In response to:

The Importance of Norbert Wiener from the September 24, 1964 issue

To the Editors:

In his article on Norbert Wiener, Mr. Toulmin says that before the Second World War Wiener “built a solid though unspectacular reputation for research.” The very opposite of this is true. Wiener’s mathematical work was breathtakingly new and powerful, and he was justly regarded by the scientific community as one of the most original and profound mathematical thinkers in this country. He himself was conscious and even self-conscious about his prominence about which there are several charming anecdotes.

This is worth pointing out since Wiener’s eminence in his own field undoubtedly disposed workers in other fields, for instance cybernetics, to consider his contributions with great respect and attention.

Peter D. Lax

Professor of Mathematics

New York University

This Issue

October 22, 1964