||This biographical article is written like a résumé. (December 2008)|
Rochel Gelman was born in Toronto, Ontario to parents who came from very religious Jewish communities in Eastern Europe. In high school, Gelman chose to pursue the math, physics and chemistry track for education, which her guidance counselor supported. In college, at the University of Toronto, Dr. Gelman pursued a degree in the Honors Psychology program as was advised by her Dean. She participated in research in three labs, was an author on 2 papers, gave a talk at the Canadian Psychology Associate, and attended laboratory meetings. After graduating from the University of Toronto, Dr. Gelman attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and took classes both in developmental and human learning.
Gelman is married to fellow psychologist C. Randy Gallistel, who also works at Rutgers.
Awards and honors
Dr. Gelman is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, winner of the 1995 Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association (APA), a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a William James Fellow of the American Psychological Society. She also serves as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the False Memory Syndrome Foundation (FMS).
Dr. Gelman was featured on Closer to the Truth: Science, Meaning and the Future, a PBS series created, produced, and hosted by Dr. Robert Lawrence Kuhn.
Dr. Gelman's research in developmental cognitive science works to uncover the ease with which young children acquire intuitive understandings of natural numbers and arithmetic, children's perceptions of separately moveable animate and inanimate objects, children's understanding that outcomes have causes, and how children learn words and conversationally appropriate ways of talking. Dr. Gelman is noteworthy for her development of a Science-into-ESL program and preschool exhibit at the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia.