Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
William Ross Ashby
William Ross Ashby (September 6, 1903, London, England - November 15, 1972) was a British psychiatrist and a pioneer in the study of complex systems. Despite being widely influential within cybernetics, systems theory and, more recently, complex systems, he is not nearly as well known as many of the notable scientists his work has influenced including Herbert Simon, Norbert Wiener, Ludwig von Bertalanffy and Stuart Kauffman.
From 1947 to 1959, Ashby was director of research at Barnwood House Hospital in Gloucester. From 1959 to 1960 he was Director of the Burden Neurological Institute . From 1960 to 1970 in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Illinois in Urbana. Ashby became a fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatry in 1971.
- "Principles of the Self-Organizing Dynamic System", Journal of General Psychology (1947), volume 37, pages 125--128 (first known occurrence of the term "self-organizing" in print).
- Design for a Brain, Chapman & Hall, 2nd edition, 1966, ISBN 0-412-20090-2 (original edition, 1952)
- Introduction to Cybernetics, Chapman & Hall, 1956, ISBN 0416683002 (also available in electronic form as a PDF from Principia Cybernetica)
- "Principles of Self-Organizing Systems" in Heinz Von Foerster and George W. Zopf, Jr. (eds.), Principles of Self-Organization (Sponsored by Information Systems Branch, U.S. Office of Naval Research), 1962
Sources used in article (or an earlier version)
- Cosma Shalizi's article on William Ashby from 1999-11-29
- citation of 1973 Encyclopedia Britannica Yearbook obituary notice
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