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Jerry Lettvin


For those who knew him: this is YOUR wiki!

Students, colleagues, and friends are welcome to add to this wiki on condition that you:

  1. send me your email
  2. include a first Jerry anecdote in the email to establish your bona fide (it will go into this wiki)
  3. include your preferred login name
  • I will register you for editing privileges as soon as possible.
  • You will receive a confirmation email enabling your first login.

The goal of this wiki is to broaden the scope of the biographical information beyond what editors at wikipedia allow, where a number of important entries have been deleted.


Better obsession than depression.

If it doesn't change everything, why waste your time doing the study?

I love things complexly because they are complex.

In Freudian theory everything reminds you of sex. In mythology sex reminds you of everything.

How would God have designed it?

It is not art that concerns you but politics, not taste but special interest, not excellence but propriety.

This in his resignation letter to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences when they withdrew the annual Emerson-Thoreau medal from Ezra Pound for his leanings during World War II.

Bullshit! [1]

MIT Building 20 Stories by Brad Howland

Offered with permission from Brad.

Part of the charm of these stories is that they are TYPEWRITTEN. Portions of the scans are tilted, go off the page, making some stories incomplete. So here, in all their glory, are the collected stories of Building 20 as told by Brad Howland.

Please send email to Jonathan D. Lettvin to receive contact information for Brad.

7.36 Advanced Neurophysiology (transcribed by C. L. Searle, made available by Gad Geiger)

  1. Cover page (upside down)
  2. Lecture 1
  3. Lecture 2
  4. Lecture 3
  5. Lecture 4
  6. Lecture 5
  7. Lecture 6
  8. Lecture 7
  9. Lecture 8 and 9
  10. Lecture 10
  11. Lecture 11

doctoral_students (incomplete)

George Plotkin
Ed Gruberg
Shin-Ho Chung
Bill Saidel
Eric Newman
Susan Udin
Robert Gesteland
Gill Pratt
Stephen Waxman
Mike Brill
Michael Brill

'Adrian Gropper:

Rusty Bobrow
Frank Axelrod
Charlie Epstein
Harriet Fell
Mark Lurie
Steve Raymond
Ian Hentall
Glenn Boley
Norman Geschwind

influences (incomplete)

Norbert Wiener
Warren McCulloch
Walter Pitts
Derek Denny-Brown
Santiago Ramón_y_Cajal
Charles Scott_Sherrington
Rafael Lorente De No
John Zachary_Young

influenced (incomplete)

John Dowling
Robert Provine
Gadi Geiger
John Moore
Tom Sabin
Hyman Hartman
Lynn Margulis
Joel Moses
Marc Abrahams
Jeffrey Nicoll
Peter Cariani
Sidney Coleman
Whitfield Diffie
Maurice Fox
Danny Hillis
Bela Julesz
Harvey Karten
Benoit Mandelbrodt
Marvin Minsky
Phil Morrison
Paul Pangaro
Bob Rose
Campbell Searle
Oliver Selfridge
Louie Smullin
Gunther Stent
Gerry Sussman
Costa Tsipis
Hertha Von Dechend
Giorgio DeSantillana
Joe Weizenbaum
Pat Winston
Ed Mlavsky
Carleton Gajdusek
Brian Boycott


Roger Trilling
Roger Trilling

An old fashoned HTML page

Dowben Rose Microelectrode



Wikipedia copy of text without images etc...


Some caricatures sent by Charlie Epstein who wrote:

"I found a caricature Jerry did of me, and a collection of sketches done by a sketch artist one night, in the mid-70s at Legal Seafood (in Inman Square)."

Andy Smith
Charlie Epstein
caricature Jerry did of me on a Legal Seafood placemat.


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