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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 61
CLYDE HAMILTON COOMBS
July 22, 1912-February 4, 1988
BY AMOS TVERSKY
CLYDE COOMBS will be remembered by his fellow psychologists and other social scientists for his seminal contributions to the analysis of qualitative measurement and multidimensional scaling, and for his innovative models of conflict and choice. Clyde will be remembered by his students and friends as an inspiring teacher and colleague, who stimulated and enriched the lives of those who were fortunate enough to know him. Clyde was endowed with enormous energy, genuine curiosity, and a deep commitment to research and testing. Research, for Clyde, was an exciting adventure in the realm of new ideas, and teaching provided him with an opportunity to share ideas with his students and to convey his contagious enthusiasm, as well as his personal warmth and unfailing sense of humor. Although Clyde was primarily a theoretician who developed mathematical structures for describing cognitive processes, he was also a gifted experimentalist who introduced several elegant and innovative designs and an ingenious data analyst who contributed some powerful and parsimonious methods for the analysis of psychological data. Indeed, much of Coombs' work may be characterized as an attempt to discover and articulate the formal structures that are hidden in psychological data.