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Curtis D. Hardyck
In Memoriam

Curtis D. Hardyck

Professor of Educational Psychology, Emeritus
Professor in the Graduate School of Education

UC Berkeley
Curtis Dale Hardyck, emeritus professor of educational psychology, was born on July 5, 1929, and passed away on April 6, 2018, in Denver, Colorado. He had interests spanning neurobiology, cerebral functioning, visual processing, educational technology, and statistics.

Hardyck earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of California, Berkeley, studying psychology, and then went on to teach at UC San Francisco in 1958. He returned to Berkeley in 1969, as an associate professor and was promoted to full professor in 1975. He wrote a statistics textbook, Introduction to Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences (1969), coauthored with Lewis F. Petrinovich. He received the Career Development Award from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 1968-1972.

In 1988, Hardyck was appointed Berkeley’s vice provost of information systems and technology. In that position, he was responsible for computing and digital communications technology with the aim of improving instruction and access to digital resources on campus. He supported development of one of the first high-speed, fiber-optic-based campus networks using Internet technology. He also helped to develop the first Bay Area Regional Research Network (BARRNet) which interconnected UC Berkeley with Stanford University, UC Davis, UC San Francisco, UC Santa Cruz, and the National Science Foundation nationwide network (NSFnet). During this time, he also founded the Pacific Neighborhood Consortium (PNC), which worked to facilitate information exchanges among institutions of higher education around the Pacific Rim through computing and communications technology. Three decades later, PNC remains an active global organization.

Professor Hardyck’s research reflected his intense curiosity. He investigated a wide range of aspects of neurobiology, sought relationships between handedness, bilingualism, and other learner characteristics, studied areas of attention and lexical decision-making, and developed theories of cerebral lateralization (left brain/right brain development), especially in education. He was famous for his lab in Tolman Hall filled with remnants of early computers and apparatus that he had built for his studies of visual processing. His lab even served as a beta testing site during the development of the first Apple Macintosh computer. Professor Hardyck loved to create amusing titles for his neurobiology papers, for example, “Giving the Primates a Hand: Is the Applause Really Justified?” (1988).

Hardyck’s research on educational technology focused on computer programming. He found that experience with computers advantaged students in programming courses who sought connections between one computer language and another. Succinctly, Hardyck found that, “The computer helps those who help themselves.”

He served on the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate’s Committee on Computing and Information Technology (1985-1988) and the Committee on Educational Policy (1987-1990).

Throughout his career, Curtis Hardyck was active in professional organizations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Society for Psychophysiological Research, the Society for the Research in Child Development, and the International Neuropsychology Society. He served on the editorial board of Brain and Cognition, and was a reviewer for the Journal of Experimental Psychology; Memory and Cognition; the Journal of Individual Differences; Science, Brain and Language; Behavioral and Brain Sciences; Neuropsychologia; and the Psychological Bulletin.

Professor Hardyck is survived by his wife, Jacqueline Leong Cheong, as well as his son Allyn Henry Hardyck; stepdaughter Melissa Ann Cheong and son-in-law Drew Meyers; stepdaughter Caroline Sidney Cheong and son-in-law Alejandro J. Salicrup; and five grandchildren: John Robert Quinn Meyers, Sebastian James Meyers, Graham Richard Meyers, Maya Isabel Salicrup, and Liana June Salicrup. He is also survived by his brother and sister-in-law, Milton and Nancy Hardyck.

Marcia Linn