Walter L. Deemer, Jr.

December 11, 1909 – February 2, 1993

Brief Biography

Walter L. Deemer, Jr. was a recipient of the Frederick W. Lanchester Prize of the Operations Research Society of America (ORSA) and Vance R. Memorial Award of the Military Operations Research Society (MORS). Deemer studied at the University of North Carolina and worked at the United States Air Force Office of Operations Analysis in Washington D.C.

In 1956, Deemer wrote a letter to the editor of Operations Research on improving the discussion of papers at ORSA meetings. He suggested that conference participants have the opportunity to read papers prior to hearing it for the first time in committee sessions. It was Deemer’s hope that such preparedness could lead to more thorough discussion. The following year, an article he co-authored with Clayton J. Thomas on the role of operational games was jointly awarded the Frederick W. Lanchester Prize for best publication in operations research. The Thomas-Deemer paper was lauded for its successful attempt to assess the strengths and weaknesses of operational gaming through a balanced set of judgments. The prize committee was accurate in predicting the article’s lasting legacy as a landmark in its field.

In 1982, Deemer became the fifth person to ever receive the Vance R. Wanner Memorial Award. He was recognized for his distinguished contributions to national security operations research, the enhancement of  the image of military OR, sustained leadership in the professional community and  MORS, and the extension on existing knowledge to future generations of OR practitioners. Deemer passed away seven weeks after his eighty-third birthday.


Academic Affiliations
Non-Academic Affiliations

Key Interests in OR/MS

Application Areas

Awards and Honors

Frederick W. Lanchester Prize 1957

Vance R. Wanner Memorial Award 1982

Selected Publications

Deemer Jr W. L. (1947) Records, Analysis, and Test Procedures. Army Air Forces Washington DC Aviation Psychology Program: Washington, DC. 

Deemer Jr W. L. (1948) The use of mark sensing in a large scale testing program. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 43(241): 40-52.

Deemer Jr W. L. & Olkin I. (1951) The Jacobians of certain matrix transformations useful in multivariate analysis: based on lecture of P. K. Hsu at the University of North Carolina, 1947. Biometrika, 38(3/4): 345-67.

Deemer Jr W. L. & Votaw Jr D. F. (1955) Estimation of parameters of truncated or censored exponential distributions. The Annals of Mathematical Statistics, 26(3): 498-504.

Deemer Jr W. L. (1956) Letters to the editor: a suggestion for improving the discussion of papers at ORSA meetings. Operations Research, 4(3): 363. (link)

Deemer Jr W. L. & Thomas C. J. (1957) The role of operational gaming in operations research. Operations Research, 5(1): 1-27.