Richard A. Harshman
Department of Psychology
University of Western Ontario
London, Ontario, CANADA N6A 5C2

Richard was committed to the passionate pursuit of knowledge. Richard has been a valued member of this department since 1976 and rose through the ranks over the years, becoming a Full Professor. Richard was truly a renaissance man with interests that ranged from the effects of marijuana on cognitive abilities to analysis of individual differences in cerebral organization to the developments of three-player chess. He is, of course, most identified with creative and important developments in statistical analysis. An entry for him in Wikipedia notes that he was one of the pioneers in latent semantic analysis. He made two extremely important contributions to psychometrics, dealing first with the analysis of asymmetric square tables and second, in the analysis multiway tables. His work on PARAFAC is used in biomedical applications, chemometrics and wireless communications. One external reviewer of his work noted that “ He is one of the most influential quantitative methodologists in the past 30 years….he is a fundamental thinker, not distracted by appearances of currently fashionable approaches. He is always walking a few steps ahead of most of us”. Another noted: “His work is well known..his presence and influence looms large and he basically single handedly started the complex discussions about uniqeness several years prior to receiving his PhD.”

We, and the scientific community, not only have lost a major contributor to theory, we have also lost a truly gentle man- a man  playful with ideas, kind-hearted and generous.  The world is diminished with his passing.

Dr. Richard Allan Harshman is survived by his wife Elizabeth Hampson and was the cherished son of Allan and Louise Harshman and son-in-law of John and Margaret Hampson. Richard was also the dear brother of Susan (Greg) Liddle and dear brother-in-law of Cheryl (Ken) Haddrell, Crystal and Mark. He leaves behind many valued friends and colleagues at U.W.O.

A graduate scholorship has been set up in in memory of Dr. Harshman. Donations will be gratefully accepted for the

Richard A. Harshman Graduate Scholarship
c/o Foundation Western
University of Western Ontario
London Ontario, Canada
N6A 3K7
or by calling 519-661-3140.


Research Focus

Develop new models and methods for uncovering dimensional structure in complex multivariate data e.g., n-way
exploratory factor analysis and MDS, decomposition of asymmetries, new mathematical notation for array algebra
Apply new (and standard) methods to data sets of colleagues in order to gain experience with problems that arise in
real data situations, and to devise solutions to these problems, e.g., in psychometrics and chemometrics
Explore ways of analyzing novel kinds of data and/or "difficult" data (e.g., subjective causal maps, fMRI data)
to gain insights into interesting measurement issues

Graduate Students:

Research Activities*

Partial funding since 1980 has been provided by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

Conference Information

Full Text of Hard-to-Find and/or Basic Publications


Ongoing internet math/psych/3-way research project

Marijuana, cognitive style, and lateralized hemispheric functions (mentioned in 12 November 2003 letter to National Post)

Other Sites Of Interest

More information about the psychology department at UWO can be found at http://www.psychology.uwo.ca/

Last revised 16 Dec 2008