MindShare Learning was honoured to record one of the final podcasts with Dr. Seymour Papert.
Papert’s work inspired generations of educators and researchers around the world. He received numerous awards, including a Guggenheim fellowship in 1980, a Marconi International fellowship in 1981, and the Smithsonian Award from Computerworld in 1997. In 2001, Newsweek named him “one of the nation’s 10 top innovators in education.”
“Papert made everyone around him smarter — from children to colleagues — by encouraging people to focus on the big picture and zero in on the powerful ideas,” says CSAIL’s Patrick Winston, who took over as director of the AI Lab in 1972.
In addition to “Mindstorms,” Papert was the author of “The Children’s Machine” (1993) and “The Connected Family: Bridging the Digital Generation Gap” (1996). As an emeritus professor, Papert continued to write many articles and advise governments around the world on technology-based education. In 2006, while in Vietnam for a conference on mathematics education, he suffered a serious brain injury when struck by a motor scooter in Hanoi.
Papert is survived by his wife of 24 years, Suzanne Massie, a Russia scholar with whom he collaborated on the Learning Barn and many international projects; his daughter, Artemis Papert; three stepchildren, Robert Massie IV, Susanna Massie Thomas, and Elizabeth Massie; and two siblings, Alan Papert and Joan Papert. He was previously married to Dona Strauss, Androula Christofides Henriques, and Sherry Turkle.
All of us at MindShare Learning express our deepest condolences and wish his family the best.