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Seymour Papert, the MIT professor who was struck by a motorbike in Vietnam earlier this month, was in intensive care Tuesday in Massachusetts General Hospital after being airlifted from Hanoi.
Just hours before the accident on a busy Hanoi street, Papert, 78, had been describing how to build a computer model of Hanoi's jammed streets. According to reports from colleagues attending a mathematics meeting in the Vietnamese capital, Papert looked at Hanoi's chaotic traffic grid as a possible instance of his "emergent behavior" work; the traffic patterns were considered an example of large groups that follow simple rules without a central leader, but then spontaneously evolve solutions.
Papert, who co-founded the Artificial Intelligence Lab at MIT, has also been a major figure in the One Laptop Per Child program.
According to a bulletin on the MIT Media Lab's Web page, Papert was airlifted to the United States on Dec. 18 and has been in a stable condition in the intensive care unit ever since.