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Press Release

Jonathan Potts

For immediate release:
June 25, 2003

Carnegie Mellon Psychology Professors Are Named Among World's Most Highly Cited Researchers

PITTSBURGH—Four members of Carnegie Mellon University's nationally ranked Department of Psychology are among the world's most highly cited researchers, according to Thomson ISI, an international scientific information corporation. ISI, which provides products and services to researchers, scours the world's scholarly literature to identify the researchers whose work is cited most often in scientific articles. ISI considers this index a key measure of scientific influence. For the first time, ISI has compiled an index for psychology/psychiatry, which includes 243 researchers worldwide.

The Carnegie Mellon professors on the psychology list are: John Anderson, the R.K. Mellon University Professor of Psychology and Computer Science; Sheldon Cohen, the recently named Robert E. Doherty Professor of Psychology; James McClelland, the Walter Van Dyke Bingham University Professor of Psychology and Computer Science; and Michael F. Scheier, head of the Psychology Department. "This is further confirmation of the international impact that our Department of Psychology continues to have. It also is a testament to the broad strengths of the department, as these professors represent specialties in social and health psychology, cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience," said John Lehoczky, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Carnegie Mellon.

All four scientists are pioneers in their respective disciplines. Scheier and Cohen are the architects of Carnegie Mellon's highly respected health psychology program, and they have helped turn Pittsburgh into the world's leading center of health psychology research. Among Scheier's ongoing research projects is a study of the impact of psychosocial interventions—such as discussion and education groups—on breast cancer patients. He is co-director of the Pittsburgh Mind-Body Center, a joint venture with the University of Pittsburgh.

Cohen is internationally recognized for his groundbreaking scientific contributions toward understanding the effects of social and environmental stress on human behavior and health. He has spent much of the past 15 years studying the impact that stress and social characteristics have on the immune system and individual susceptibility to illness. His pioneering study demonstrating that stress increases susceptibility to the common cold was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Anderson has spent his career studying human cognition. By applying cognitive psychology to education, Anderson created Cognitive Tutors, interactive software that help students learn a variety of subjects. The most well known is Cognitive Tutor Algebra, which is in use in more than 40 states and has been named an exemplary program by the U.S. Department of Education. His research also is being used to develop cutting-edge online college-level courses at Carnegie Mellon and other institutions.

McClelland is the co-director of the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, a research center operated jointly with the University of Pittsburgh. McClelland has helped make Carnegie Mellon a world leader in cognitive neuroscience, which examines the physiological processes that occur during human thought. He is a pioneer in creating computational models that simulate thought processes based on principles of neural computation. These models can be used to develop and test theories of how the brain learns, how it recognizes spoken language and how visual perception takes place. In 2001, he won the prestigious Grawemeyer Award for Psychology, which he shared with David Rumelhart of Stanford University.

The Department of Psychology is one of eight departments in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the second-largest academic unit at Carnegie Mellon. The department's Ph.D. program has been ranked ninth in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, which also ranks the department's graduate program in cognitive psychology second in the United States. The National Research Council has ranked the department number one in the nation in scientific impact.

Nine other Carnegie Mellon professors are on the ISI list of most highly cited researchers in their fields: Statistics Professors Joseph Kadane and Rob Kass, and Mathematical Sciences Professor Morton Gurtin (mathematics); Materials Science and Engineering Professor Emeritus Hubert Aaronson (materials science); Computer Science Professors Daniel D. Sleator, Randal Bryant and Edmund Clarke (computer science); Economics Professor Finn Kydland (economics/business); and Computer Science Professor Takeo Kanade (engineering).


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