4 years ago

John A. Swets (1928-2016).

Nickerson RS
This article memorializes John A. Swets (1928 -2016). Swets's scientific work included empirical experimentation, theory development, and practical applications. It attracted much attention, not only in psychology, but in other fields as well, especially medicine, education, and engineering. His work on the application of the theory of signal detection-which he began while still a graduate student- is very well known and has been influential in essentially every context in which people have to deal with noisy data. Among his many other notable achievements, Swets (along with colleagues) has been credited with building the first computer-based laboratory for experiments in perception and learning. It was built around a Programmed Data Processor-1 computer, which was first produced in 1959. If it was not the first, it was certainly among the first few, and it served as a prototype for many computer-based labs that were later developed around the Programmed Data Processor-8, which was introduced in 1965 and quickly became nearly ubiquitous in psychological laboratories. (PsycINFO Database Record

Publisher URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28481593

DOI: PubMed:28481593

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