Herbert Simon

Economist, Academic

1916 – 2001


Who was Herbert Simon?

Herbert Alexander Simon was an American political scientist, economist, sociologist, psychologist, and professor—most notably at Carnegie Mellon University—whose research ranged across the fields of cognitive psychology, cognitive science, computer science, public administration, economics, management, philosophy of science, sociology, and political science. With almost a thousand very highly cited publications, he is one of the most influential social scientists of the 20th century.

Simon was among the founding fathers of several of today's important scientific domains, including artificial intelligence, information processing, decision-making, problem-solving, attention economics, organization theory, complex systems, and computer simulation 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.

He also received many top-level honors later in life. These include: becoming a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1959; election to the National Academy of Sciences in 1967; the ACM's Turing Award for making "basic contributions to artificial intelligence, the psychology of human cognition, and list processing"; the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics "for his pioneering research into the decision-making process within economic organizations"; the National Medal of Science; and the APA's Award for Outstanding Lifetime Contributions to Psychology.

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Jun 15, 1916
Also known as
  • Herbert Alexander Simon
  • Herbert A Simon
  • Atheism
  • Christian Unitarianism
  • United States of America
  • Germany
  • Doctorate, University of Chicago
    Political Science
    ( - 1943)
  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Chicago
    Political Science
    ( - 1936)
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
  • University of California, Berkeley
Feb 9, 2001

on July 23, 2013


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