Herbert Simon

Herbert Simon, 1968

Herbert Alexander Simon (1916 - 2001) was an American political scientist and economist whose research ranged across the fields of cognitive psychology, computer science, public administration, management, philosophy and science and sociology. He is one of the most influential social scientists of the 20th century, with almost a thousand widely cited publications.

Simon founded many of today’s most important scientific domains, including: artificial intelligence, information processing, decision-making, problem-solving, attention economics, organization theory, complex systems, and computer simulations of scientific discovery. He coined the terms “bounded rationality” and “satisficing,” and was the first to analyze the architecture of complexity and to propose a preferential attachment mechanism to explain power law distributions.

Simon’s influence is evidenced by his many honors, including the Turing Award, the 1978 Nobel Prize in Economics, the National Medal of Science and the American Psychological Association’s Award for Outstanding Lifetime Contributions to Psychology.


Themed: “The Sciences of the Artificial”
“Understanding the Natural and Artificial Worlds.” March 15, 1968. Kresge Auditorium.
“The Psychology of Thinking: Imbedding Artifice in Nature.” March 18, 1968. Kresge Auditorium.
“The Science of Design: Creating the Artificial.” March 20, 1968. Kresge Auditorium.