Seymour Papert & the Power of Engagement

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Seymour Papert & the Power of Engagement

Posted on August 10, 2016

The best healing takes place when the patient or consumer is engaged…

Last Sunday Dr. Seymour Papert passed away at the age of 88. The world lost a great thinker, teacher, and mathematician, but his spirit lives on in many former colleagues and students, including (with gratitude), me. Seymour cut an eccentric figure, with a bushy grey beard, a rumpled tweed jacket, and a thick South African accent. However charmingly quirky, he was the real deal: a visionary, a trailblazer in the world of technology and its application. He spoke softly, but his words quickly cut to the heart of the matter. His ideas about technology and engagement are as critical today as ever.

Seymour was an inventor of the LOGO programming language, a founding faculty member of the MIT Media Lab, and a pioneer in Artificial Intelligence (AI). His ideas continue to shape mainstream culture, from the movie Inside Out (based on a theory developed by Seymour and his close collaborator, Marvin Minsky) to LEGO bricks. Seymour advised the LEGO company for decades, particularly on their technology-based toys such as Mindstorms.

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