Isaac Asimov

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What Does Isaac Asimov Mean?

Isaac Asimov (1920–1992) was a science fiction author best known for his "Foundation" series of novels, as well as the "I, Robot" collection of short stories. Asimov formulated the Three Laws of Robotics in the latter, which continues to influence researchers in robotics and artificial intelligence (AI). Asimov also wrote popular science books and mysteries in addition to science fiction.


Techopedia Explains Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov was a prolific author of both science fiction and popular science books. Asimov is best known for his "Foundation" series of novels as well as the Three Laws of Robotics he formulated in his "I, Robot" collection of stories:

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

Isaac Asimov was born in Russia on what he celebrated as January 2, 1920, though the actual date of his birth was unclear owing to poor record-keeping and the difference between Julian and Jewish calendars. The Asimov family emigrated to New York City, where they owned a number of candy stores. Asimov, who taught himself to read at the age of five, credited the store's collection of pulp magazines for fostering his lifelong love of the written word.

Asimov earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Columbia University in 1939, followed by a master's in 1941 and a doctorate in biochemistry in 1948. While maintaining his writing career, Asimov served on the faculty of Boston University School of Medicine in a non-teaching capacity.

In addition to science fiction, Asimov authored nonfiction books on a variety of subjects, as well as mystery stories and even limericks.

Asimov died on April 6, 1992, of complications of AIDS contracted from a blood transfusion during heart bypass surgery in 1983, before donated blood was tested for HIV.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.