SMITH--Edward E. Passed away Friday evening, August 17, 2012, at the age of 72. He was the William B. Ransford Professor of Psychology and the William B. Ransford Professor of Psychology (in Psychiatry) at Columbia University, as well as the Director of the Division of Cognitive Neuroscience at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Smith was born to Bessie Moskowitz and Harry Smith in Brooklyn, New York in 1940. He received his Bachelors Degree from Brooklyn College in 1961 and his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1966. He served two years as a public health officer at St. Elizabeth's Hospital where he first became interested in schizophrenia. After many years at Stanford University and the University of Michigan, he returned to New York to join the faculty at Columbia in 2004. Dr. Smith was a leader in the fields of cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience. He conducted seminal research on working memory, semantic memory, word perception, and the neural basis of cognition. Dr. Smith's research impact extends into clinical, social, developmental, personality, and educational psychology as well as psycholinguistics. He was a dedicated and hugely successful teacher of both undergraduates and graduates. He co-authored one of the most widely used Introduction to Psychology textbooks as well as a book on knowledge representation with Doug Medin, Categories and Concepts. In 2007, he co-authored Cognitive Psychology: Mind and Brain with Stephen Kosslyn. In recognition of his contributions to the field, Dr. Smith was the recipient of the 1999 APS William James Fellow Award and the 1997 APA Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1996 and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, in 1994. His wife Renee Marton and his children Benjamin Murphy-Smith and Audrey Murphy Smith survive him. A service of remembrance will take place on Wednesday, August 22, 2012, at â€œThe Riversideâ€ at 76th and Amsterdam in New York beginning at 10am and ending at 1pm. In lieu of flowers, donations to Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Center would be preferred.
Published in The New York Times on Aug. 20, 2012