational psychology, learning theory and systems theory, as well as to numerous other fields, was his emphasis on the personal nature of reality, on the process of learning as stemming from the consensual agreement of interacting actors in a given environment, his work was complex and thought out, at least until late in his life, when he benefited less from critical feedback of research peers, reviewers of proposals and reports to government bodies in the US and UK, most the tension between experimentation and theoretical stands. His publications, represent a storehouse of ideas that are not mined.
Pask's most well known work was the development of: Conversation Theory: is a cybernetic and dialectic framework that offers a scientific theory to explain how interactions lead to "construction of knowledge", or, as Pask preferred "knowing". It came out of his work on instructional design and models of individual learning styles. In regard to learning styles, he identified conditions required for concept sharing and described the learning styles holist and their optimal mixture versatile, he proposed a rigorous model of analogy relations. Interactions of Actors Theory: This is a generalised account of the eternal kinetic processes that support kinematic conversations bounded with beginnings and ends in all media, it is reminiscent of Bateson's panpsychism. Pask's nexus of analogy and mechanical spin produces the differences that are central to cybernetics. Pask participated in the seminal exhibition "Cybernetic Serendipity" with the interactive installation "Colloquy of Mobiles", continuing his ongoing dialogue with the visual and performing arts.
Pask influenced such diverse individuals as Ted Nelson, who references Pask in Computer Lib/Dream Machines and whose interest in hypermedia is much like Pask's entailment meshes. Pask wrote more than two hundred journal articles. Books include: An Approach to Cybernetics. Hutchinson. 1975, Conversation and learning. New York: Elsevier. 1975, The Cybernetics of Human Learning and Performance. Hutchinson. 1976, Conversation Theory, Applications in Epistemology. Elsevier. 1981, Calculator Saturnalia, Or, Travels with a Calculator: A Compendium of Diversions & Improving Exercises for Ladies and Gentlemen with Ranulph Glanville and Mike Robinson. Wildwood. 1982, Microman Living and growing with computers. With Susan Curran Macmillan. 1993, Interactions of Actors and Some Applications 1996, Heinz von Foerster's Self-Organisation, the Progenitor of Conversation and Interaction TheoriesPapers include: 1993, Interactions of Actors and Some Applications, Download incomplete 90-page manuscript of 1993. 1996, Heinz von Foerster's Self-Organisation, the Progenitor of Conversation and Interaction Theories, Systems Research 13, 3, pp. 349–362 U.
S. Patent 2,984,017 - Apparatus for assisting an operator in performing a skill 1984 Wiener Gold Medal Cybernetic Serendipity, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London While working with clients in the last years of his life, Gordon Pask produced an axiomatic scheme for his Interactions of Actors Theory, less well-known than his Conversation Theory. "Interactions of Actors and Some Applications", as the manuscript is entitled, is a concurrent spin calculus applied to the living environment with strict topological constraints. One of the most notable associates of Gordon Pask, Gerard de Zeeuw, was a key contributor to the development of Interactions of Actors theory. Interactions of Actors Theory is a process theory; as a means to describe the interdisciplinary nature of his work, Pask would make analogie