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 State (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


Penn State

Late career

About PCH



General interest


Book chapters

Academic articles

TBD: Trawl these sources for more:

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. PCH was not color blind.

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.


Creative Commons License
Copyright to Preston Hammer web page by Jonathan A Rees, exclusive of images, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. It is possible that some elements of this page are not covered by copyright law.