The Gevirtz School laments the passing of Emeritus Professor John Cotton

Friday, May 3, 2019
John Cotton

John Cotton in 2016

The Gevirtz School community is saddened to learn of the passing of Professor Emeritus John Cotton on Monday, April 29 at age 93, after having contracted pneumonia five days prior. 

Cotton did his doctoral studies at Indiana University and he came to UC Santa Barbara in 1960 from Northwestern University. The next year he became chair of the Psychology Department and oversaw both the construction of the Psychology Building and the establishment of the department’s doctoral program. In 1966 he received a joint appointment as Professor of Psychology and Education. He was instrumental in mediating the black student takeover of the Computer Center in North Hall in 1968 and improving educational opportunities for black students. He was among the first of the mathematical psychologists and made important contributions to animal learning, concept formation, computer assisted instruction and artificial intelligence. He wrote many papers and two books on statistics, was a very generous consultant on statistical problems, and continued to work on research until last year. He served as Associate Dean of the Graduate Division and Director of the UCSB Bureau of Educational Research and Development among many service contributions to UCSB, psychology, and the Santa Barbara community. He retired from UCSB in 2012.

There will be a memorial service for John Cotton on Saturday, May 4 at 10 am at Quail Lodge, which is in the Valle Verde Retirement Community.

To get to Quail Lodge take Calle de los Amigos toward the ocean. Valle Verde will be on the right. Go beyond the Health Center and the Administration Building and turn right on Torino Drive. Take the first right on Senda Verde.  Quail Lodge is on the left, just beyond the parking lot. There is limited parking here, so you may have to go back to Torino Drive.