By: Jan Rosemergy
Edward "Warren" Lambert, Ph.D., age 71, passed away on January 13, 2017. Warren was long-time statistical consultant at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (VKC) where he assisted countless VKC researchers and their graduate students and research assistants with complex quantitative issues.
“During his illness, I made sure that Warren knew how much we all appreciated his patience and wisdom as he taught us all things statistical,” said Elisabeth Dykens, Ph.D., VKC director, Annette Schaeffer Eskind Chair, and professor of Psychology, Psychiatry, and Pediatrics. “Learning statistics from Warren was made all the easier because of his witty comments about life and academia, and his great sense of humor. I know that he took great delight in working closely with so many in our community.”
Lambert’s former Vanderbilt academic appointments included serving as senior research associate at Peabody College and as a senior associate in Biostatistics in the School of Medicine. He held a doctorate in clinical psychology from Indiana University Bloomington.
As assistant professor of Psychology at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, Lambert began statistical consulting in 1980 by teaching two required statistics courses for doctoral students in clinical psychology. This provided an opportunity for him to develop skills in assisting non-experts to reason statistically, e.g., by using clinical examples and by teaching hands-on computer skills with SPSS and SAS.
Lambert was sought out by many VKC investigators because of his ability to communicate complex statistical applications to investigators needing specialized quantitative expertise. At Vanderbilt since 1992, Lambert analyzed results for many large research projects and provided analytic plans. He was author or co-author of more than 70 peer-reviewed articles and over 17 peer-reviewed first-author publications, including articles in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, and Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
Lambert was “the heart of the Statistics and Methodology Core” within the VKC Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center funded by NICHD, said Frank Harrell, Ph.D., professor and chair of Biostatistics, who directed the core for 10 years.
“Warren did great work as a statistician,” Harrell said. “To say that Warren was generous is a huge understatement. He was especially amazing at the daunting task of writing progress reports and getting all the data needed to document our work for the reports. He helped a large number of investigators and trainees, and did it with a self-deprecating grace. In our core meetings, as well as all the other Kennedy Center meetings I attended with Warren, he made spirits bright and kept us going with his wry sense of humor. Losing Warren is a loss for all of us. What a fine man Warren was--a man who leaves behind a smile, a chuckle, and our appreciation for someone who was so very giving, considerate, and smart. I will always miss him.”
“Warren was first and foremost a teacher,” said Tedra Walden, Ph.D., professor of Psychology and VKC investigator. “When you walked into his office, you just wanted the answer. When you walked out, you had the tools to figure out what the answer was.”
“Warren was a friend, a confidant, a contributor, and a wonderful human being” said Edward Conture, Ph.D., Vanderbilt professor emeritus of Hearing and Speech Science and VKC investigator. “Just look at the number of our publications he co-authored to drive home how important he was to our work. However, it wasn't just the ‘amount’ of help he gave us, but the ‘way’ in which he gave it. The wit, the wisdom, a gentleman and a scholar. The mold was thrown away after Warren--we won't see his like again; however, we are all the better for learning from, knowing, working, and laughing with him.”
Warren loved to write, read (especially science fiction), do statistical research, listen to classical music, as well as spending time with his wife at the pool. A celebration of Warren’s life was held on Thursday, Jan. 19.
Warren is survived by his wife, Dorothy “Dee” Lambert; niece, Terri Meyer and her husband Mike; grand nephews, Ryan and Douglas Meyer; sisters-in-law, Kathleen Kuperstock and her husband Stuart, and Barbara Jernigan.
By Jan Rosemergy, VKC deputy director and director of Communications and Dissemination, Jan. 20, 2017
Last Updated: 1/20/2017 11:49:38 AM
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