Diane Resek, a highly accomplished mathematician, math educator, and community volunteer, passed away on March 19 at the age of 82. She died peacefully in her home in Berkeley, where she had lived for many years.
Diane was born and raised in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, to J. Verne and Johanna Resek (née Danzinger) where she grew up with her brother Roger Resek. Diane obtained a BA from Wellesley College and then went on to earn a Ph.D. in Mathematical Logic at the University of California, Berkeley.
Diane worked as a mathematics specialist in elementary schools, developed mathematics courses for pre-school and elementary school teachers, and wrote scripts for educational mathematics films. From 1975 to 2005 she served on the faculty at San Francisco State University as a Professor of Mathematics Education and Logic.
During her tenure, Diane worked in novel ways with students and teachers, developing innovative curricula to make math more meaningful and accessible. She helped develop a course called Math Without Fear at San Francisco State University, and an entirely new high school math curriculum called The Interactive Mathematics Program. She published numerous papers and books that continue to influence how math is taught today. Diane worked diligently to increase the number of girls and women in math and science, including designing a Math for Girls course at the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley, and supporting Expanding Your Horizons STEM conferences for young women in the San Francisco Bay Area. Diane was recently nominated for the California Math Council’s Edward Beale Award, as her far-reaching work continues to impact teachers and students.
Throughout her life, Diane was also deeply involved in various causes that she held dear. In her later years, she was an avid volunteer for Food not Bombs, Ashby Village, the North Berkeley Neighborhood Group within Ashby Village, the Diminished Capacity Group (DimCap) within Ashby Village, and the Berkeley Path Wanderers Association. She was the center of social activities for her causes and a beloved member of her community. Diane was regularly surrounded by dozens of loving neighbors, friends, and fellow volunteers.
Diane’s generosity, warmth, and humor pervaded all of her interactions with others. She was a person of strong opinions, and you knew you were close to Diane if she felt free to vehemently scold you for disagreeing with her.
Diane is survived by her niece, Lisa (Jeffrey) (nee Resek) Peck, grandnephews Maxwell and Reuben Peck, her loving cat Jo-Jo, and her many close friends, all of whom mourn her loss deeply.
If you wish to make a donation to memorialize Diane, the family requests that you donate to Food not Bombs or PanCAN (Pancreatic Cancer Research) in Diane’s memory.