On August 9, 1927, in New York City, Marvin Lee Minsky was born to Dr. Henry Minsky, an eye surgeon, and Fannie Resier, an active participant in the Zionist movement. At an early age he developed an interest in science, a characteristic that was encouraged at the private schools he attended as a child. Nevertheless, after high school he joined the United States Navy. Following his two years of service, Minsky entered Harvard University, where he pursued a variety of subjects, including psychology, physics, neurophysiology, and mathematics. After graduation in 1950, he transferred to Princeton University to pursue his doctorate in mathematics, and during his first year there he constructed the first neural network simulator. Subsequent to receiving his PhD in 1954, he revisited Harvard, but this time as part of the renowned group of scholars known as the Society of Fellows.
Lord Rayleigh was a British physicist and mathematician who worked in many disciplines including electromagnetics, physical optics, and sound wave theory. The criteria he defined still act as the limits of resolution of a diffraction-limited optical instrument. Rayleigh wrote over 446 scientific papers but is perhaps best known for his discovery of the inert gas argon, which earned him a Nobel Prize.