Marvin Minsky, an American scientist working in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) who co-founded vthe Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) AI laboratory, wrote several books on AI and philosophy, and was honored with the ACM A.M. Turing Award, passed away on Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016 at the age of 88. Born in New York City, Minsky attended the Ethical Culture Fieldston School, the Bronx High School of Science, and Phillips Academy, before entering the U.S. Navy in 1944. After leaving the service, he attended Harvard University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics in 1950. He then went to Princeton University, where he built the first randomly wired neural network learning machine, the Stochastic Neural Analog Reinforcement Calculator (SNARC), before earning his Ph.D in mathematics there in 1954. Doctorate in hand, Minsky was admitted to the group of Junior Fellows at Harvard, where he invented the confocal scanning microscope for thick, light-scattering specimens, decades in advance of the lasers and computer power needed to make it useful; today, it is in wide use in the biological sciences.
Holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel died Saturday at the age of 87 after a prolonged illness. Wiesel, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, is best known for his memoir "Night" that recounts his family being sent to the Nazi concentration camps. It is the abbreviated version of the 800-page memoir he wrote in Yiddish, "Un di velt hot geshvign" (And the World Remained Silent), and was published in France in 1958. World leaders and eminent personalities remembered Wiesel for the role he played as a writer, speaker, human rights advocate and philosopher. U.S. President Barack Obama offered his condolences to Wiesel's family, calling the Romanian-born activist a "living memorial," and stressing on the effect his journey has had on today's world.
Teachers snag "Hamilton" tickets for history students Hollywood's art-lovers came out to fete Jeff Koons at the MOCA gala Hollywood's art-lovers came out to fete Jeff Koons at the MOCA gala Interviews with Russian President Vladimir Putin, conducted by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Oliver Stone, will air in a four-hour documentary that is set to air on Showtime on four consecutive nights beginning June 12. "The Putin Interviews" is culled from a series of a dozen interviews conducted by Stone with assistance from producer Fernando Sulichin. The most recent interview was recorded in February, after the U.S. election and President Trump's inauguration. The film will touch on allegations of Russian interference in the presidential election, the Kremlin's role in Syria and Ukraine, as well as the increasingly adversarial relationship between the United States and Russia, Showtime said in a news release. "If Vladimir Putin is indeed the great enemy of the United States, then at least we should try to understand him," Stone said in the announcement.