Max Leslie Chase Weiss – The Santa Barbara Independent
On August 22, 2022, Max Leslie Chase Weiss, retired professor of mathematics at the University of California, Santa Barbara and former provost of the College of Creative Studies, died suddenly of natural causes at his home in Goleta.
Professor Weiss was born in Salt Lake City on August 12, 1933, to Simon and Clarissa (née Chase) Weiss. He grew up in Utah and was admitted to Yale University in 1951, earning a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and philosophy in 1955. He received a master’s degree in mathematics from Cornell University in 1958 and later taught mathematics at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. during two years. The University of Washington awarded him a doctorate in mathematics in 1962. After teaching for a year at the university, he received a National Science Fellowship which allowed him to do research for a year at the Institute for Advanced Study of Princeton, New Jersey. In 1964, he joined the faculty of mathematics at UCSB. In 1967, he became a founding faculty member of the university’s College of Creative Studies. He was associate provost of the college from 1971 to 1977 and 1983 to 1984 and served as provost from 1984 to 1989. He enriched the college and UCSB by developing projects such as the Young Scholars program and the prize competition for gifted high school students. A heart condition prompted him to take early retirement in 1991.
Max was married to Patricia Friedmann in 1954 and they had three children, Karen, Karl and Frieda. After this marriage ended, he married Karen Knudsen in 1971. From this union were born three children, Erik (died in infancy), Ellen and Dan. The survivors are his wife Karen, Karen Miller (AJ), Karl Weiss (Irene), Frieda Weiss (Dale White), Ellen Weiss, Dan Weiss and his grandchildren: Andrew Miller, Brooke Miller, Alanna White, Marinda White and Rowan Weiss. .
Max took great pleasure in teaching, especially at the College of Creative Studies, advising his doctoral students and mentoring talented young children in mathematics. He enjoyed computer programming and upon retirement worked for Bartz Technology in this capacity.
He loved word games, music, science, crosswords and his family. He is also known for running a marathon, composing for the piano, singing, developing a deep philosophy of reality, reading funny books aloud with his wife, and goofing off with his children. He had a caring heart, a generous spirit and a creative sense of humor. One of his many wise/Weiss sayings was, “I wanted to be someone else, but I had to be me.”
Friends who wish to honor Max’s memory are invited to donate to Common Cause, ACLU or the Southern Poverty Law Center. No benefits are provided.