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Encyclopedia > Norbert Wiener
Norbert Wiener

Norbert Wiener (November 26, 1894, Columbia, MissouriMarch 18, 1964, Stockholm Sweden) was an American theoretical and applied mathematician. He was a pioneer in the study of stochastic and noise processes, contributing work relevant to electronic engineering, electronic communication, and control systems. Wiener is also the founder of 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. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... is the 330th day of the year (331st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1894 (MDCCCXCIV) was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... Nickname: Location in the state of Missouri Coordinates: Country United States State Missouri County Boone Government  - Mayor Darwin Hindman Area  - City  59 sq mi (138. ... is the 77th day of the year (78th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also Nintendo emulator: 1964 (emulator). ... For other uses, see Stockholm (disambiguation). ... Applied mathematics is a branch of mathematics that concerns itself with the mathematical techniques typically used in the application of mathematical knowledge to other domains. ... Leonhard Euler, considered one of the greatest mathematicians of all time A mathematician is a person whose primary area of study and research is the field of mathematics. ... In the mathematics of probability, a stochastic process can be thought of as a random function. ... For the Irish mythological figure, see Naoise. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Telecommunication is the transmission of signals over a distance for the purpose of communication. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Control theory. ... Cybernetics is the study of feedback and derived concepts such as communication and control in living organisms, machines and organisations. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Feedback loop. ... Engineering is the applied science of acquiring and applying knowledge to design, analysis, and/or construction of works for practical purposes. ... Systems control: In a communications system, the control and implementation of a set of functions that (a) prevent or eliminate degradation of any part of the system, (b) initiate immediate response to demands that are placed on the system, (c) respond to changes in the system to meet long range... Computer science, or computing science, is the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and their implementation and application in computer systems. ... Biology studies the variety of life (clockwise from top-left) E. coli, tree fern, gazelle, Goliath beetle Biology (from Greek: βίος, bio, life; and λόγος, logos, knowledge), also referred to as the biological sciences, is the study of living organisms utilizing the scientific method. ... The philosopher Socrates about to take poison hemlock as ordered by the court. ... For other uses, see Society (disambiguation). ...



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. Thanks to his father's tutelage and his own abilities, Wiener became a child prodigy. The first volume of Wiener's autobiography dwells on this period in considerable detail. Earning his living teaching German and Slavic languages, Leo read widely and accumulated a personal library from which the young Norbert benefited much. Leo also had ample ability in mathematics, and tutored his son in the subject until he left home. For other uses, see Jew (disambiguation). ... A child prodigy is someone who is a master of one or more skills or arts at an early age. ...  Countries where a West Slavic language is the national language  Countries where an East Slavic language is the national language  Countries where a South Slavic language is the national language The Slavic languages (also called Slavonic languages), a group of closely related languages of the Slavic peoples and a subgroup...

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. Ayer High School is located in Ayer, Massachusetts. ... Tufts University is a university located in Medford, Massachusetts (near Boston). ... A B.A. issused as a certificate Bachelor of Arts (B.A., BA or A.B.), from the Latin Artium Baccalaureus is an undergraduate bachelors degree awarded for either a course or a program in the liberal arts or the sciences, or both. ... Zoology (from Greek: ζῴον, zoion, animal; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is the biological discipline which involves the study of animals. ... Harvard University is a private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, and a member of the Ivy League. ... “Cornell” redirects here. ...

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, whose essential results 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, Kuratowski proposed a simplification of Wiener's definition of the ordered pair, and that simplification has been in common use ever since. Edward Vermilye Huntington (April 26 1874, Clinton, New York, USA -- November 25, 1952, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA) was an American mathematician. ... Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. ... Mathematical logic is a major area of mathematics, which grew out of symbolic logic. ... In mathematics, an ordered pair is a collection of two objects such that one can be distinguished as the first element and the other as the second element (the first and second elements are also known as left and right projections). ... Set theory is the mathematical theory of sets, which represent collections of abstract objects. ... In mathematics, the concept of a relation is a generalization of 2-place relations, such as the relation of equality, denoted by the sign = in a statement like 5 + 7 = 12, or the relation of order, denoted by the sign < in a statement like 5 < 12. Relations that involve two... Set theory is the mathematical theory of sets, which represent collections of abstract objects. ... Kazimierz Kuratowski (born February 2, 1896, Warsaw, died June 18, 1980, Warsaw) was a Polish mathematician. ...

In 1914, Wiener travelled 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. Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS, (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970), was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, advocate for social reform, and pacifist. ... G. H. Hardy Professor Godfrey Harold Hardy FRS (February 7, 1877 – December 1, 1947) was a prominent English mathematician, known for his achievements in number theory and mathematical analysis. ... The University of Cambridge (often Cambridge University), located in Cambridge, England, is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and has a reputation as one of the worlds most prestigious universities. ... David Hilbert (January 23, 1862, Königsberg, East Prussia – February 14, 1943, Göttingen, Germany) was a German mathematician, recognized as one of the most influential and universal mathematicians of the 19th and early 20th centuries. ... Edmund Georg Hermann (Yehezkel) Landau (February 14, 1877 – February 19, 1938) was a German Jew mathematician and author of over 250 papers on number theory. ... The Georg-August University of Göttingen (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, often called the Georgia Augusta) was founded in 1734 by George II, King of Great Britain and Elector of Hanover, and opened in 1737. ... “GE” redirects here. ... // The Encyclopedia Americana is the second largest printed general encyclopedia in the English language (after the Encyclopædia Britannica). ... “The Great War ” redirects here. ... Oswald Veblen (24 June 1880 - 10 August 1960) was an American mathematician. ... Ballistics (gr. ... Aberdeen Proving Ground is a United States Army facility located at Aberdeen, Maryland (in Harford county). ...

After the war, Wiener was unable to secure a position at Harvard because he was Jewish (despite his father being the first tenured Jew 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. The University of Melbourne, is a public university located in Melbourne, Victoria. ... William Fogg Osgood (1864-1943) was an American mathematician, born in Boston. ... The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private, coeducational research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. ...

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. Guggenheim Fellowships are grants that have been awarded annually since 1925 by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation to those who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts. ... Three different views of Brownian motion, with 32 steps, 256 steps, and 2048 steps denoted by progressively lighter colors. ... The Fourier transform, named for Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier, is an integral transform that re-expresses a function in terms of sinusoidal basis functions, i. ... In mathematics, Dirichlet problems are a class of partial differential equation (PDE) problems which ask you to solve for the values of a function in a region given the value of the function on the boundary of that region. ... In mathematics, a large number of methods have been proposed for the summation of divergent series. ...

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

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. Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... American troops man an anti-aircraft gun near the Algerian coastline in 1943 Anti-aircraft, or air defense, is any method of combating military aircraft from the ground. ... There is much discussion in the academic world of communication as to what actually constitutes communication. ... Cybernetics is the study of feedback and derived concepts such as communication and control in living organisms, machines and organisations. ... Cognitive science is usually defined as the scientific study either of mind or of intelligence (e. ... Neuropsychology is a branch of psychology and neurology that aims to understand how the structure and function of the brain relate to specific psychological processes and overt behaviors. ... Biophysics (also biological physics) is an interdisciplinary science that applies the theories and methods of physics, to questions of biology. ... One or more images would improve this articles quality. ... Walter Pitts (1923? - 1969) was a logician who worked in the field of cognitive psychology. ... Computer science, or computing science, is the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and their implementation and application in computer systems. ... Garry Kasparov playing against Deep Blue, the first machine to win a chess game against a reigning world champion. ...

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. Robotics is the science and technology of robots, their design, manufacture, and application. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Soviet redirects here. ... For other uses, see Cold War (disambiguation). ...

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 Heims (1980). The Manhattan Project resulted in the creation of the first nuclear weapons, and the first-ever nuclear detonation, known as the Trinity test of July 16, 1945. ... The Atlantic redirects here; for the ocean, see Atlantic Ocean. ... For other persons named John Neumann, see John Neumann (disambiguation). ...

Awards and honors

The Bôcher Memorial Prize was founded by the American Mathematical Society in 1923 in memory of Maxime Bôcher with an initial endowment of $1,450 (contributed by members of that society). ... National Medal of Science The National Medal of Science, also called the Presidential Medal of Science, is an honor given by the President of the United States to individuals in science and engineering who have made important contributions to the advancement of knowledge in the fields of behavioral and social... The Norbert Wiener Prize in Applied Mathematics is a $5000 prize awarded every three years to for an outstanding contribution to applied mathematics in the highest and broadest sense. ... The American Mathematical Society (AMS) is dedicated to the interests of mathematical research and education, which it does with various publications and conferences as well as annual monetary awards to mathematicians. ... For the country formerly called Siam see Thailand SIAM is an acronym for Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. ... The Norbert Wiener Award for Social and Professional Responsibility was established in 1987 in honor of Norbert Wiener to recognize contributions by computer professionals to socially responsible use of computers. ... Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR) is an organization focusing on the aspect of computer technology on society. ... Wiener is a lunar impact crater that lies on the Moons far side from the Earth. ... Far side of the Moon. ... This article is about Earths moon. ...

See also

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Norbert Wiener

Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Wikiquote is a sister project of Wikipedia, using the same MediaWiki software. ... ). A simple mathematical representation of Brownian motion, the Wiener equation, named after Norbert Wiener, assumes the current velocity of a fluid particle fluctuates randomly: where v is velocity, x is position, d/dt is the time derivative, and g(t) may for instance be white noise. ... The Wiener filter is a filter proposed by Norbert Wiener during the 1940s and published [1]. // Description Unlike the typical filtering theory of designing a filter for a desired frequency response the Wiener filter approaches filtering from a different angle. ... A single realization of a one-dimensional Wiener process A single realization of a three-dimensional Wiener process In mathematics, the Wiener process is a continuous-time stochastic process named in honor of Norbert Wiener. ... In mathematics, Wieners tauberian theorem is a 1932 result of Norbert Wiener. ... In mathematics, the Paley–Wiener theorem relates growth properties of entire functions on Cn and Fourier transformation of Schwartz distributions of compact support. ... The Wiener-Kinchen theorem states that the power spectral density of X(t) is the Fourier transorm of <Rx(t)>. ... 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. ...


  • 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.
  • 1965 (1948). Cybernetics: Or the Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • 1964 (1930). Extrapolation, Interpolation and Smoothing of Stationary Time Series with Engineering Applications (known during the war as the yellow peril). MIT Press.
  • 1988 (1950). The Human Use of Human Beings. Da Capo Press.
  • 1966. Nonlinear Problems in Random Theory. MIT Press.
  • 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.

Autobiography: Jean van Heijenoort (prounounced highenort) (July 23, 1912, Creil France - March 29, 1986, Mexico City) was a pioneer historian of mathematical logic. ... In God & Golem, Inc. ...

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


  • From The Cybernetics Society Publcations of Norbert Wiener


  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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. Ivor Grattan-Guinness (Born 23 June 1941, in Bakewell, England) is a prolific historian of mathematics and logic, at Middlesex University. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ...

External links

NAME Wiener, Norbert
SHORT DESCRIPTION American mathematician
DATE OF BIRTH November 26, 1894
PLACE OF BIRTH Columbia, Missouri
DATE OF DEATH March 18, 1964
PLACE OF DEATH Stockholm, Sweden

  Results from FactBites:
howard rheingold's | tools for thought (5638 words)
Wiener, an insecure, far less worldly, sometimes vain, and often hypersensitive personality, simply didn't go to as much trouble to make an impression outside the realm of mathematics, where he was confident to the point of arrogance.
At MIT Wiener began his long friendship with Vannevar Bush, a man who in the early 1930s was deeply involved in the problems of building mechanical calculators, and in the 1940s took charge of the largest-scale administration of applied science in history.
Wiener was convinced that biology, even sociology and anthropology, were to be as profoundly affected by cybernetics as electronics theory or computer engineering; in fact anthropologist Gregory Bateston was closely involved with Wiener and later with the first AI researchers.
Norbert Wiener (371 words)
Norbert Wiener (November 26, 1894, Columbia, Missouri - March 18, 1964, Stockholm, Sweden) was a American mathematician, known as the founder of cybernetics.
Norbert was educated at home until he was seven, he entered school only briefly before resuming the majority of his studies at home.
Wiener received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1912 for a dissertation on mathematical logic.
  More results at FactBites »



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