Jeffrey L. Elman
In recognition of Jeff Elman’s many contributions to the field of cognitive science, the Cognitive Science Society is pleased to award the annual Jeffrey L. Elman Prize for Scientific Achievement and Community Building. This award, presented each year at our Annual Meeting, is given to mid-career cognitive scientists (individuals or teams) whose accomplishments exemplify the twin strands of scientific excellence and commitment to community-building and service that were so evident in Jeff Elman’s career.
Award of the Jeffrey L. Elman Prize
The Elman Prize nominations and selection process occurs annually, with a call for nominations released in the fall and winners announced in winter. The prize consists of a hand-crafted, custom silver medal, a certificate, a citation of the awardee’s contributions, and a monetary award of $25,000.
Fundraising for the Endowment
The Cognitive Science Society established a special endowment for the Elman Prize, made possible through a very generous gift from Robert J Glushko & Pamela Samuelson Foundation and a matching transfer of funds from the Cognitive Science Society’s core endowment. Funds have also been raised through Jeff’s colleagues and students at UCSD. Others who wish to recognize and honor Jeff Elman and his notable contributions to cognitive science are able to designate donations specifically for this purpose. We encourage donations from all those with enthusiasm for the combination of science, community, and service contributions to cognitive science that Jeff Elman embodied. Your donations will enable the Society to celebrate Jeff’s legacy for many years to come.
Tax efficient giving The Cognitive Science Society is a registered 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization under the Internal Revenue Code, so US donors can qualify for an income tax deduction to the limits allowed by law. It also is possible to give tax efficiently through Transnational Giving Europe from the following European countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Republic of Ireland, Switzerland, and The Netherlands. To donate and claim tax relief please contact your national foundations and explain that you wish to make a gift to the Cognitive Science Society.
Nomination Process - Open SEPT 18 – NOV 17, 2023
Nominees will have gained their PhD 15–25 years prior to nomination (taking into consideration career breaks, part-time employment, etc). Each year candidates from previous years who fit the criteria will stay in consideration. The committee does not accept self-nominations. Materials should be sent to Cendrine De Vis at Podium via by November 17, 2023 for the attention of the Chair of the Jeff Elman Memorial Prize. Nominations should include the following materials:
- two letters of nomination, each 2-4 pages in length, one focused on the nominee’s scientific achievement and the other focused on the nominee’s community building
- a complete curriculum vitae
- PDF versions of five of the nominee’s relevant publications
The nominee may be an individual or a team, and in the case of a team, vitae for all members should be provided. The nomination should provide evidence explaining how the candidate meets the criteria of both scientific excellence and community-building. A strong nomination would put equal weight on these twin aspects of excellence. The nomination should also provide evidence the nominee is held in high esteem, has been influential, or is regarded as an authority internationally. Supporting letters may also be provided.
Contributions to the field of cognitive science
Jeffrey L. Elman made several major contributions to the theoretical foundations of human cognition, most notably in the areas of language and development. His work had, and continues to have, an immense impact across fields as diverse as cognitive science, psycholinguistics, developmental psychology, evolutionary theory, computer science and linguistics. Among other honors he was awarded the Rumelhart Prize by the Cognitive Science Society in 2007.
Community building and service
In addition to the many important intellectual contributions Jeffrey Elman made to Cognitive Science, he also was an inspiring scientific citizen who is remembered for his generosity and mentorship. His community building and service were wide-ranging. In addition to serving as president of the Cognitive Science Society (1999-2000) and on its Governing Board for two terms (1994-2000; 2008-2012), he made many other contributions to the field. He contributed to the international presence of Cognitive Science, serving as Co-Director, Central and Eastern European Center for Cognitive Science, New Bulgarian University and advisor at National Taiwan University. He served extensively at the NIH in grant reviewing, serving on and later chairing the LCOM Study Section. And in addition to editing the journal Cognitive Science, he edited an influential monograph series at the MIT press and served on the editorial board of numerous journals.
Jeff Elman died of a heart attack on June 28, 2018. He was planning to attend CogSci 2018 to participate in a symposium on Event Predictive Cognition. At CogSci 2019 there was a symposium in his memory.
Elman Prize Selection Committee:
The Jeffrey L. Elman Prize is administered by the Prize Selection Committee under the direction of the Cognitive Science Society Governing Board. Screening of nominees and selection of the prize winner is performed by the Prize Selection Committee.
Ken McRae (Committee Chair)
Wei Ji Ma
The Cognitive Science Society is pleased to announce the establishment of the CogSci Grove which aims to mobilise cognitive scientists to offset carbon emissions associated with their professional activities. To date, 1681 trees have been planted in protected sites in the Scottish Highlands where they will create homes for wildlife and forests for the future.