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In Memory of Robert John Beaver

In Memoriam

Robert John Beaver

UCR Professor Emeritus of Statistics and Statistician
(1937 - 2019)



Robert John Beaver

Robert John Beaver was born on March 27, 1937 in Mt. Carmel, Pennsylvania and passed away on August 13, 2019.

Bob Beaver grew up in Kulpmont, a small coal mining town in Central Pennsylvania. He graduated from Bloomsburg State Teachers College (now Bloomsburg University) in 1959 and taught junior high school science and mathematics for several years in Middleburg, Pennsylvania before returning to graduate school. In 1964, Bob completed an MS in Mathematics from Bucknell University and enrolled in the graduate program in Statistics at the University of Florida. It was here that he met Barbara Mattick, a new graduate student, whom he married in December 1970.

After completing a PhD in Statistics with a minor in Mathematics, Bob joined UCR in 1970 as an Assistant Professor at the newly formed Department of Statistics, chaired by F. N. David, and an Agricultural Experiment Station Statistician (67% I&R and 33% OR). Bob spent his whole working life as a Statistics Professor and a Statistician at UCR. He served on administrative committees of the University, and most notably served as Chair of the Department of Statistics as well as chairman of the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences’ Executive Committee. After 35 years at UC Riverside, he retired in 2005 as Professor Emeritus and Statistician.

Bob will be remembered in the statistics profession for his many research contributions in paired comparison experiments including the handling of tied observations and possible order effects associated with treatments. His joint research with the UCR Distinguished Statistics Professor Barry C. Arnold on Hidden Truncation Models, Skewed Univariate and Multivariate Distributions with Applications, and Rank Set Sampling made a huge impact in advancing the field. Bob’s joint research with Professor J.N. Srivastava in demonstrating the superiority of the nested multi-dimensional block design relative to the classical incomplete block designs, made a striking impact in the field.

As a statistician of the UCR Agricultural Experiment Station, Bob interacted with the numerous researchers and faculty members in the Departments of Entomology, Nematology, Plant Pathology, Botany and Plant Sciences, Biology, and Biochemistry. The presence of Bob in these research projects made the papers statistically insightful, contributing to have strong impacts in their fields and got them published in the top professional journals.

As a teacher, Bob received the 1983-84 UCR Graduate Student Association Distinguished Teaching Award.

Bob has been an author for Cengage Publishing Company since 1966, developing Study Guides for a number of introductory statistics texts. Bob was a bestselling author of several introductory statistics textbooks written jointly with W. Mendenhall and Barbara Beaver. His book “Introduction to Probability and Statistics” (Mendenhall/Beaver/Beaver) is now in its 15th edition.

Bob’s first priority was always his family and he involved himself in all of his children’s activities. Over the years, he served as Cubmaster for Pack 274 in Riverside and as an Assistant Scoutmaster for Riverside’s Troop 2. He and Barbara taught Sunday School and led the youth group at Trinity Lutheran Church for many years. They also volunteered as “uniform parents” for the Blue Star Regiment at John W. North High School from 1990-1996, measuring, altering and fitting uniforms for about 100 band members. Bob was an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Riverside for over 45 years. For the last 15 years, he and Barbara participated in a leadership ministry called Lutheran Cursillo of Southern California, serving on more than 30 three-day weekends.

Bob is survived by his wife Barbara of 49 years, his daughter Krista Beaver Goodman and her husband Steven Goodman, his son David Carleton Beaver and his wife Casey Jones. He has four grandchildren—Riley Nathaniel Goodman, Elise Cordelia Goodman, Danica Paige Beaver and Nathan Robert Beaver.

A memorial service in celebration of Bob’s life was held on Sunday, August 25th at Trinity Lutheran Church, Riverside, CA. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Trinity Lutheran Church OR to Lutheran Cursillo of Southern California, 26051 Spur Branch Lane, Laguna Hills, CA 92653.

The family has set-up a memorial webpage for friends and colleagues to leave notes of remembrance: