Seymour Papert, theorist behind One Laptop Per Child, dies at 88

Cyrus Farivar
Seymour Papert (right) seen here in 2005.
Seymour Papert, one of the creators of the Logo programming language and a significant influence behind One Laptop Per Child and Lego Mindstorms, died Sunday at home in Maine. He was 88.
On Monday, the Logo Foundation announced Papert’s passing in a tweet, but it did not cite a cause of death. Papert had sustained a serious brain injury after being hit by a motorcycle in Vietnam in 2006.
Papert was born February 29, 1928 in Pretoria, South Africa, where he completed his doctorate in mathematics in 1952 at the University of the Witwatersrand. He then emigrated to the United Kingdom, where he completed another doctorate at Cambridge University. After bouncing around European universities in the early 1960s as a researcher, he finally landed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1963.
Four years later, he was made co-director of the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, where he was the co-creator of Logo, a simple programming language taught to children. The language involved a turtle that can draw simple lines and shapes. (I was first exposed to Logo on an Apple IIe while growing up in 1980s Southern California.)
Papert also pioneered “constructionist learning,” the idea that students learn most efficiently when they participate in semi-self-directed projects that are designed to push their own learning. The computer scientist helped push his adopted home state toward the Maine Learning Technology Initiative, an ambitious project to give Apple laptops to all of its middle school students and half of its high school students.
The Logo Foundation is accepting donations to support the work that its late director pioneered.
Seymour Papert, theorist behind One Laptop Per Child, dies at 88 Reviewed by Bizpodia on 01:10 Rating: 5

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