News

Clifford Nass, Stanford communication professor, dies at 55

Nass was known for his research on the social-psychological aspects of human interaction with technology and media

Clifford Nass, a communication professor at Stanford University known for his research on technology and multitasking, died Nov. 2 at Stanford Sierra Camp near South Lake Tahoe, collapsing at the end of a hike. He was 55.

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Posted by Justin Kitch
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 6, 2013 at 9:30 am

Cliff Nass was an amazing, enthusiastic and challenging teacher... the only class my wife and I ever took together at Stanford, and one that changed our perspective on the world. We still reference it twenty years later. A great loss to intellectually curious and socially concerned citizens of the world. Luckily we have his immense body of work to remember him by and build upon.


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 6, 2013 at 10:14 am

Very sorry to hear this ... this guy was very bright and way too young.

> Nass and two other Stanford researchers found that people who are regularly immersed in multiple streams of electronic information -- texting on a phone, watching a video, checking email and the like -- do not pay attention, control their memory or switch from one task to another as well as those who focus on one item at a time.

Well, that is true of computers too. A processor doing one thing can do it more efficiently than it if has to stop, save what it's doing, load another job, do that for a while and repeat over and over, especially with more frequent interruptions. The difference is while processors will slow down, people will make mistakes. People are not machines ... hope we can remember that by remembering this man's work.


Like this comment
Posted by John Donald
a resident of Menlo Park
on Nov 6, 2013 at 11:20 am

Clifford Nass was my favorite Stanford professor. Very sad to hear this.


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Posted by agreatman
a resident of another community
on Nov 7, 2013 at 3:46 pm

He will be deeply missed by all the students he had helped, he was a great man who took in so many students from local schools to host their summer activities.


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Posted by Misha
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 7, 2013 at 9:31 pm

Cliff Nass was a wonderful man and a loving father who treated my own son, a good friend of Matt's, with such warmth. Much sympathy to Matt.

Please let us know of the memorial plans so we may pay our respects.


Like this comment
Posted by A New Yorker
a resident of another community
on Nov 7, 2013 at 9:39 pm

I only "know" this man through his photo and obit: one of the kindest faces I have ever seen. Sympathy to his son.


Like this comment
Posted by We hardly knew him
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 8, 2013 at 8:30 am

My husband, at Mr Nass' request, gave a lecture to his classes a few years ago. Unlike most geniuses, he was a truly kind and caring individual.

What a loss to Stanford and the world! Deepest condolences to his family.


Like this comment
Posted by Jenny or Carol Li
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 8, 2013 at 2:40 pm

I cried hard!
I was a babysitter for his son Matthew when he was a baby about 6 month old. This was about 20 years ago in Stanford.
I have not seen Cliff and Matthew for almost 20 years now.
This is so sad he is gone??
He always had big smile in his face with big love to Matthew whenever he picked up Matthew from me
My husband and I will miss him!
How is Matthew?
Rest In Peace!


Like this comment
Posted by Pat
a resident of another community
on Nov 9, 2013 at 8:29 am

I adored Cliff and will mourn his loss. Thinking of him always warms my heart and makes me smile.


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