Longtime UAlbany Professor Robert Pruzek Passes Away

Dr. Robert PruzekWith sadness, we report that Professor Robert M. Pruzek of the Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology died from complications after transplant surgery on January 21st in California at the age of 76.

Bob began his 50-year career with the University at Albany in 1965, with appointments in both the School of Education and the School of Public Health. He was promoted to Full Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Statistics (now part of Educational and Counseling Psychology) in 1993. During his tenure at UAlbany, he also held brief appointments at the Educational Testing Service (ETS), the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), Leiden University, Free University of Berlin, Institute for the Study of Information Science, and the University of Wisconsin.

Professor Pruzek was renowned for expertise in factor analysis, experimental design and analysis, propensity score analysis (PSA), data science computer graphics, and contributions to statistical software using the R programming language. He used R for multivariate data analysis, structural analysis and prediction, and graphics. He developed his own software for multivariate analysis called MATS and created R packages and functions for instruction, graphical display, and PSA implementation. These include the R package Granova for visualizing ANOVA and dependent samples, and an R package for visualizing PSA.

Professor Pruzek was a member of the highly selective Society for Multivariate Experimental Psychology. He served as editor of the Journal of Educational Statistics (1976-1979) and the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology (1979-1983) and special editor of an issue of Multivariate Behavioral Research (2011) focused on introducing propensity score methods in behavioral research. He published in such premier journals as Psychological Bulletin, Psychological Research, Journal of Educational Measurement, Review of Educational Research, Journal of Experimental Education, and Exceptional Children. Bob's expertise supported numerous consultancies, including to NYS Health Department Division of Nutrition, NYS Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse, USDA (WIC Programs), ACASE Saratoga, and the Math Recovery Project of Vanderbilt University.

Bob's teaching touched many students. As one former student described his experience, "Taking a course [from Professor Pruzek] includes receiving updates on the most current developments in the fields of statistics and data analysis and the opportunity to interact with one of the most fertile and disciplined minds in the field of educational design and research."

We were honored to have him as a colleague.

Bob’s family will host a memorial service in his honor at the Alumni House on Thursday, February 18, 2016 between the hours of 4-6pm.