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Creativity in the Sciences and the Arts: How Can We Explain It?

Psychologists have gained a considerable understanding in recent years of how people solve problems. Can this understanding be extended from routine, everyday problem solving to the kind of activities, in science and art, that we call creativity? In the past decade, research has tackled this question, even to the point of constructing computer programs that simulate human creativity. Herbert Simon has been one of the harbingers in this exciting and new research.

Dr. Simon is Richard King Mellon University Professor of Computer Science and Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University, where he has taught since 1949. During the past thirty years he has been studying decision-making and problem-solving processes, using computers to simulate human thinking. He has published over 700 papers and 20 books and monographs, including his autobiography, Models of My Life (1991). Dr. Simon was educated at the University of Chicago, and his work has been recognized by honorary degrees from a number of universities.

Mr. Simon was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1967. He has received awards for his research from the American Psychological Association, the Association for Computing Machinery, the American Political Science Association, the American Economic Association, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. He received the Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 1978, and the National Medal of Science in 1986.

Mr. Simon has been chairman of the board of directors of the Social Science Research Council and of the Behavioral Science Division of the National Research Council and was a member of the President's Science Advisory Committee.

Please join us for an enlightening speech by Mr. Simon. The reception begins at 5:30, followed by dinner at 6:00 and lecture at 7:00.