Learning Theory: Founding Mathematical Psychology
Accidental happenings—coincidences—have a way of influencing large segments of one’s life. Knowing William Cochran through the Kinsey work probably led to our later association at Harvard. My work in the field of mathematical learning theory also developed through an entirely unexpected and unanticipated route.
In the large and varied Department of Social Relations, we had many visitors. Rubbing shoulders with the many scholars visiting here was one frequent source of accidental happenings for me in the early years. Often academicians advance their work by visiting another university where a somewhat different scholarly atmosphere will redirect their imaginations, and breaking with a normal schedule helps free up the imagination, too. Visits can be as short as a few days, but usually last a quarter, a semester, or a year. The degree of association with the host department may be loose or strong. Sometimes visiting scholars merely want a supportive atmosphere to carry forward work they have long wanted to complete but lacked the uncluttered time for. Other times they want to interact directly and intensely with researchers at the institution they are visiting.
KeywordsLearn Theory Mathematical Psychology Learning Automaton Social Science Research Council Attractive Goal
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