It is with great personal sadness that I write with the news that David
Rumelhart passed away this morning. David was a towering intellect and
contributed to many areas of mathematical psychology and cognitive
science. Hailing from South Dakota, be studied Mathematical Psychology
as a graduate student at Stanford, then joined the faculty at UCSD.
After 20 years he returned to Stanford as a professor in the Department
Rumelhart developed powerful algorithms for training neural networks and
played a critical leadership role in articulating the computational
advantages and implications of neural networks in the 1980's. Among
other things David led, with me, the group that produced 'Parallel
Distributed Processing: Explorations in the Microstructure of
Cognition', a two volume work on the foundations and applications of
neural network models that has sold over 100,000 units (including both
single and double-volume sales) since its publication in 1986.
David became tragically disabled due to a progressive neurological
condition during the mid-1990's, leaving his professorship at the end of
David received many honors during his lifetime, including election to
membership in the National Academy of Sciences and a MacArthur 'Genius'
Award. David was also a Fellow of the SEP and he and I jointly received
the SEP Warren Medal in 1993. In 2000, the Glushko-Samuelson foundation
created a major prize for fundamental contributions to the theoretical
foundations of cognitive science in David's honor.
There will be a memorial service for David later in the spring in the