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In Memoriam Robert Hamer
Robert M. Hamer, Ph.D. received his Ph.D. degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Quantitative Psychology (Behavioral Statistics) in 1979. After a postdoctoral fellowship in Bayesian Statistics at the University of Iowa, with Melvin Novick, Ph.D., he joined the faculty of Virginia Commonwealth University (Medical College of Virginia), with joint appointments in Psychiatry and Biostatistics, in December, 1979 as an Assistant Professor. He was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 1985.
In 1991, while on educational leave from VCU he became Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Statistics, Rutgers University. In 1994, he joined the faculty in the Department of Psychiatry, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, in Piscataway NJ.
In 2001, he joined the faculty at the University of North Carolina, with appointments in the School of Medicine (Psychiatry) and the School of Public Health (Biostatistics).
He served one term on the US FDA Psychopharmacology Drugs Advisory Committee, from 1988 to 1992, and served a second term from 1999 to 2002 on the same advisory committee. He served on many NIH study sections, and until his death served on an NIMH standing study section, ITMA (formerly ITV). He consulted for the FDA, multiple pharmaceutical companies, and SAS Institute. He was experienced in serving on NIH-funded and industry-sponsored DSMB / IDMCs.
Bob was a consummate statistician and teacher. He was constantly thinking of how he could get students to understand and utilize analytics to reach legitimate decisions based on information and not opinions. Even at the most unusual times he would often come up with ideas, not only how statistics and probability could be used in decision making, but also on how he could teach and get those decision processes understood. SAS was more to him than a software tool but a way of "getting the job done." He co-chaired the SUGI 13 conference in Orlando Florida in 1988, and he served on the SAS Global Users Group Executive board until his passing.
He is survived by his wife Frances, his sisters Sharon Hamer Curran and Diane Hamer, his mother Eleanor Hamer and was predeceased by his father Howard Hamer. He loved Tar Heel Basketball, his family and his beloved Beagle, Lady.