In this bittersweet tale of a boy genius who ran away and became a great scientist, physics writer Amanda Gefter warmly describes Walter Pitts and his pioneering work in the field of cybernetics. The characters are brilliant but relatable – the vulnerable Pitts, the freewheeling Warren McCulloch, and the fatherly Norbert Wiener. Gefter also succeeds in making sense of complex logical problems and the mathematical solutions Pitts undertook. The heartbreaking conclusion is a reminder that falling short of your goal doesn’t necessarily equal failure. getAbstract recommends this powerful vignette to lovers of science and philosophy.
In this summary, you will learn
- How homeless runaway Walter Pitts gained prominence in the scientific community;
- How Pitts and philosopher Warren McCulloch contributed to modern understanding of computing and artificial intelligence; and
- Why, in spite of his success, Pitts thought he had failed.
About the Author
Amanda Gefter is a physics writer. She wrote Trespassing on Einstein's Lawn: A Father, a Daughter, the Meaning of Nothing and the Beginning of Everything.