Preston C. Hammer

Preston Clarence Hammer (October 12, 1913 – April 14, 1986) was an American mathematician, computer scientist, and educator. He taught at Oregon State University, University of Wisconsin, Penn State, and Grand Valley State Colleges. At Penn (1965 – about 1974) he was chair of the newly formed Computer Science department. He worked at Lockheed in the 1940s and at Los Alamos National Laboratories in the 1950s. He was a champion of hands-on education in computing, clashing with academics who preferred a curriculum treating the subject in a purely academic manner.


Early career



Late career

About PCH



General interest


Book chapters

Academic articles

References to PCH

Not very many that I could find. Here are a couple but I'm sure there are more. (-- microsoft seems to have a few hundred of them!)

Off-line sources


Son of Adam and Ada Zimmerman Hammer

Children: Phoebe McDonald, Frances Stevenson, Nick Hammer, Kathryn Kerman, Arthur Hammer [from the Centre Daily Times obit]




Note about this page

This page was assembled by Jonathan Rees in late 2012, with a few additions since then. Obviously this is just some notes thrown together; perhaps with some TLC they could be stitched together into a coherent narrative.

Why did I do this? I met PCH around 1976 and was impressed and amused by his eccentric, rebellious manner. In 2012, when cleaning out a file cabinet, I came across some reprints he had given me, and realized I had a few things in common with him. I got to wondering what his story was and spent a day trawling the web for information about him.

I was thinking of creating a Wikipedia page. I think he qualifies as notable and the Parter and Klir articles provide enough general information to satisfy Wikipedia notability rules. Creating the article is mainly a matter of the grueling work required to format the article and references correctly.

Photos kindly provided by Arthur K. Hammer - many thanks. All rights reserved.

Thanks to various family members and admirers for their contributions.

I have the following reference from somewhere but have failed to track it down: Bibliography on Color Blindness.
University of Wisconsin, Numerical Analysis Laboratory, 1960.