Dr. Richard John Daystrom was a human scientist, specializing in cybernetics, active in at least the 23rd century.

"John" is the given name in James Blish's adaptation of "The Ultimate Computer". (TOS novel: Star Trek 8) Though probably taken from an early draft of the script, this may also be his middle name.

Born in 2219 in Göteborg, Sweden (Who's Who in Star Trek, Vol. 1), he was a young genius often compared to Albert Einstein, Kazanga and Sitar of Vulcan. Years after his death, Daystrom would be considered equal to Noonien Soong. (DS9 novel: Lesser Evil)

Daystrom was a descendant of Montcalm Daystrom, a personal assistant to Zefram Cochrane in the early 22nd century. (TNG novel: Federation)

The degree to which this connection influenced the Daystrom family in general, and Richard Daystrom in particular, is a matter of speculation.

In 2243, at the age of 24, Daystrom won the Nobel and Z-Magnees Prizes for the development of duotronics. Valley Forge-class (The Starfleet Museum: Museum History) and Constitution-class starships -- such as USS Enterprise -- were among the first craft on which such systems would be installed.

During his Starfleet Academy years, Spock admired Dr. Daystrom and his work, to the point of covertly -- and illegally -- using a maintenance "tryout" mode in Earth's Public Transporter System to attend a rare seminar by Daystrom in Tokyo. (Expanding the Oecumene)

A quarter-century after receiving accolades for his breakthrough in duotronics, Daystrom developed a system he called multitronics, a true "artificial intelligence." He believed such a system would obviate the need for personnel, aside from a scientific research staff, aboard starships. The first four iterations of the multitronic system failed. With the fifth -- known as the M-5 multitronic unit -- Daystrom used his own engrams as the basis for the operating system (unbeknownst to Starfleet)

An initial test run, with M-5 at the helm of Enterprise, resulted in the destruction of the freighter Woden. Later, during wargames involving five heavy cruisers -- Enterprise, Lexington, Excalibur, Hood, and Potemkin -- M-5 went beyond the parameters of its creator's intentions, resulting in the destruction of Excalibur and the deaths of hundreds of Starfleet officers. The system was taken offline and Daystrom, who had suffered a nervous breakdown, was sentenced to rehabilitation. (TOS: "The Ultimate Computer")

Some years later, Daystrom's daughter Melinda was kidnapped by Klingons so that he would build a multitronic device with the engrams of a Klingon imprinted upon it. This system, M-6, was as flawed as its predecessor and crippled the IKV Karak. (Orion Press: The Daystrom Project)

Some blueprints and technical manuals, such as Ships of the Star Fleet, refer to later Federation starships' mainframes as being "multitronic" but, given the track record of M-1 through M-5, these may have been advanced duotronic systems confusingly given the nomenclature of "multitronic."

Daystrom's later observations of Caligar technology, combined with his abandoned research into multitronics, were the basis of a forerunner to holodecks. (TOS novel: The Rift)

A text written by Daystrom, Principles of Robotics, would be required reading for Starfleet Academy midshipmen for the course "Introduction to Artificial Intelligence" in the late 24th century. (Last Unicorn Games RPG: Starfleet Academy Handbook)

The Daystrom Institute, a preeminent Federation research facility, was named after Richard Daystrom. (TNG: "The Measure of a Man", "Booby Trap", Star Trek: Excelsior novel: Forged in Fire)

External linksEdit