February 13, 2014 AT 7:52 am

Cynthia Solomon, co-creator of the first programming language for children – Logo

Remi Turtlegrafik

Cynthia Solomon.

Dr. Cynthia Solomon is a pioneer in the fields of artificial intelligence, computer science and educational computing. Forty years ago while at Bolt, Beranek & Newman, Cynthia, along with Seymour Papert and Wally Feurzeig created the first programming language for children, Logo (programming language). She was Vice President of R&D for Logo Computer Systems, Inc. when Apple Logo was developed and was the Director of the prestigious Atari Cambridge Research Laboratory.

Solomon taught at Milton Academy for seven years. After that, she was the Technology Integration Coordinator at Monsignor Haddad Middle School in Needham, MA. Recently, Solomon directed the creation of educational materials for the One Laptop per Child Foundation.

Dr. Solomon has maintained a long relationship with the MIT Media Lab and the One Laptop Per Child Foundation in addition to her teaching, consulting and scholarship. Her doctoral research at Harvard led to the publication of the critical book, Computer Environments for Children: A Reflection on Theories of Learning and Education. Solomon is also the co-author of Designing Multimedia Environments for Children, with Allison Druin.

The first time Seymour and I used Logo with a class of children was the summer of 1967 at the Hanscom School on the Hanscom Air Force Base in Lincoln, MA. After that experience Logo was drastically redesigned and re-implemented. The class met 4 periods a week in Lexington, MA and consisted of 14 students. We had teletypes (model 33 and 35) in the classroom. They were connected to a DEC PDP-1 computer at Bolt, Beranek and Newman. The computer was a dedicated Logo time-shared system. Seymour and I team taught the class. Much of what went on that year is foundational to Seymour’s book, Mindstorms. Here are pictures taken in the Spring of 1969 by Frank Frazier.

Logothings site/wiki.


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