Ed, you are my model of how to be a good human. Thank you for your kindness to me. God speed.
As many have said, Ed was a man with an incisive intellect, a warm heart and a great sense of humor. I was not a cognitive psychologist but he was generous with his time with me all the same as we collaborated on a project together when I was a graduate student in another program entirely. He spent many hours with me teasing apart ideas. He was a great mentor. To watch him teach was to watch a marvel at work -- so clear, so insightful. He will be missed by many.
So long, Ed. Of all great psychologists at Michigan, to me you were the kindest. Thanks again for your unconditional support and invaluable advice through all my years as a graduate student there. I could not have had a better role model in cognitive psychology.
Ed was my friend and mentor. He was a scholar, always supportive and curious about the work of younger colleagues. In a word, a mensch. I will miss him.
I've known Ed since 1969 when he served on my doctoral committee at the University of Wisconsin. The faculty had a voluntary coffee fund in their lounge and would post a weekly chart of funds contributed. Ed would randomly add or delete small amounts of cash so the books never balanced.
We maintained our friendship in the early 70's when Ed stayed at my house in Eugene OR and I at his home in Palo Alto. It was a great pleasure to renew this friendship when I joined the University of Michigan in 1999. I would kid Ed about his becoming a reductionist and he would reply that this was a lesser flaw than my becoming an engineering professor.
I will miss his great sense of humor and helpful criticism.
What a wonderful photograph of Ed. This picture captures his warm and happy smile and reminds me of many fun times we had. What I will remember from my visits to Ed and Renee in NYC is his amazing ability to come home from a full day of serious scholarly discussions and quickly transform and enjoy the most light-hearted un-scholarly banter about my work in the hair salon industry. Or he might converse happily with Paul over their shared appreciation for major league baseball. Ed was so smart and science minded but also soft hearted and playful ... and never a snob. I will remember nights of theatre and after theatre dinners spent debating the merits of the acting or the meaning behind the story. I will remember his pride when speaking of Ben and Audrey. I will remember his deep love and affection for Renee. We will remember Ed with fondness and affection -- always.
Many of his most recent students are grieving and have not yet spoken, but I'll write something on behalf of the students at Columbia. Ed was a marvelous person and the kindest, most generous teacher one could hope for. Ed had a unique way of gently encouraging us to think critically and be clear in our logic; one found that he truly listened to us, and met us fully on our level. When our logic was faulty or we were unclear, Ed would ask gentle questions that never put us on the defensive, but rather helped us reframe our explanations with greater clarity. Ed's reliable warmth and generosity lit up Columbia's Psychology department, and I - and so many of my peers - feel so fortunate to have trained with him. He was deeply inspirational to so many of us, and is truly missed.
To Ed's family and loved ones, my deepest condolences. Ed had an extraordinary intellect and was a most inspiring, caring, and genuine person. As his doctoral student, I benefited in so many ways from his mentorship. I am privileged to have worked closely with Ed and to have considered him both my advisor and my dear friend. The field has lost a treasure.
For those of us interested in the mind's categories and concepts, Ed was a giant. For those of us lucky enough to have known him, Ed was a sweetheart – generous, supportive, and funny to boot. He will be missed.
Ed, you were part of my second family. I miss you, and I love you. Knowing your gone is a sincere loss.
THE LOSS OF OUR DEAR COUSIN ED, IS NOT ONLY A PERSONAL LOSS, BUT ALSO A LOSS TO THE WORLD OF HIS BRILLIANT MIND.
Ed was, and always will be, my prototype of a clear-eyed seeker after truth.
A wonderful teacher, scientist and man. His work on normal and disordered brain function was a great credit to Columbia and the entire field.
What a delight it was to see Ed Smith at Columbia, 20 years after I took his introduction to cognitive science course at the University of Michigan as an undergrad. I am very happy to have had the opportunity to take him aside at that moment and tell him how influential his lectures on categorization and visual perception were for me so many years ago. Since then, whether in the halls of NYSPI or in the subway, he would offer straight advice to me with humor and great kindness.
Ed was one of those rare people who made a huge contribution to a field and was also genuinely helpful to everyone around him, including new people just starting out. His intellect and his spirit will be missed.
I knew Ed Smith since I was a nobody and he showed me that a Stanford professor could be warm and respectful to a lowly graduate student. Since then I was privileged to have him as a colleague at MIT for a few years and as a lifelong friend. Aside from being an erudite and wise cognitive psychologist, Ed was warm, funny, unpretentious, and generous. He proved that you can be both a great scientist and a wonderful human being.
Ed was generous with his knowledge and his time. He taught me the meaning of cognitive dissonance. He is missed.
Ed was a remarkable man, generous with his ideas and smile, nurturing of students and colleagues. The heavens are a bit darker now with his star gone.
I was so fortunate to have Ed as my advisor when I was a graduate student at Stanford in the 1970's, and as a mentor and friend for many years. While the obituary captures his impressive career, it needs to also be said that Ed was a very kind, caring and generous man, with great warmth and wit. I know I'm only one of a great many who both admired him as a scholar and cherished him as a dear friend. As we would say in our mutual home town of Brooklyn, Ed was a true mensch--a real human being worthy of being admired and emulated.
I did not know Ed as well as others in the department, but my interactions with him showed me how much fun and how warm he was. Last year, Ed took the time to meet up with me in Cambridge and we spent a few hours together with his son. We were both looking forward to collaborating when I arrived in NYC and he promised to show me some of his favorite Jazz Clubs. I'm sad that I never got to collaborate with him and that I did not get to know him better.
I admired Ed greatly, and was always glad to see him. He was one of the great scientists and great people of our field. So fun to talk to, generous, unassuming, and incisive. My heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.
Ed was a role model for students in many areas of psychology at Michigan in the early 90s. His incisive mind and warm personality were inspiring. A great human being.
Eddie was a good man, kind and generous. He will be missed. Renee, you made his last years on the planet happy ones from all I hear. Take good care of yourself. We have never met however I feel like you are family. My wishes for you are for a strenght of mind and heart at this time, and always. xoxo
Teal Eich always spoke so appreciatively of Dr. Smith's guidance as she worked toward her PhD. We are so very sorry for this loss and send our warmest regards to his family, colleagues, and friends
So many people in our field thought the world of Ed. His warmth, humor, insights and unpretentious attitude towards understanding the human mind and brain affected us all. Your passing leaves a great emptiness for us, but you will live in our memories.
Please know that my heartfelt condolences goes out to your family. I will miss Ed's his great smile as he walked into the office here at NYSPI with a great big smile and a cheerful hello! He was one of kindest bosses I've had the privilege to work for and it was an honor to have known him.
Ed was a dear friend and his departure is a great loss to all of us.
Ed was a wonderful scientist, an outstanding colleague and a very special person. I feel honored and fortunate to have known and worked with Ed and will miss him dearly. The thoughts of our family go out to his wife Renee and his children. May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life lived with extra-ordinary grace.