It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to one of our most brilliant minds — our dear friend and TeachAids co-founder, Clifford Nass, who passed away on November 2nd, 2013.
TeachAids only exists because of Cliff’s genius, kindness, and compassion. A beloved professor, he was constantly asked to sit on the boards of his colleagues’ and students’ organizations. Since it was important to Cliff to fully dedicate himself to his commitments, he ended up turning down most of these invitations.
We feel fortunate to have received Cliff’s blessing and guidance at TeachAids. After advising on the original research behind the HIV educational tools, Cliff encouraged TeachAids founder and CEO, Dr. Piya Sorcar, to create an organization that was dedicated to this work. As a founding board member, Cliff helped direct the organization as it expanded into more than 70 countries in just four years.
Cliff believed that TeachAids has the ability to change the world. “The TeachAids software has comfort rates that are in Disney territory, which is remarkable for a curriculum on such a sensitive topic. It is providing the best HIV education in the world, and is accessible to those prevented from learning because of cultural taboos or costs.”
Cliff was an accomplished and widely recognized academic and practitioner. At Stanford University, he was the Thomas M. Storke Professor, with appointments in Communication, Computer Science, Education, Law, and Sociology. He was also director of the Communication between Humans and Interactive Media Lab, director of the REVS Program, co-director of the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford (CARS), and co-director of the Kozmetsky Global Collaboratory.
Cliff is the creator of the Computers Are Social Actors paradigm, and the author of three books – The Media Equation, Wired for Speech, and The Man Who Lied to His Laptop – as well as over 125 papers on social-psychological aspects of human-technology interaction and non-parametric statistics. His research had fundamental applications, impacting over 250 products and services from industry leaders such as Sony, Time Warner, BMW, Toyota, Nissan, Hewlett Packard, and Philips, amongst others. The loss of his unique and keen insights was noted across the country (NYT | NPR).
We celebrate his life through the millions of students who will continue to learn through his teachings and the legacy of work he leaves behind. Thank you for giving so much of yourself to us, Cliff. You are an inspiration to us all, and your impact will live on forever.
Photo: TeachAids Co-Founder and Stanford Professor Clifford Nass had boundless enthusiasm for sharing his insights into creating research-driven innovations to solves many of the world’s challenges.