Richard Roth

Richard Roth

1936 - 2020

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Obituary of Richard Roth

Richard Lewis Roth was born in New York City (the Bronx) in 1936. In 1947, when he was 11, the family moved to Tucson, Arizona, then a small city in the middle of the desert. He graduated first in his class of 1000 from Tucson High School in 1954. His interest in higher mathematics began in high school. Harvard was next, where he graduated summa cum laude in 1958, majoring in mathematics. Pursuing his interest and abilities he moved to the University of California at Berkeley and finished his Ph.D.in mathematics in 1963. The University of Colorado offered him a job in the Mathematics Department, and he moved to Boulder in 1963. He remained there, as a professor, the rest of his life. He was chairman of the undergraduate program for a number of years. He retired in 1999. In 2010, Richard moved to the Frasier retirement community in Boulder. Fluent in Spanish, he taught for a year in 1966 in Central America, in a U.S government program to help Central American universities establish graduate programs in higher mathematics. Later he also taught for a semester in Messina, Sicily. These fit his interests in travel, which took him all over Europe and to Japan and China as well as Cuba and back to Nicaragua (as part of the sister city there with Boulder). He was fluent in a number of languages--starting with Spanish in high school, adding Dutch to correspond with a penpal in Holland, a connection dating back to the end of World War II. Later came Japanese and French as well as German and Russian for professional papers. Opera and cinema were other lifelong passions, takin him to New Mexico for opera festivals. He was as well a movie buff with an encyclopedic knowledge of classic movies. Richard had an artistic side, inspired by his mother, a gifted amateur artist. He enjoyed sketching, both on his many trips abroad, as well as scenes of Boulder (which he published in a book. Art also intersected with his mathematical interests, geometry, and symmetry (in lay terms), which was expressed in weaving, which he taught himself, and in paintings of geometric designs. He is survived by his brother George, of Evanston, Illinois, and nieces Susan Breitzer of Fayetteville, North Carolina, and Karen Minikes of Los Angeles. Private family services will be held. To send an online message to the family visit www.murphyfuneraldirectors.com.
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