Paul Sally

Paul Sally

Paul Joseph Sally, Jr. (born January 29, 1933) is a professor of mathematics at the University of Chicago, where he is the Director of Undergraduate Studies. His research areas are p-adic analysis and representation theory. He has created several programs at the University of Chicago to improve the preparation of school mathematics teachers. Paul Sally is seen by many as "a legendary math professor at the University of Chicago".

Life and education

Sally was born in the Roslindale neighborhood of Boston on January 29, 1933. He was a star basketball player at Boston College High School. He received his BS and MS degrees from Boston College in 1954 and 1956. After a short career in Boston area high schools, and at Boston College he entered the first class of mathematics graduate students at Brandeis in 1957 and his Ph.D. in 1965. During his graduate career he married Judith Sally and had three children in three years .

Sally has been a type 1 diabetic since he was fifteen. He wears an eye patch and has two prosthetic legs, which has caused him to be widely referred to as "Professor Pirate", and "The Math Pirate" around the University of Chicago campus. He is known to detest cell phones in class and has destroyed several over the years by inviting students to stomp on them or by throwing them out of a window.


Sally joined the University of Chicago faculty in 1965 and has been there ever since. In 1983, he became the first director of the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project, which is responsible for the Everyday Mathematics program (also called "Chicago math"). He founded Seminars for Elementary Specialists and Mathematics Educators (SESAME) in 1992. He co-founded the Young Scholars Program with Dr. Diane Herrmann in 1988, providing mathematical enrichment for gifted Chicago-area students in grades 7–12.


Selected publications

  • Sally, Judith; Paul J. Sally, Jr. (2003). Trimathlon: A Workout Beyond the School Curriculum. AK Peters, Ltd.
  • Sally, Jr, Paul J.; Diane L. Herrmann (2004). Number, Shape and Symmetry: an Introduction to Mathematics. Pacific Grove: Brooks Cole.
  • Sally, Jr, Paul J.; Diane L. Herrmann (2005). Number Theory and Geometry for College Students. Pacific Grove: Brooks Cole.
  • Sally, Judith; Paul J. Sally, Jr. (2007). Roots to Research: A Vertical Development of Mathematical Problems. Providence: American Mathematical Society.
  • Sally, Jr, Paul J. (2008). Tools of the Trade: Introduction to Advanced Mathematics. Providence: American Mathematical Society.


External links

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