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Seymour Papert in Coma after Accident

Posted 7 Dec 2006 at 21:00 UTC by steve Share This

Seymour Papert, an MIT professor who pioneered AI research along with Marvin Minsky, has been struck by a motorbike in Hanoi while crossing the street. Papert, 78, was in Hanoi to give the keynote address at the 2006 ICMI conference. After the traffic accident, he underwent brain surgery at a French Hospital and remains in coma. In addition to his AI research, Papert is know for Papert's Principle and his advisory work on LEGO Mindstorms and MIT's One Laptop per Child initiative.

Update, posted 13 Dec 2006 at 22:07 UTC by steve » (Master)

Papert is still in a coma and, meanwhile, Hanoi traffic has claimed another victim. Prominent Vietnam physicist, Nguyen Van Dao, was killed in a similar traffic accident Saturday.

Papert flown back to US, posted 22 Dec 2006 at 16:19 UTC by steve » (Master)

A 25 hour flight on a Swiss Air Ambulance plane has brought Papert back to the US, according to a recent article. He has been moved to Mass General Hospital in Boston. The article also includes more information on the driver of the motorbike that his Papert. Police have filed charges against the drivers who hit Papert and Nguyen Van Dao.

The irony of it all is that Papert had been discussing how to construct a computer model of Hanoi's chaotic traffic at the time of the accident. Hanoi traffic is dominated by motorbike riders who ignore lanes and traffic signals, leading to thousand of accidents.

Out of the hospital, posted 24 Feb 2007 at 21:23 UTC by steve » (Master)

Latest word is that Papert regained consciousness, can speak, and has been discharged from the hospital. He is not expected to suffer any lasting after-effects from the head trauma. For a few more details see story in the VietNamNet Bridge.

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