Daystrom, Dr. Richard

Star Trek: The Original Series
Episode: TOS 053 - Ultimate Computer, The

Born in 2219, Daystrom was a brilliant 23rd-century computer scientist, and inventor of the comptronic and duotronic systems. Daystrom won the prestigious Nobel Prize and the Zee-Magnees Prize in 2243, at the age of 24, for his breakthrough in duotronics, which became the basis for computer systems aboard Federation starships for over 80 years. Daystrom's early successes resulted in personal troubles, and he spent many years trying to live up to his reputation as a "boy wonder." In the 2260s, Daystrom tried to develop a concept he called "multitronics." This new system involved imprinting human neural engrams upon computer circuits, causing them to mimic the synapses of the brain. The process would give a computer the ability to think and to reason like a human. Unfortunately, when tested, Daystrom's multitronic system also mimicked the unstable portions of his personality, resulting in a disaster in which nearly 500 Starfleet personnel were killed. The failure of his creation pushed Daystrom over the edge of insanity, and he was committed to a rehabilitation center for treatment. However, his reputation as an innovator remained intact, as one of the most prominent research centers in the Federation, the Daystrom Institute, was named after him.