Professor Herbert A. Simon’s research has ranged from computer science to psychology, administration, and economics. The thread of continuity through all his work has been his interest in human decision-making and problem solving processes, and he has made use of the computer as a tool for simulating human thinking. Born in 1916 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Simon was educated at the University of Chicago. Since 1949, he has been on the faculty of Carnegie Mellon University, where he is the Richard King Mellon University Professor of Computer Science and Psychology. Simon was not only a polymath crossing the lines between multiple disciplines, but a truly original thinker who foresaw many of today's most important scientific issues. He was a founding father in the domains of Artificial Intelligence, human problem-solving, information economy, complex systems and computer simulation of scientific discovery. He coined the terms bounded rationality and satisficing, and was the first to analyse the architecture of complexity and to propose a preferential attachment mechanism to explain power law distributions. In 1978, he received the Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, and in 1986 the National Medal of Science. Simon’s writings include “Administrative Behavior, Human Problem Solving (jointly with Alen Newell), and Models of my Life (autobiography).
In 1996, The Society for Design and Process Science has established the Herbert A. Simon Gold Medal Award to recognize distinguished achievement in applying scientific principles to problems and processes for the benefit of mankind.