Seymour Papert, South African-born American mathematician, Died at 88


Seymour Aubrey Papert was born on February 29, 1928, and died on July 31, 2016.

He was a South African-born American mathematician, computer scientist, and educator,

He spent most of his career teaching and researching at MIT.

Papert was one of the pioneers of artificial intelligence, and of the constructionist movement in education.

Seymour was co-inventor, with Wally Feurzeig, of the Logo programming language.

He worked as a researcher in a variety of places, including St. John’s College, Cambridge, the Henri PoincarĂ© Institute at the University of Paris, the University of Geneva, and the National Physical Laboratory in London before becoming a research associate at MIT in 1963.

Papert held this position until 1967, when he became professor of applied math and was made co-director of the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory by its founding director Professor Marvin Minsky, until 1981; he also served as Cecil and Ida Green professor of education at MIT from 1974-1981.

He was married to Dona Strauss, and later to Androula Christofides Henriques.

His third wife was MIT professor Sherry Turkle, and together they wrote the influential paper “Epistemological Pluralism and the Revaluation of the Concrete”.

During his final 24 years, Papert was married to Suzanne Massie, who is a Russian scholar and author of Pavlovsk, Life of a Russian Palace and Land of the Firebird.

Seymour Papert passed away at 88 years old.