January 29, 2014
RESNICK, ROBERT: A brilliant, witty, fun man who loved his family and friends and had a caring and passion for many things, among them physics education, social justice, music and the sociology of sports, passed away at home on Wednesday January 29, 2014 at 91 years of age. Beloved husband of 67 years of the late Mildred Resnick, beloved father of Abby (Roger Day) Resnick of Pittsburgh, PA, Regina Resnick of New York City and the late Trudy Resnick; grandfather of Benjamin Resnick-Day of Brooklyn, NY, Nathan Resnick-Day of Pittsburgh, PA and Eva Resnick-Day of Pittsburgh, Robert is also survived by many loving relatives and friends. Robert was born in Baltimore Maryland, the son of Abraham and Anna Dubinsky Resnick. He graduated from Baltimore City College high school in 1939 and received his B.A. in 1943 and his Ph.D. in 1949, both in physics from Johns Hopkins University. From 1949 to 1956, he was a member of the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh, where he first met David Halliday, with whom he wrote his most widely read textbook used by more than 10 million students worldwide. He later became a professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and was head of the interdisciplinary science curriculum for fifteen years. He authored and co-authored seven textbooks on relativity, quantum physics, and general physics, which have been translated into more than 47 languages. His book titled Physics, co-authored with Halliday, has revolutionized physics education. Resnick believed that physics could make all other knowledge more meaningful. He said, "We've humanized the scientist; now we must scientize the humanist. We didn't try to cover physics...we uncovered it." Resnick was not only a famous physicist, but was also passionate about music (ranging from jazz to ethnic music to opera, symphony, and chamber music), sports (especially the Baltimore Orioles), and social and human justice. He was also a renowned composer, collector, and reciter of limericks. He once gave an exam in limerick form where the students were asked to complete limericks about topics in physics. Resnick not only inspired students but, ripe with years, was someone who continued to teach and engage. His grandchildren treasured his outrageous wit, irreverence, and jovial warm-heartedness even towards the end. Resnick's heroes were Albert Einstein, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Franklin Roosevelt. Resnick was himself a hero to many including his students, colleagues, and his family and friends with his compassion and caring, his integrity and wisdom, and his wonderful sense of humor. Services and Interment PRIVATE. Contributions may be made to the Robert Resnick Lecture Series at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Gifts Processing Center, P.O. Box 3164, Boston, MA 02241 or online at http://www.rpi.edu/giving/index.html or to the Robert Resnick Lecture at Johns Hopkins University, Development and Alumni Relations, San Martin Center,3400 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218-2696 or online at http://www.giving.jhu.edu/ or to Pittsburgh's peace and social justice center, the Thomas Merton Center, 5129 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15224 or online at http://thomasmertoncenter.org/donate/. The family will be sitting Shiva at the Wellness Room of Weinberg Terrace, Saturday at 5:45-8:45pm and Sunday 1-4PM. Arrangements entrusted to RALPH SCHUGAR CHAPEL, INC.