Published: Aug. 27, 2021

Clayton joined CU in 1984 and helped CU Boulder become a center for education and research in the area of human-computer interaction. He also greatly contributed to the teaching mission within the Department of Computer Science, becoming a President's Teaching Scholar in 1989 and teaching classes beloved by generations of students at CU. 

Professor of Computer Science, Institute Co-Director for Technology at the Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities, and Fellow of the Institute of Cognitive Science, he is well known for his research on evaluation methods in user interface design. Two methods to which Clayton and his colleagues have contributed, the thinking aloud method and the cognitive walkthrough, are in regular use in software development organizations around the world. He has also contributed to cognitive assistive technology, to programming language design, to educational technology, and to cognitive theory in causal attribution and learning. He was named University of Colorado President’s Teaching Scholar in 1989, a life title signifying the University’s highest award for teaching.

Clayton earned a BA in mathematics from Princeton University, an MS from MIT, for interdisciplinary study in mathematics and linguistics, and a PhD from the University of Michigan in experimental psychology. He was elected to the ACM CHI Academy in 2009, recognizing his contributions to the field of human-computer interaction. In 2011 he was further recognized by the ACM CHI Social Impact Award, for his work on technology for people with cognitive, language, and learning disabilities.

Clayton’s influence and legacy will be felt for years and decades to come.
Thank you Clayton for your years of innovation and reserach!

Credit: Lewis Retirement Celebration