William Ross Ashby

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Ashby, William Ross


Born Apr. 6, 1904, in London. British psychiatrist and specialist in cybernetics.

Ashby graduated from Cambridge University and from 1930 worked as a psychiatrist. He was director of the Burden Neurological Institute in Bristol in 1959–60. Beginning in 1960 he was professor of cybernetics and psychiatry at the University of Illinois (Urbana, USA). His principal works deal with the brain, with the principles of self-organization, and with adaptive processes. He invented the homeostat in 1948.


In Russian translation:
“Skhema usilitelia myslitel’nykh sposobnostei.” In the collection Avtomaty. Moscow, 1956.
Vvedenie v kibernetiku. Moscow, 1959.
Konstruktsiia mozga: Proiskhozhdenie adaptivnogo povedeniia. Moscow, 1964.
“Kibernetika segodnia i ee budushchii vklad v tekhnicheskie nauki.” In M. Taube, Vychislitel’nye mashiny i zdravyi smysl. Moscow, 1964.
“Printsipy samoorganizatsii.” In the collection Printsipy samoorganizatsii. Moscow, 1966.
References in periodicals archive ?
Psychiatrist and roboticist William Ross Ashby, in his 1952 book, Design for a Brain, wrote that cybernetics "takes as its subject-matter the domain of 'all possible machines,' and is only secondarily interested if informed that some of them have been made, either by Man or by Nature.
Whereas Wiener's impact in computer science was far more diffuse and indirect than that of Alan Turing and John von Neumann, it is Wiener's ideas, along with those of contemporaries Warren McCulloch, Walter Pitts, William Ross Ashby, and William Grey Walter, that provided a significant counterpoint to the symbolic, logical knowledge representation that dominated artificial intelligence and cognitive science in the 1960s and 1970s.
William Ross Ashby (1903-1972) was a British pioneer in the fields of Cybernetics and Systems Theory.