Mari Riess Jones was born on March 15th, 1937 in Glendale, California. She attended the University of California in Riverdale, graduating in 1959, with a B.A in Psychology, Magna Cum Laude. She won a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship for graduate study at the institution of her choice.
Newly married, she moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts with her husband. While he pursued graduate studies at Harvard, she pursued an M.A. in Psychology at Boston University. (Harvard did not accept women at the time). Upon graduation in 1960, she worked for the Mitre Corporation for three years, doing research in Human Factors.
In 1963, her husband accepted a job at Brown University and she returned to graduate school at The University of Massachusetts, working with J.L. Meyers, a quantitative psychologist. About a year before finishing her degree, Mari=B9s husband accepted a job at The Ohio State University. She completed her dissertation in absentia and graduated in 1967 with a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology.
After spending a year in Italy with her husband and newborn son, they returned to Columbus. She began teaching in the Psychology Department at Ohio State University in 1968 and became a full Professor in 1976.
Mari Riess Jones has published over 70 articles, dating from 1962. She considers her 1976 paper "Time, our lost dimension: Toward a new theory of perception, attention, and memory" in Psychological Review to be her seminal work. Her research interests include serial concept formation, skill acquisition, dynamic attending and model building, particularly relating to musical events and musical auditory patterns. Currently, she is looking at theoretical effects of structural variables upon human attention, perception and memory in response to auditory and visual patterns. She is especially interested in the role of time and temporal structure in auditory events.
Among her recent awards are the Joan Huber Research Award from The Ohio State University's College of Behavioral and Social Sciences in 2000 and the Fred Brown Research Award from the Department of Psychology in 1999. She is a member of many professional societies including the Acoustical Society of America, Society for Music Perception & Cognition and the Society for Research on Biological Rhythms.