U biostatistics prof Tweedie remembered for wit, brilliance

Richard Tweedie, 53, head of the University’s biostatistics division, died June 7 after collapsing in Cooke Hall while exercising.

Several people on his staff remember Tweedie as a witty, brilliant man, capable of simple explanations of complex ideas.

Tweedie served as the head of the biostatistics division since 1999.

“He turned us in a good direction; he was a new division head and he took over a division that was flourishing and kept it going,” said professor Anne Goldman, a fellow biostatistician. “He was a sound mathematician as well as a good applied statistician.

“To have talents in both those directions is very good, especially in a leader. Then to have the
personal skills to work with people is a third dimension,” she added.

Although Tweedie specialized in theoretical forms of math, colleague Brad Carlin said he was far from being an egghead and was very easy to work with.

Born Aug. 22, 1947, in Leeton, Australia, Tweedie began teaching in the United States in 1991 at Colorado State University.

Tweedie came to the University in 1999 with a doctorate in statistics from Cambridge University, and an honorary doctorate of sciences degree from Australian National University.

He is survived by his wife Catherine, daughter Marianne, mother Nel, brother Bruce and sister Joan.