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Models of My Life
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Table of Contents

Part I Journey to a 21st birthday: the boy in Wisconsin; forests and fields; education in Chicago; encounter with a scientific revolution - political science at Chicago. Part II The scientist as a young man: a taste of research - the City Managers' Association; managing research - Berkeley; teaching at Illinois Tech; a matter of loyalty; building a business school - the Graduate School of Industrial Administration; research and science politics; mazes without minotaurs; roots of artificial intelligence; climbing the mountain - artificial intelligence achieved. Part III View from the mountain: exploring the plain; personal threads in the warp; creating a university environment for cognitive science and A.I.; on being argumentative; the student troubles; the scientist as politician; foreign adventures. Part IV Research after 60: from Nobel to now; the amateur diplomat in China and the Soviet Union; guides for choice. Afterword: the scientist as problem solver.

About the Author

Herbert A. Simon (1916-2001) was an influential psychologist and political scientist, awarded the 1978 Nobel Prize in Economics and the 1975 Turing Award (with Allen Newell). His many published books include Models of Bounded Rationality and Models of My Life (both published by the MIT Press)..

Reviews

Simon observes himself as an object for scientific inquiry in this refreshingly innovative autobiography. Principal architect of the field of artificial intelligence, this polymath has applied the metaphor of a decision-making maze to human cognition, management science, economics and politics--winning a Nobel Prize in 1978. Instead of a dry, rationalist exercise, this traipse through the branching paths of his personal labyrinth turns out to be a quirky, soul-baring self-analysis. In early chapters on his introspective Milwaukee childhood, he refers to himself in the third person as ``the boy.'' He is equally objective in discussing his 1930s flirtation with political radicalism, his half-century-long marriage and the politics of scientific infighting. This is a disarming self-portrait by a gifted writer who believes that the real self is an illusion and that one's life need not have a unifying thread. Photos. (Mar.)

"As much as any one person, Herbert A. Simon has shaped the intellectual agenda of the human and social sciences in the second half of the 20th century .... For many readers, Mr. Simon's view of human endeavor, of love and of work, will seem emblematic not of the pre-Freudian rationalism-that-was but a new, sleeker, rationalism-to-be--a rationalism purged of utopian excess, committed to empirical studies, and wedded to the most modern technology."--Sherry Turkle, "New York Times Book Review"
& quot; As much as any one person, Herbert A. Simon has shaped the intellectual agenda of the human and social sciences in the second half of the 20th century .... For many readers, Mr. Simon's view of human endeavor, of love and of work, will seem emblematic not of the pre-Freudian rationalism-that-was but a new, sleeker, rationalism-to-be -- a rationalism purged of utopian excess, committed to empirical studies, and wedded to the most modern technology.& quot; -- Sherry Turkle, New York Times Book Review
" As much as any one person, Herbert A. Simon has shaped the intellectual agenda of the human and social sciences in the second half of the 20th century .... For many readers, Mr. Simon's view of human endeavor, of love and of work, will seem emblematic not of the pre-Freudian rationalism-that-was but a new, sleeker, rationalism-to-be -- a rationalism purged of utopian excess, committed to empirical studies, and wedded to the most modern technology." -- Sherry Turkle, "New York Times Book Review"
-- Sherry Turkle, "New York Times Book Review"

Simon is a veritable Renaissance man: considered the father of artificial intelligence, he also contributed to the theory of organizational behavior and was the first social scientist to be admitted to the National Academy of Science. In this extensive and entertaining autobiography, he writes smoothly and provocatively on a range of topics from his early youth to his years at UC Berkeley, Illinois, and, finally Carnegie Mellon. He is surprisingly candid in discussing how he ``prepared'' for his Nobel prize in economics, and his descriptions of political and personal in-fighting in academe document an aspect often not shown. Simon has participated in some of the most wide-ranging intellectual developments of this century, and his autobiography surely will interest many readers.-- Hilary D. Burton, Lawrence Livermore National Lab., Livermore, Cal.

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