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Encyclopedia > Gordon S. Brown

Gordon Stanley Brown (born 1907 in Australia — died 23 August 1996 in Tucson, Arizona) was a professor of electrical engineering at MIT. He originated many of the concepts behind automatic-feedback control systems and the numerical control of machine tools. Fron 1959 to 1968, he served as the dean of MIT's engineering school. 1907 (MCMVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... August 23 is the 235th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (236th in leap years), with 130 days remaining. ... 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty. ... Nickname: The Old Pueblo Location Location in Pima County and the state of Arizona Coordinates: , Government Country State Counties United States Arizona Pima Mayor Bob Walkup (R) Geographical characteristics Area     City 505. ... This article treats electronics engineering as a subfield of electrical engineering, though this is not typical use in some areas. ... Mapúa Institute of Technology (MIT, MapúaTech or simply Mapúa) is a private, non-sectarian, Filipino tertiary institute located in Intramuros, Manila. ...



Early life

Brown was born in 1907 in Australia. He graduated from the Workingman's College (now the Royal Melbourne Technical College) at the age of 18 with diplomas in civil, electrical and mechanical engineering.

In 1929, Brown entered MIT as a junior, and graduated with a degree in electrical engineering in 1931. Continuing his studies at the Institute, he earned a master's degree in 1934 and a Ph.D, in 1938. His doctoral thesis subject was an analog computer called the Cinema Intergraph, written under the supervison of Harold L. Hazen.


MIT career

Brown joined the MIT faculty in 1939 as an assistant professor of electrical engineering. In the same year, he became a naturalized American citizen.

In 1940, Brown established the Servomechanisms Laboratory at MIT (now known as the MIT Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems). This laboratory did pioneering research into control systems for machines, which led to the automatic fire-control and aiming systems used during the Second World War. Brown and his staff was also involved in the development of Whirlwind, the first all-digital computer. The MIT Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems is a research labotarory of MIT, working in the areas of communication, controls, and signal processing. ... The Whirlwind computer was developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. ...

Brown was promoted to full professor in 1946 and served as the chairman of the MIT faculty from 1951 to 1952. In 1952, he became the chairman of the electrical engineering department and from 1959 to 1968, he served as the dean of the school of engineering. In 1973, Brown received the distinction of Institute Professor, MIT's highest academic honor.



Brown retired in 1974 as an emeritus professor of electrical engineering and Institute Professor Emeritus. He and his wife moved to Arizona, where he became involved with introducing computers and the ideas of system dynamics into classrooms.



  • With his former student Donald P. Campbell, he wrote Principles of Servomechanisms in 1948. It is still a standard reference in the field.
  • In 1985, the building housing the Microsystems Technology Laboratories was named the Gordon Stanley Brown Building (Building 39).


  • Brown, Gordon S., Donald P. Campbell (1948). Principles of Servomechanisms. New York: Wiley.

External links

  • Obituary of Gordon S, Brown in the Tech
  • Obituary of Gordon S. Brown from the MIT News Office
  • History of the MIT Servomechanisms Laboratory
General subfields and scientists in Cybernetics
K1 Polycontexturality, Second-order cybernetics
K2 Catastrophe theory, Connectionism, Control theory, Decision theory, Information theory, Semiotics, Synergetics, Sociosynergetics, Systems theory
K3 Biological cybernetics, Biomedical cybernetics, Biorobotics, Computational neuroscience, Homeostasis, Medical cybernetics, Neuro cybernetics, Sociocybernetics
Cyberneticians William Ross Ashby, Claude Bernard, Valentin Braitenberg, Ludwig von Bertalanffy, Gordon S. Brown, George S. Chandy, Joseph J. DiStefano III, Heinz von Foerster, Charles François, Jay Forrester, Buckminster Fuller, Ernst von Glasersfeld, Francis Heylighen, Erich von Holst, Stuart Kauffman, Sergei P. Kurdyumov, Niklas Luhmann, Warren McCulloch, Humberto Maturana, Horst Mittelstaedt, Talcott Parsons, Gordon Pask, Walter Pitts, Alfred Radcliffe-Brown, Robert Trappl, Valentin Turchin, Francisco Varela, Frederic Vester, John N. Warfield, Kevin Warwick, Norbert Wiener
Front page of The Tech, issue of January 18, 2006 The Tech, first published in 1881, is the oldest and largest campus newspaper at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as the first newspaper to be published online. ... Cybernetics is the study of communication and control, typically involving regulatory feedback, in living organisms, in machines and organisations and their combinations, for example, in sociotechnical systems, computer controlled machines such as automata and robots. ... Gotthard Gunthers term for Subjectivity. ... The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... In mathematics, catastrophe theory is a branch of bifurcation theory in the study of dynamical systems; it is also a particular special case of more general singularity theory in geometry. ... Connectionism is an approach in the fields of artificial intelligence, cognitive science, neuroscience, psychology and philosophy of mind. ... In engineering and mathematics, control theory deals with the behavior of dynamical systems. ... Decision theory is an interdisciplinary area of study, related to and of interest to practitioners in mathematics, statistics, economics, philosophy, management and psychology. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Inspired by the Laser theory and founded by Hermann Haken, Synergetics is an interdisciplinary science explaining the formation and self-organization of patterns and structures in open systems far from thermodynamic equilibrium. ... Systems theory is an interdisciplinary field which studies relationships of systems as a whole. ... Biological Cybernetics investigates communication and control processes in living organisms and ecosystems. ... Biomedical cybernetics deals with investigating signal processing, decision making and control structures in living organisms. ... Biorobotics is a term that loosely covers the fields of cybernetics, bionics and even genetic engineering as a collective study. ... Computational neuroscience is an interdisciplinary field which draws on neuroscience, computer science and applied mathematics. ... Homeostasis is the property of an open system, especially living organisms, to regulate its internal environment to maintain a stable, constant condition, by means of multiple dynamic equilibrium adjustments, controlled by interrelated regulation mechanisms. ... Medical Cybernetics covers an emerging working program for the application of systems- and communications-theory, connectionism and decision theory on biomedical research and health related questions. ... // Word explanation Neuro cybernetics is a compound word of neuro, regarding to the common biological way to convey information within a organism by means of nerves, and cybernetics - the science of communication and automatic control systems in relation to both machines and living beings. ... Sociocybernetics is an independent chapter of science in sociology based upon the General Systems Theory and Cybernetics. ... William Ross Ashby (September 6, 1903, London, England - November 15, 1972) was a British psychiatrist and a pioneer in the study of complex systems. ... Claude Bernard Claude Bernard (July 12, 1813 - February 10, 1878) was a French physiologist. ... Valentin Braitenberg is a cyberneticist and former director at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen, Germany. ... Karl Ludwig von Bertalanffy (September 19, 1901, Vienna, Austria - June 12, 1972, New York, USA) was a biologist who was a founder of general systems theory--which he literally translated from the mathematization of Nicolai Hartmanns Ontology as stated by himself in his seminal work-- .An Austrian citizen, he... He is a twat He was born in Vienna and died in Pescadero, California. ... Jay Wright Forrester (born 14 July 1918 Climax, Nebraska) is an American pioneer of computer engineering. ... In the U.S. postage stamp commemorating R. Buckminster Fuller and his contributions to architecture and science, some of his inventions are visible. ... A philosopher and proponent of radical constructivism. ... Francis Heylighen (born 1960) is a Belgian cyberneticist. ... Stuart Alan Kauffman (born September 28, 1939), originally trained as a physician, is a theoretical biologist and complex systems researcher, who studies the origin of life. ... Kurdyumov Sergei Pavlovich (1928-2004) is an outstanding Russian scholar, an expert in mathematical physics, computational mathematics, plasma physics and synergetics. ... Niklas Luhmann (December 8, 1927 - November 6, 1999) was a German sociologist, administration expert, and social systems theorist, as well as the founder of the sociological systems theory. ... Warren McCulloch (November 16, 1899 - September 24, 1969) was an American neurophysiologist and cybernetician. ... Humberto Maturana (born 1928 in Santiago) is a Chilean biologist and philosopher. ... Talcott Parsons (December 13, 1902–May 8, 1979) was for many years the best-known sociologist in the United States, and indeed one of the best-known in the world. ... Gordon Pask (1928-1996) was an English psychologist and cybernetician who made significant contributions to instructional psychology and educational technology. ... Walter Pitts (1923? - 1969) was a logician who worked in the field of cognitive psychology. ... Alfred Reginald Radcliffe-Brown (January 17, 1881–October 24, 1955) was a British social anthropologist who developed the theory of Structural Functionalism, a framework that describes basic concepts relating to the social structure of primitive civilizations. ... Valentin Turchin (born 1931) is a Russian-American cybernetician and computer scientist. ... Francisco Varela (Santiago, September 7, 1946 – May 28, 2001, Paris) was a Chilean biologist and philosopher who, together with his teacher Humberto Maturana, is best known for introducing the concept of autopoiesis to biology. ... Prof. ... JOHN N. WARFIELD The career of John Warfield has been described as passing through four phases: Phase 1: Electrical engineering faculty member: 1948-1965 Phase 2: Starting a systems science research career path: 1966-1980 Phase 3: Accruing evidence and developing components of systems science: 1980-2000 Phase 4: Aggregating... Kevin Warwick is a cybernetics professor at the University of Reading, England. ... Norbert Wiener Norbert Wiener (November 26, 1894 - March 18, 1964) was a U.S. mathematician and applied mathematician, especially in the field of electronics engineering. ...



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