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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Norbert Wiener

Born November 26, 1894(1894-11-26)
Columbia, Missouri, U.S.
Died March 18, 1964 (aged 69)
Stockholm, Sweden
Nationality American
Fields Mathematics
Institutions Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Alma mater Tufts College BA 1909
Harvard University PhD 1912
Doctoral advisor Karl Schmidt
Josiah Royce
Doctoral students Amar Bose
Shikao Ikehara
Norman Levinson

Norbert Wiener (November 26, 1894, Columbia, Missouri – March 18, 1964, Stockholm, Sweden) was an American pure and applied mathematician.

A famous child prodigy, Wiener went on to become a pioneer in the study of stochastic and noise processes, contributing work relevant to electronic engineering, electronic communication, and control systems.

Wiener is the founder of cybernetics, a field that formalizes the notion of feedback, with many implications for engineering, systems control, computer science, biology, philosophy, and the organization of society.





Wiener was the first child of Leo Wiener, a Polish-Jewish immigrant, and Bertha Kahn, of German-Jewish descent. Employing teaching methods of his own invention, Leo educated Norbert at home until 1903, except for a brief interlude when Norbert was 7 years of age. Wiener became a child prodigy in part due to his father's tutelage. Earning his living teaching German and Slavic languages, Leo read widely and accumulated a personal library from which the young Norbert benefited greatly. Leo also had ample ability in mathematics, and tutored his son in the subject until he left home.

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 in zoology at Harvard. In 1910 he transferred to Cornell to study philosophy.


The next year he returned to Harvard, while still continuing his philosophical studies. Back at Harvard, Wiener came under the influence of Edward Vermilye Huntington, whose mathematical interests ranged from axiomatic foundations to problems posed by engineering. Harvard awarded Wiener a Ph.D. in 1912, when he was a mere 18, for a dissertation on mathematical logic, supervised by Karl Schmidt, the essential results of which were published as Wiener (1914). In that dissertation, he was the first to see that the ordered pair can be defined in terms of elementary set theory. Hence relations can be wholly grounded in set theory, so that 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 the ordered pair, and that simplification has been in common use ever since.

In 1914, Wiener traveled to Europe, to study under Bertrand Russell and G. H. Hardy at Cambridge University, and under David Hilbert and Edmund Landau at the University of Göttingen. In 1915-16, he taught philosophy at Harvard, then worked for General Electric and wrote for the Encyclopedia Americana. When World War I broke out, Oswald Veblen invited him to work on ballistics at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. Thus Wiener, an eventual pacifist, wore a uniform 1917-18. Living and working with other mathematicians strengthened and deepened his interest in mathematics.

After the war

After the war, Wiener was unable to secure a position at Harvard and was rejected for a position at the University of Melbourne. At W. F. Osgood's invitation, Wiener became an instructor in mathematics at MIT, where he spent the remainder of his career, rising to Professor.

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, and the Tauberian theorems.

In 1926, Wiener's parents arranged his marriage to a German immigrant, Margaret Engemann, who was not Jewish; they had two daughters.

During and after World War II

During World War II, his work on the automatic aiming and firing of anti-aircraft guns led Wiener to communication theory and eventually to formulate cybernetics. After the war, his prominence helped MIT to recruit a research team in cognitive science, made up of researchers in neuropsychology and the mathematics and biophysics of the nervous system, including Warren Sturgis McCulloch and Walter Pitts. These men went on to make pioneering contributions to computer science and artificial intelligence. Shortly after the group was formed, Wiener broke off all contact with its members. Speculation still flourishes as to why this split occurred.

Wiener went on to break new ground in cybernetics, robotics, computer control, and automation. He shared his theories and findings with other researchers, and credited the contributions of others. These included Soviet researchers and their findings. Wiener's connections with them placed him under suspicion during the Cold War. He was a strong advocate of automation to improve the standard of living, and to overcome economic underdevelopment. His ideas became influential in India, whose government he advised during the 1950s.

Wiener declined an invitation to join the Manhattan Project. After the war, he became increasingly concerned with what he saw as political interference in scientific research, and the militarization of science. His article "A Scientist Rebels" in the January 1947 issue of The Atlantic Monthly urged scientists to consider the ethical implications of their work. After the war, he refused to accept any government funding or to work on military projects. The way Wiener's stance towards nuclear weapons and the Cold War contrasted with that of John von Neumann is the central theme of ``John Von Neumann and Norbert Wiener " Heims (1980).

Awards and honors


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

Wiener was as a pioneer in the study of stochastic and noise processes, contributing work relevant to electronic engineering, electronic communication, and control systems.

Wiener also founded cybernetics, a field that formalizes the notion of feedback and has implications for engineering, systems control, computer science, biology, philosophy, and the organization of society. He was influenced by William Ross Ashby.

In the mathematical field of probability, the Wiener sausage is a neighborhood of the trace of a Brownian motion up to a time t, given by taking all points within a fixed distance of Brownian motion. It can be visualized as a sausage of fixed radius whose centerline is Brownian motion.

Wiener equation

A simple mathematical representation of Brownian motion, the Wiener equation, named after Wiener, assumes the current velocity of a fluid particle fluctuates.

Wiener filter

In signal processing, the Wiener filter is a filter proposed by Wiener during the 1940s and published in 1949. Its purpose is to reduce the amount of noise present in a signal by comparison with an estimation of the desired noiseless signal.

In mathematics

The Wiener process is a continuous-time stochastic process named in honor of Wiener. It is often called Brownian motion', after Robert Brown. It is one of the best known Lévy processes, càdlàg stochastic processes with stationary statistical independence increments, and occurs frequently in pure and applied mathematics, economics and physics.

Wiener's tauberian theorem is a 1932 result of Wiener. It put the capstone on the field of tauberian theorems in summability theory, on the face of it a chapter of real analysis, by showing that most of the known results could be encapsulated in a principle from harmonic analysis. As now formulated, the theorem of Wiener has no obvious connection to tauberian theorems, which deal with infinite series; the translation from results formulated for integrals, or using the language of functional analysis and Banach algebras, is however a relatively routine process once the idea is grasped.

The Paley–Wiener theorem relates growth properties of entire functions on Cn and Fourier transformation of Schwartz distributions of compact support.

The Wiener–Khinchin theorem, also known as the Wiener – Khintchine theorem and sometimes as the Khinchin – Kolmogorov theorem, states that the power spectral density of a wide-sense-stationary random process is the Fourier transform of the corresponding autocorrelation function.

An abstract Wiener space is a mathematical object in measure theory, used to construct a "decent", strictly positive and locally finite measure on an infinite-dimensional vector space. Wiener's original construction only applied to the space of real-valued continuous paths on the unit interval, known as classical Wiener space. Leonard Gross provided the generalization to the case of a general separable Banach space.

The notion of a Banach space itself was independently discovered by both Wiener and Stefan Banach at around the same time.[2]


Wiener wrote many books and hundreds of articles:[3]

  • 1914, "A simplification in the logic of relations" in Jean van Heijenoort, 1967. From Frege to Godel: A Source Book in Mathematical Logic, 1879-1931. Harvard Univ. Press: 224-27.
  • 1930, Extrapolation, Interpolation and Smoothing of Stationary Time Series with Engineering Applications. MIT Press. (Originally classified, finally published in 1949; the 1942 version of this monograph was nicknamed "the yellow peril" because of the color of the cover and the difficulty of the subject. [1])
  • 1948, Cybernetics: Or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine. Paris, France: Librairie Hermann & Cie, and Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • 1950, The Human Use of Human Beings. The Riverside Press (Houghton Mifflin Co.).
  • 1958, Nonlinear Problems in Random Theory. MIT Press & Wiley.
  • 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.
  • 1988, The Fourier Integral and Certain of its Applications (Cambridge Mathematical Library). Cambridge Univ. Press.
  • 1994, Invention: The Care and Feeding of Ideas. MIT Press.


  • 1959,The Tempter. Random House.


  • 1953. Ex-Prodigy: My Childhood and Youth. MIT Press.
  • 1956. I am a Mathematician. MIT Press.

Under the name "W. Norbert"

  • 1952 The Brain and other short science fiction in Tech Engineering News


  1. ^ Norbert Wiener Center for Harmonic Analysis and Applications, University of Maryland, College Park
  2. ^ F. Albiac and N. Kalton, Topics in Banach Space Theory (GTM 233). New York: Springer 2006. p. 15
  3. ^ A full bibliography is given by the Cybernetics Society Publications of Norbert Wiener

Further reading

  • Bynum, Terrell W., "Norbert Wiener's Vision: The impact of "the automatic age" on our moral lives."
  • Conway, F., and Siegelman, J., 2005. Dark Hero of the Information Age: in search of Norbert Wiener, the father of cybernetics. Basic Books, New York. 423pp. ISBN 0-7382-0368-8
  • Montagnini, Leone, 2005. Le Armonie del disordine. Norbert Wiener Matematico-Filosofo del Novecento. Istituto Veneto di Scienze Lettere ed Arti, Venezia, 2005. XVI, 314 pp. ISBN 88-88143-41-6
  • Ivor Grattan-Guinness, 2000. The Search for Mathematical Roots 1870-1940. Princeton Uni. Press.
  • Bluma, Lars, 2005. Norbert Wiener und die Entstehung der Kybernetik im Zweiten Weltkrieg. Münster.
  • Michel Faucheux, Nobert Wiener, le Golem et la cybernetique, Editions du Sandre,2008
  • Heims, Steve J., 1980. John von Neumann and Norbert Wiener: From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death. MIT Press.
  • Heims, Steve J., 1993. Constructing a Social Science for Postwar America. The Cybernetics Group, 1946-1953. MIT Press.
  • Ilgauds, Hans Joachim, 1980. Norbert Wiener.
  • Masani, P. Rustom, 1990. Norbert Wiener 1894-1964. Birkhauser.

A brief profile of Dr. Wiener is given in The Observer newspaper, Sunday, 28 January 1951.

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

The best material model of a cat is another, or preferably the same, cat.

Norbert Wiener (26 November 189418 March 1964) was a U.S. mathematician, and a pioneer in the study of stochastic processes and noise especially in the field of electronic communication and control systems. He coined the term "cybernetics" in his book Cybernetics or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine (1948).



  • The best material model of a cat is another, or preferably the same, cat.
    • Philosophy of Science (1945) (with A. Rosenblueth)
  • Physics is at present a mass of partial theories which no man has yet been able to render truly and clearly consistent. It has been well said that the modern physicist is a quantum theorist on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and a student of gravitational relativity theory on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. On Sunday he is praying. . . that someone will find the reconciliation between the two views.
    • I am a mathematician, the later life of a prodigy: an autobiographical account of the mature years and career of Norbert Wiener and a continuation of the account of his childhood in Ex-prodigy. Doubleday. 1956. p. 109.  
We know that for a long time everything we do will be nothing more than the jumping off point for those who have the advantage of already being aware of our ultimate results.
  • We mathematicians who operate with nothing more expensive than paper and possibly printers' ink are quite reconciled to the fact that, if we are working in an active field, our discoveries will commence to be obsolete at the moment that they are written down or even at the moment they are conceived. We know that for a long time everything we do will be nothing more than the jumping off point for those who have the advantage of already being aware of our ultimate results. This is the meaning of the famous apothegm of Newton, when he said, "If I have seen further than other men, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants".
    • I am a mathematician, the later life of a prodigy: an autobiographical account of the mature years and career of Norbert Wiener and a continuation of the account of his childhood in Ex-prodigy. Doubleday. 1956. p. 266.  
  • The Advantage is that mathematics is a field in which one's blunders tend to show very clearly and can be corrected or erased with a stroke of the pencil. It is a field which has often been compared with chess, but differs from the latter in that it is only one's best moments that count and not one's worst. A single inattention may lose a chess game, whereas a single successful approach to a problem, among many which have been relegated to the wastebasket, will make a mathematician's reputation.
    • Ex-Prodigy: My Childhood and Youth (1964)
Neither the artist nor the mathematician may be able to tell you what constitutes the difference between a significant piece of work and an inflated trifle; but if he is not able to recognise this in his own heart, he is no artist and no mathematician.
  • Mathematics is too arduous and uninviting a field to appeal to those to whom it does not give great rewards. These rewards are of exactly the same character as those of the artist. To see a difficult uncompromising material take living shape and meaning is to be Pygmalion, whether the material is stone or hard, stonelike logic. To see meaning and understanding come where there has been no meaning and no understanding is to share the work of a demiurge. No amount of technical correctness and no amount of labour can replace this creative moment, whether in the life of a mathematician or of a painter or musician. Bound up with it is a judgement of values, quite parallel to the judgement of values that belongs to the painter or the musician. Neither the artist nor the mathematician may be able to tell you what constitutes the difference between a significant piece of work and an inflated trifle; but if he is not able to recognise this in his own heart, he is no artist and no mathematician.
    • Ex-Prodigy: My Childhood and Youth (1964)
  • I am terribly depressed. How are things going?
    • First words to Karl Wolfgang Deutsch, on first meeting him, as quoted in "Some Memories of Norbert Wiener: The Man and His Thoughts" by K.W. Deutsch in IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics (1975)
  • Scientific discovery consists in the interpretation for our own convenience of a system of existence which has been made with no eye to our convenience at all.
    One of the chief duties of a mathematician in acting as an advisor to scientists is to discourage them from expecting too much of mathematicians.
    • As quoted in Comic Sections (1993) by D MacHale

Cybernetics: or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine (1948)

  • The terms "black box" and "white box" are convenient and figurative expressions of not very well determined usage. I shall understand by a black box a piece of apparatus, such as four-terminal networks with two input and two output terminals, which performs a definite operation on the present and past of the input potential, but for which we do not necessarily have any information of the structure by which this operation is performed. On the other hand, a white box will be similar network in which we have built in the relation between input and output potentials in accordance with a definite structural plan for securing a previously determined input-output relation.
    • PREFACE. page xi. (Footnote 1)
  • As to sociology and anthropology, it is manifest that the importance of information and communication as mechanisms of organization proceeds beyond the individual into the community. On the other hand, it is completely impossible to understand social communities such as those of ants without a thorough investigation of their means of communication, and we were fortunate enough to have the aid of Dr. Schneirla in this matter. For the similar problems of human organization, we sought help from the anthropologists Drs. Bateson and Margaret Mead; while Dr. Morgenstern of the Institute for Advanced Study was our advisor in the significant field of social organization belongng to economic theory. His very important joint book on games with Dr. von Neumann, by the way, represents a most interesting study of social organization from the point of view of methods closely related to, although distinct from, the subject matter of cybernetics. Dr. Lewin and others represnted the newer work on the theory of opinion sampling and the practice of opinion making, and Dr. F. C. S. Northrup was interested in assaying the philosophical significance of our work.
    • INTRODUCTION. p.18-19
  • As I have already hinted, one of the directions of work which the realm of ideas of the Macy meetings has suggested concerns the importance of the notion and the technique of communication in the social system. It is certainly true that the social system is an organization like the individual, that it is bound together by a system of communication, and that it has a dynamics in which circular processes of a feedback nature play an important part. This is true, both in the general fields of anthropology and sociology and in the more specific field of economics; and the very important work, which we have already mentioned, of von Neumann and Morgenstern on the theory of games enters into this range of ideas. On this basis, Drs. Gregory Bateson and Margaret Mead have urged me, in view of the intensely pressing nature of the sociological and economic problems of the present age of confusion, to devote a large part of my energies to the discussion of this side of cybernetics.
    • INTRODUCTION. p.24
  • A group may have more group information or less group information than its members. A group of non-social animals, temporarily assembled, contains very little group information, even though its members may possess much information as individuals. This is because very little that one member does is noticed by the others and is acted on by them in a way that goes further in the group. On the other hand, the human organism contains vastly more information, in all probability, than does any one of its cells. There is thus no necessary relation in either direction between the amount of racial or tribal or community information and the amount of information available to the individual.
  • As in the case of the individual, not all the information which is available to the race at one time is accessible without special effort. There is a well-known tendency of libraries to become clogged by their own volume; of the sciences to develop such a degree of specialization that the expert is often illiterate outside his own minute specialty. Dr. Vannevar Bush has suggested the use of mechanical aids for the searching through vast bodies of material. These probably have their uses, but they are limited by the impossibility of classifying a book under an unfamiliar heading unless some particular person has already recognized the relevance of that heading for that particular book. In the case where two subjects have the same technique and intellectual content but belong to widely separated fields, this still requires some individual with an almost Leibnizian catholicity of interest.

The Human Use of Human Beings: Cybernetics and Society (1954)

  • Any labor which competes with slave labor must accept the economic conditions of slave labor.
  • What many of us fail to realize is that the last four hundred years are a highly special period in the history of the world. The pace at which changes during these years have taken place is unexampled in earlier history, as is the very nature of these changes. This is partly the results of increased communication, but also of an increased mastery over nature, which on a limited planet like the earth, may prove in the long run to be an increased slavery to nature. For the more we get out of the world the less we leave, and in the long run we shall have to pay our debts at a time that may be very inconvenient for our own survival.
    • II. Progress and Entropy. p.46
  • Progress imposes not only new possibilities for the future but new restrictions. It seems almost as if progress itself and our fight against the increase of entropy intrinsically must end in the downhill path from which we are trying to escape.
    • II. Progress and Entropy. p.46-47
  • May we have the courage to face the eventual doom of our civilization as we have the courage to face the certainty of our personal doom. The simple faith in progress is not a conviction belonging to strength, but one belong to acquiescence and hence to weakness.
    • II. Progress and Entropy. p.47
  • Until we in the community have made up our minds that what we really want is expiation, or removal, or reform, or or the discouragement of potential criminals, we shall get none of these, but only a confusion in which crime breeds more crime.
    • VI. Law and Communication. p.110
  • That country will have the greatest security whose informational and scientific situation is adequate to meet the demands that may be put on it—the country in which it is fully realized that information is important as a stage in the continuous process by which we observe the outer world, and act effectively upon it. In other words, no amount of scientific research, carefully recorded in books and papers, and then put into our libraries with labels of secrecy, will be adequate to protect us for any length of time in a world where the effective level of information is perpetually advancing.
    • VII. Communication, Secrecy, and Social Policy. p.121-122
  • We are in the position of the man who has only two ambitions in life. One is to invent the universal solvent which will dissolve any solid substance, and the second is to invent the universal container which will hold any liquid. Whatever this inventor does, he will be frustrated.
    • VII. Communication, Secrecy, and Social Policy. p.129
  • What sometimes enrages me and always disappoints and grieves me is the preference of great schools of learning for the derivative as opposed to the original, for the conventional and thin which can be duplicated in many copies rather than the new and powerful, and for arid correctness and limitation of scope and method rather than for universal newness and beauty, wherever it may be seen.
    • VIII. Role of the Intellectual and the Scientist. p.135
  • The sense of tragedy is that the world is not a pleasant little nest made for our protection, but a vast and largely hostile environment, in which we can achieve great things only by defying the gods; and that this defiance inevitably brings its own punishment.
    • X. Some Communication Machines and Their Future. p.184
  • A faith which we follow upon orders imposed from outside is no faith, and a community which puts its dependence upon such a pseudo-faith is ultimately bound to ruin itself because of the paralysis which the lack of a healthy growing science imposes upon it.
    • XI. Language, Confusion, and Jam. p.193

Quotes about Wiener

Wiener's being both absent-minded and near-sighted has produced many famous anecdotes.

  • His office was a few doors down the hall from mine. He often visited my office to talk to me. When my office was moved after a few years, he came in to introduce himself. He didn't realize I was the same person he had frequently visited; I was in a new office so he thought I was someone else.
    • Phyllis L. Block, graduate administrator at the MIT Department of Mathematics
  • He went to a conference and parked his car in the big lot. When the conference was over, he went to the lot but forgot where he parked his car. He even forgot what his car looked like. So he waited until all the other cars were driven away, then took the car that was left.
  • When he and his family moved to a new house a few blocks away, his wife gave him written directions on how to reach it, since she knew he was absent-minded. But when he was leaving his office at the end of the day, he couldn't remember where he put her note, and he couldn't remember where the new house was. So he drove to his old neighborhood instead. He saw a young child and asked her, "Little girl, can you tell me where the Wieners moved?" "Yes, Daddy," came the reply, "Mommy said you'd probably be here, so she sent me to show you the way home".
    • Anecdote as recounted by Howard Eves
  • One day he was sitting in the campus lounge, intensely studying a paper on the table. Several times he'd get up, pace a bit, then return to the paper. Everyone was impressed by the enormous mental effort reflected on his face. Once again he rose from his paper, took some rapid steps around the room, and collided with a student. The student said, "Good afternoon, Professor Wiener." Wiener stopped, stared, clapped a hand to his forehead, said "Wiener — that's the word," and ran back to the table to fill the word "wiener" in the crossword puzzle he was working on.
    • Anecdote as recounted by Howard Eves
  • He drove 150 miles to a math conference at Yale University. When the conference was over, he forgot he came by car, so he returned home by bus. The next morning, he went out to his garage to get his car, discovered it was missing, and complained to the police that while he was away, someone stole his car.
    • Anecdote as recounted by Howard Eves
Even measured by Wiener's standards Cybernetics is a badly organised work ... mathematical readers were more fascinated by the richness of its ideas than by its shortcomings.
  • Even measured by Wiener's standards Cybernetics is a badly organised work — a collection of misprints, wrong mathematical statements, mistaken formulas, splendid but unrelated ideas, and logical absurdities. It is sad that this work earned Wiener the greater part of his public renown, but this is an afterthought. At that time mathematical readers were more fascinated by the richness of its ideas than by its shortcomings.
  • In appearance and behaviour, Norbert Wiener was a baroque figure, short, rotund, and myopic, combining these and many qualities in extreme degree. His conversation was a curious mixture of pomposity and wantonness. He was a poor listener. His self-praise was playful, convincing and never offensive. He spoke many languages but was not easy to understand in any of them. He was a famously bad lecturer.
  • As I near the end of my personal recollections of life at M.I.T., it is impossible to refrain from relating my eye-witness stories about a brilliant man, Norbert Wiener, and his lovable eccentricities. I took two semester courses under Professor Wiener: one was Fourier Series and Fourier Integrals, and the other was, I believe, Operational Calculus. It is vivid in my memory that Professor Wiener would always come to class without any lecture notes. He would first take out his big handkerchief and blow his nose very vigorously and noisily. He would pay very little attention to his class and would seldom announce the subject of his lecture. He would face the blackboard, standing very close to it because he was extremely near-sighted. Although I usually sat in the front row, I had difficulty seeing what he wrote. Most of the other students could not see anything at all. It was most amusing to the class to hear Professor Wiener saying to himself, "This was very wrong, definitely." He would quickly erase all he had written down. He would then start all over again, and sometimes murmur to himself, "This looks all right so far." Minutes later, "This cannot be right either," and he would rub it all out again. This on- again, off-again process continued until the bell signaled the end of the hour. Then Professor Wiener would leave the room without even looking at his audience.
    • Recollections of a Chinese Physicist by C.K. Jen (1990)
  • As a human being Wiener was above all stimulating. I have known some who found the stimulus unwelcome. He could offend publicly by snoring through a lecture and then asking an awkward question in the discussion, and also privately by proffering information and advice on some field remote from his own to an august dinner companion. I like to remember Wiener as I once saw him late at night in Magdalen College, Oxford, surrounded by a spellbound group of undergraduates, talking, endlessly talking. We are all the poorer that he now talks no more.

External links

Wikipedia has an article about:

Simple English

Norbert Wiener
BornNovember 26, 1894(1894-11-26)
Columbia, Missouri, U.S.
DiedMarch 18, 1964 (aged 69)
Stockholm, Sweden
InstitutionsMassachusetts Institute of Technology
Alma materTufts College BA 1909
Harvard University PhD 1912
Academic advisor  Karl Schmidt
Josiah Royce
Notable students  Amar Bose
Shikao Ikehara
Norman Levinson

Norbert Wiener (November 26, 1894, Columbia, MissouriMarch 18, 1964, Stockholm, Sweden) was an American theoretical and applied mathematician.

Wiener also founded cybernetics, a field that formalizes the notion of feedback and has implications for engineering, systems control, computer science, biology, philosophy, and the organization of society.

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


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