Published Online: May 10, 2005
Published in Print: May 11, 2005, as Obituary: Gordon Shaw

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Obituary: Gordon Shaw

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Gordon Shaw, a physicist whose research on how music affects the brain touched off a wave of interest in exposing children to classical music, died April 26. He was 72 and had kidney cancer.

Physicist Gordon Shaw researched the effect of music on the brain.
Physicist Gordon Shaw researched the effect of music on the brain.
—Photo courtesy of MIND Institute

Mr. Shaw earned a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Cornell University in 1959 and joined the faculty of the University of California, Irvine, in 1965. In 1974, he began working on brain theory, his primary area of research for the next 20 years.

In 1993, Mr. Shaw gained national attention when he reported results from a study that found college students who listened to a Mozart sonata saw substantial, though temporary, increases in their IQs.

Mr. Shaw was the author of the 2000 book Keeping Mozart in Mind and the co-founder of the nonprofit MIND Institute in Costa Mesa, Calif., whose Math+Music program is used in 67 elementary schools.

Vol. 24, Issue 36, Page 4

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