Clifford Nass

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Clifford Nass
Clifford Nass at Stanford.jpg
Clifford Nass at Stanford in 2013
Born (1958-04-03)April 3, 1958
Teaneck, New Jersey, U.S.
Died November 2, 2013(2013-11-02) (aged 55)
Stanford Sierra Camp, Fallen Leaf Lake, California, U.S.
Residence Stanford, California, USA
Nationality American
Alma mater Princeton University
B.A., M.A., Ph.D.
Occupation Professor, Stanford University

Clifford Ivar Nass (April 3, 1958 – November 2, 2013) was a professor of communication at Stanford University, co-creator of The Media Equation theory, and a renowned authority on human-computer interaction.[1][2] He was also known for his work on individual differences associated with multitasking.[3] Nass was the Thomas M. Storke Professor at Stanford and held courtesy appointments in Computer Science, Education, Law, and Sociology. He was also affiliated with the programs in Symbolic Systems and Science, Technology, and Society.

Nass was the director of the Communication between Humans and Interactive Media (CHIMe) Lab, co-director of Kozmetsky Global Collaboratory (KGC) and its Real-time Venture Design Laboratory (ReVeL),[4] and a co-founder of TeachAIDS.[5]

Early life and education[edit]

Nass was born in Jersey City, New Jersey and raised in Teaneck, the son of Florence and Jules Nass. His parents formed New Jersey's first Mothers Against Drunk Driving chapter after Nass's older brother was killed by a drunk driver in 1981.[6]

Nass earned a B.A. cum laude in mathematics from Princeton University in 1981.[7] He then conducted research in the areas of computer graphics, data structures and database design for IBM and Intel before returning to Princeton for graduate school. He got his M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton in 1986, and joined the faculty at Stanford University.[8]

Nass died, age 55, of a heart attack in November 2013.[9]

Research and Books[edit]

He was the author of three books: The Media Equation, Wired for Speech, and The Man Who Lied to His Laptop. He has also published over 150 papers in the areas of human-computer interaction, statistical methodology, and organizational theory. He was credited with the founding of the Computers are Social Actors paradigm.[10] Nass consulted on the design of over 250 media products and services for companies including Microsoft, Toyota, Philips, BMW, Hewlett-Packard, AOL, Sony, and Dell.[11]



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