Professional Journal Names UCSB's Richard Mayer Top Educational Psychology Researcher; UCSB is #3 Among Institutions
A national five-year study has ranked Richard Mayer, a professor of psychology and education at UC Santa Barbara, the nation's most prolific researcher in the field of educational psychology.
The same study ranked UCSB the third most-prolific university in that field.
The study, conducted by researchers at Northern Illinois University and Southwest Missouri State University, covered 1997 through 2001.
Mayer also was found to be the most-published researcher of the 10-year period of 1991-2001. UCSB was third over that period as well. The study was published in the July 2003 issue of the journal Contemporary Educational Psychology.
"I feel very honored," Mayer said. "It's also nice that UCSB is third. I think UCSB provides an excellent environment for doing scholarship and research."
Mayer, who joined the UCSB faculty in 1975, is a leader in the field of multimedia learning and problem solving.
"I am trying to understand how students learn in Web-based environments, particularly in math and science," Mayer said.
"I am looking at how to use pictorial representations – computer graphics, animation, illustrations – to help people learn.
We're having a lot of fun exploring this new area."
\Mayer said he is in frequent contact with people in business, industry, government and other sectors that want to make use of what he has learned.
"I get calls all the time from people who are developing educational games, people who are starting software companies," Mayer said.
Mayer has a Ph.D. in psychology earned at the University of Michigan. He is a past chair of UCSB's Department of Psychology and a past president of the Division of Educational Psychology of the American Psychological Association.
He is the author of 18 books and more than 250 articles and chapters and is on the editorial boards of 11 journals.
In 2000, the APA awarded him the E.L. Thorndike Award for Career Achievement in Educational Psychology.
Mayer's passion for education extends beyond the academic. He has served as a member of the Goleta Unified School District board of trustees since 1981.
Ranked at 19th on the five-year list was Roxana Moreno, a former UCSB graduate student and Mayer associate who is now an assistant professor at the University of New Mexico.