Menu Close

EN | Personajes ilustres – Wiener

Wiener, Norbert (1894-1964)

American mathematician and founder of the science of cybernetics, Wiener was born on 26 November 1894 in Columbia.

He was a child prodigy, and son of a Russian-born Harvard professor of Slavic languages to who emigrated to America. At the age of 18 years, he received a doctorate from Harvard University.

After being rejected by the army to fight in the World War I, he was engaged by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who suggested that he organize and structure one of its departments.

His main fields of research were the Brownian movement, harmonic analysis, automatic gun aiming and firing during the Second World War and finally his greatest contribution, cybernetics.

In the 1940s, he developed the principles of cybernetics, which are now part of the more general field of control theory, automation and computer programming. In 1948, he published his book Cybernetics: or the control and communication in the animal and the machine, setting out this new discipline for the general public and the scientific community.

He took an interest in philosophy and neurology as fundamental branches of knowledge for cybernetics. Apart from becoming a science, cybernetics opened up a field of interdisciplinary reflection, which introduced different approaches to many fields of technology. In automaton construction and especially in computer development, Wiener became one of the great precursors of the digital age that marked the early 21st century.

Wiener died on 18 March 1964 in Stockholm, Sweden.