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HOWARD L. RESNIKOFF


1937 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
HOWARD L. RESNIKOFF Obituary
RESNIKOFF, Howard L. A Life with No Regrets, May 13, 1937-March 5, 2018 From the day he set off for M.I.T. at the age of 16, Howard L. Resnikoff followed a path that advanced those around him – and impacted the world. Following his undergraduate degree in Mathematics from M.I.T. in 1957, Howard earned a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1963. What followed was a life that touched many. Dr. Resnikoff's first career was in academia. While a Professor of Mathematics at Rice University from 1967 to 1975, he started to form theories about more engaging ways to teach math to less engaged students. The result was his class (and textbook of the same name) The Gourmet's Cookbook Calculus, and the textbook, Mathematics in Civilization, co-authored with his long-time collaborator R.O. Wells, and now in its fifth edition. After a year teaching in Germany as a U.S. Senior Scientist Awardee of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, he moved to the University of California, Irvine in 1975, where he served as Chairman of the Department of Mathematics and used his position to continue shaping the student experience. As an Associate Vice-President for Information Services and Technology at Harvard University from 1981 to 1983, Howard foresaw the rise of personal computers and was instrumental in bringing them to the dorms, giving students an early taste of their importance. Dr. Resnikoff taught in the departments of psychology, applied mathematics, and computer science at Harvard, and in the Department of Mathematics at the University of California, Irvine, and Rice University, in Houston, Texas. Dr. Resnikoff was also a twice Visiting Member at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey. Alongside his love of mathematics, he held an equal interest in technology which led him to a second career in the field of Applied Mathematics. Dr. Resnikoff was the founding director of the Division of Information Science and Technology at the National Science Foundation in Washington D.C. He was a co-founder, Vice President and Director of Research of Thinking Machines Corporation, a manufacturer of powerful parallel computers, as well as a founder of FutureWave, Inc., an intellectual property company. Dr. Resnikoff's greatest entrepreneurial success came as Founder, President, and CEO of Aware, Inc., a publicly traded company (NASDAQ: AWRE) that pioneered applications of wavelet technology in digital signal processing and had a significant impact on the accessibility of the Internet for commercial applications in its early days through the development of DSL modem technology. Dr. Resnikoff was a member of the Board of Governors of Jacobs University Bremen (originally International University Bremen) in Germany from its founding year 1999 to 2009. He served as President of the Jacobs University Bremen Foundation of America, Inc. from its inception until June 2008, and as Chairman from June 2008 to the present. Publish or perish he would say, and he was prolific. Dr. Resnikoff published more than 180 scholarly articles and several books, received thirteen patents – including one for the vertical bifocals he wore for many years, was a Westinghouse Science Talent Search finalist and is known for the Resnikoff-Dolby 30-to-1 Rule and the Resnikoff Conundrum. He was also a member of the prestigious Cosmos Club of Washington, D.C., a club for those distinguished in science, literature and the arts. He was a patron of the arts and gave generously to support the creation of art and to social causes. He is survived and greatly missed by his wife, Joan, children, Theodore (Suleyken Walker) Resnikoff, Nathaniel Resnikoff, and Benjamin (Stacey) Resnikoff, 7 grand-children, a brother, Robert, and sister, Judith. Services were private.

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Published in The Boston Globe on May 13, 2018
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