Stanford University

Clifford I. Nass


Cliff Nass

Cliff Nass


Clifford Nass died Nov. 2 at Stanford Sierra Camp near South Lake Tahoe, after collapsing at the end of a hike.

Clifford Nass earned a B.A. cum laude in mathematics (1981) and a Ph.D. in sociology (1986), both from Princeton University. Before attending graduate school, Nass worked as a computer scientist at Intel Corporation.

Nass focuses on experimental studies of social-psychological aspects of human-computer interaction. He directs the Communication between Humans and Interactive Media (CHIMe) Lab. The four foci of the CHIMe Lab are: 1) Communication in and between Automobiles: Research on Safety, Information Technology, and Enjoyment (CARSITE); 2) Social and Psychological Aspects of Computing Environments (SPACE), which focuses on mobile and ubiquitous technology; 3) Abilities of People: Personalization, Emotion, Embodiment, Adaptation, Language, and Speech (APPEEALS); and 4) human-robot interaction. He is also co-Director of the Kozmetsky Global Collaboratory, which focuses on developing countries.

Nass is co-author of two books: The Media Equation: How People Treat Computers, Television, and New Media Like Real People and Places(Cambridge University Press) and Wired for Speech: How Voice Activates and Advances the Human-Computer Relationship (MIT Press), which won the International Communication Association Outstanding Book Award for 2007. He is author of over 100 papers on the psychology of technology and statistical methodology.

His research has been applied to over 250 media products and services including Microsoft, Toyota , Nissan, BMW, Philips, Sony, Time-Warner, Hewlett-Packard, Charles Schwab, and Fidelity. Nass is also a professional magician.