The young boy gazes from his front yard to the end of the quiet cul-de-sac, two blocks from Carnegie Mellon. His parents moved to the street after his father, Joel Tarr, accepted a joint faculty position in the university’s history department in 1967. Each morning, five-year-old Michael is mesmerized by the parade of professors and students walking along Forbes Avenue to campus. Often among them is a serious-looking gentleman with thick, dark glasses. It’s Herb Simon, the father of artificial intelligence, who is making fundamental contributions to the field of cognitive psychology and would go on to receive a Nobel Prize in economics. Tarr’s father points out the influential scientist and one day introduces his son to the future Nobel laureate. On occasion, the boy and professor chat.

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