Michael A. Arbib

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Michael Anthony Arbib (born May 28, 1940) is an American computational neuroscientist. He is an Adjunct Professor of Psychology at the University of California at San Diego and professor emeritus at the University of Southern California; before his 2016 retirement he was the Fletcher Jones Professor of computer science, as well as a professor of biological sciences,[1] biomedical engineering,[1] electrical engineering,[2] neuroscience and psychology.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Arbib was born in England on May 28, 1940, the oldest of four children. His parents moved to New Zealand when he was about 7, and on to Australia when he was about 9.[3] Arbib was educated in New Zealand and at The Scots College in Sydney, Australia.[citation needed] In 1960 he took a BSc (Hons) at the University of Sydney,[2] with the University Medal in Pure Mathematics.[citation needed]

Arbib received his PhD in Mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1963.[4] He was advised by Norbert Wiener, the founder of cybernetics, and Henry McKean.[3][4] As a student, he also worked with Warren McCulloch, the co-inventor of the artificial neural network and finite-state machine.[3]


Following his PhD, Arbib moved to Stanford for a postdoc with Rudolf E. Kálmán.[3][5] Arbib spent five years at Stanford, before moving to become becoming the founding chairman of the Department of Computer and Information Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1970.[5] He remained in the Department until 1986, when he joined the University of Southern California.[5] He retired and was granted emeritus status in 2016.[6]

Arbib's collected papers from the period 1960 through 1985 are held by the University of Massachusetts Amherst.[7]

Awards and honors[edit]

Selected bibliography[edit]

Authored and co-authored books[edit]

  • (1968) Algebraic Theory of Machines, Languages and Semigroups ISBN 0-12-059050-6
  • (1969) Theories of abstract automata Prentice-Hall ISBN 0-13-913368-2
  • (1973) with Louis Padulo System Theory. A Unified State-space Approach to Continuous and Discrete Systems Saunders ISBN 072-167035-0
  • (1975) with Ernest G. Manes Arrows, Structures, and Functors: The Categorical Imperative Academic Press ISBN 0-12-059060-3
  • (1978) with Suad Alagic The Design of Well-Structured and Correct Programs Springer ISBN 0-387-90299-6
  • (1981) with A.J. Kfoury and Robert N. Moll A Basis for Theoretical Computer Science Springer ISBN 978-0-387-90573-0
  • (1982) with A.J. Kfoury and Robert N. Moll A Programming Approach to Computability Springer ISBN 978-1-4612-5751-6
  • (1984) Computers and the Cybernetic Society Second Edition Academic Press ISBN 978-1-483-27200-9 (First edition 1977)
  • (1985) In Search of the Person: Philosophical Explorations in Cognitive Science UMass ISBN 0-87023-499-4
  • (1986) with Ernest G. Manes Algebraic Approaches to Program Semantics Springer ISBN 978-0-387-96324-2
  • (1986) with Mary B. Hesse The Construction of Reality CUP ISBN 978-0-521-32689-6
  • (1987) with E. Jeffrey Conklin and Jane C. Hill From Schema Theory to Language OUP ISBN 0-19-504065-1
  • (1987) Brains, Machines, and Mathematics Second Edition Springer ISBN 978-3-540-96539-8 (First edition McGraw-Hill 1964 LC 63-21473)
  • (1988) with Robert N. Moll and A.J. Kfoury An Introduction to Formal Language Theory Springer ISBN 0-387-96698-6
  • (1989) The Metaphorical Brain Second Edition Wiley ISBN 978-0-471-09853-9 (First edition Wiley 1972 ISBN 0-471-03249-2
  • (2005) Beyond the Mirror: Biology and Culture in the Evolution of Brain and Language OUP ISBN 0-19-514993-9
  • (2012) How the Brain Got Language: The Mirror System Hypothesis OUP ISBN 978-0-199-89668-4

Edited books[edit]

  • (1982) with David Caplan and John C. Marshall Neural Models of Language Processes Academic Press ISBN 0-12-059780-2
  • (1984) with Oliver G. Selfridge and Edwina L. Rissland Adaptive Control of Ill-Defined Systems Plenum Press ISBN 978-1-4684-8943-9 (Proc. Nato Conference Series. II, Systems Science, V. 16, June 21–26, 1981 Devon, England)
  • (2003) The Handbook of Brain Theory and Neural Networks 2nd Edition MIT ISBN 978-0-262-01197-6 (First edition MIT 1995 0-262-01148-4)
  • (2005) with Jean-Marc Fellous Who Needs Emotions: The Brain Meets the Robot OUP ISBN 978-0-19-516619-4

Other publications[edit]

  • Dynamic Interactions in Neural Networks: Models and Data (Research Notes in Neural Computing) by Michael A. Arbib, Shun-Ichi Amari (1 January 1989)
  • Vision, Brain, and Cooperative Computation by Michael A. Arbib (Editor), Allen R. Hanson (Editor) (24 January 1990)
  • Natural and Artificial Parallel Computation by Michael A. Arbib (Editor), J. Alan Robinson (Editor) (Hardcover – 21 December 1990)
  • Neuroscience: From Neural Networks to Artificial Intelligence : Proceedings of a US-Mexico Seminar Held in the City of Xalapa in the State of Verac (Lecture Notes in Mathematics) by Pablo Rudomin, et al. (1 June 1993)
  • Neural Organization: Structure, Function, and Dynamics by Michael A. Arbib, Péter Érdi and János Szentágothai et al. (31 October 1997)
  • Neuroscience and the Person: Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action (Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action Series) by Robert J. Russell, et al. (1 January 2000)
  • Computing the Brain: A Guide to Neuroinformatics by Michael Arbib, Jeffrey S. Grethe (15 March 2001)
  • The Neural Simulation Language: A System for Brain Modeling by Alfredo Weitzenfeld, et al. (1 July 2002)
  • Visual Structures and Integrated Functions (Research Notes in Neural Computing, No 3) by Michael A. Arbib, Jorg-Peter Ewert
  • Visuomotor Coordination: Amphibians, Comparisons, Models, and Robots by Jorg Peter Ewert, Michael A. Arbib


  1. ^ a b c "USC - Viterbi School of Engineering - Viterbi Faculty Directory".
  2. ^ a b Gold Medal The Atlas[dead link]
  3. ^ a b c d Anderson, James A.; Rosenfeld, Edward (2000). "10 Michael A. Arbib". Talking Nets: An Oral History of Neural Networks. MIT Press. pp. 211–238. ISBN 978-0-262-51111-7.
  4. ^ a b Michael A. Arbib at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  5. ^ a b c Emory, Margaret (April 5, 2019). "From Building Brains to Brained Buildings: An Interview with Michael A. Arbib". BrainWorld. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  6. ^ "Professor Emeritus Michael Arbib: A Remarkable Trajectory - 55 Years of Brains, Machines and Mathematics (event announcement)". Department of Computer Science. University of Southern California. September 12, 2016. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  7. ^ "Michael A. Arbib Papers". Library. University of Massachusetts Amherst. Retrieved October 26, 2020.
  8. ^ "Elected AAAI Fellows". Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. Retrieved October 26, 2020.
  9. ^ "Annual Report" (PDF). American Association for the Advancement of Science. 2008. Retrieved October 26, 2020.

External links[edit]