- See Daystrom for other articles with titles that contain, either by relationship or by coincidence, this character's surname.
Richard Daystrom in 2268
|Nickname(s):||The Boy Wonder|
|Affiliation:||United Federation of Planets|
Daystrom was born in Goteburg, Sweden, Confederation of European States. His education occurred in Stockholm where he became known as "The Boy Wonder" due to taking only six years to finish his primary and secondary levels of education. (TOS comic: "Who's Who in Star Trek, Issue 1")
In 2229, aged 10, Daystrom produced the first practical mathematical study of the relationship between subatomic structure and data processing. Over the next fourteen years, Daystrom expanded his understanding in the subject, and finally made a breakthrough in developing the duotronic computer in 2243. For his efforts, he was rewarded with the Nobel and Zee-Magnees Prizes. (TOS novel: Final Frontier; TOS episode: "The Ultimate Computer", VOY video game: Elite Force)
- Who's Who of Star Trek, Issue 1 indicates that Daystrom's duotronic breakthrough occurred when he was 22 years of age, in 2241.
Despite his achievements, Daystrom felt under appreciated by his peers and successors, and developed a resentment for them when they developed improvements based on his work. In response to this, Daystrom devoted his time (almost 25 years) to working on the development of a multitronic computer system and create a successful artificial intelligence. By the 2260s, Daystrom had built the M-5 computer system, which was so sophisticated that it would be able to operate a starship on its own. (TOS comic: "Who's Who in Star Trek, Issue 1", TOS episode: "The Ultimate Computer")
Starfleet Command were impressed by Daystrom's new M-5 computer, and in 2268, decided to install the device aboard the USS Enterprise and perform a test run, with Daystrom accompanying them. While the initial tests went well, the M-5 soon began to act erratically and violently, actions which included the seizing of non-critical systems, attacking the freighter Woden without provocation, and launching full strength attacks on several other Constitution-class starships during war games, which jeopardized over 1,600 lives.
Once the M-5 had been deactivated, it was revealed that Daystrom had used his own personality engrams as a model for the system's personality, which included his psychological problems. Unfortunately, the events brought about an emotional breakdown in Daystrom, which required him to be subdued. Following the incident, Daystrom was committed to a medical rehabilitation facility and spent 14 months in intensive therapy in some of the best facilities that Starfleet maintained. (TOS episode: "The Ultimate Computer")
He later participated in a diplomatic mission to contact the Calligar and also started more experinments which eventually led to the successful control of a crewless starship. (TOS novel: The Rift, TOS comic: "Who's Who in Star Trek, Issue 1")
In the 23rd century, Daystrom was considered a genius, and was compared to minds such as Albert Einstein, Kazanga and Sitar of Vulcan. However, his brief mental decline and failure didn't dent his reputation and esteem, as he was still rated amongst scientific genius such as Noonien Soong and Cren Veruda (at least by Elias Vaughn). (TOS episode: "The Ultimate Computer"; DS9 novel: Lesser Evil)
At some point during Daystrom's lifetime, he wrote a text titled Principles of Robotics. By the late 24th century, it was required reading by cadets taking Starfleet Academy's Introduction to Artificial Intelligence course. (Last Unicorn RPG module: Starfleet Academy Handbook)