Events: Department Colloquium and Lecture Series

  • Starting Wednesday, 4/2/2014, Leonid Polterovich and Michael Khanievsky will be giving a one month course on "The geometry and dynamics of contact transformations." It will meet in Eckhart 308 from 2:30 pm. If there are other colloquia, it will pause and continue afterwards. More detailed information can be seen here.
  • There will have two Namboodiri Lectures in Geometry and Topology in Spring 2014, by Fred Cohen (University of Rochester) and Ian Agol (Berkeley) on April 11; 14; 15, 2014 and May 9; 12; 13, 2014 respectively. Detailed information can be viewed here.
  • Alice Guionnet will be giving a colloquium talk at 2pm on May 7 in Eckhart 206. Details can be seen here.
  • This year's Zygmund-Calderón Lectures in Analysis will be given by Vladimir Sverak (Minnesota) on May 20,21 and 22; Please refer to this page for detailed time, location, the titles and abstracts for the talks.
  • Lauren Williams (Berkeley) will give an AWM colloquium at Eckhart 206, 3pm on May 21. Details can be seen here.
  • The Billingsley Lectures in Probability will be given by Scott Sheffield (MIT) on May 29 and May 30, 2014. More details are to be announced.
  • The inaugural Chicago Summer School in Analysis will be held from June 17 to July 11 in 2014. More details can be found here.
  • Emmanuel Candes (Stanford) will give this year’s Amick lectures the week of October 27-31, 2014. More details will be available later.


  • There will be a memorial for Paul Sally on Wednesday May 7, 3:30-5, at Bond Chapel, followed by a reception, which will be held at the Commons Room in Swift Hall starting at 5. — April 8, 2014
  • Congratulations to Maryanthe Malliaris for being a recipient of a Sloan Foundation research fellowship. Please see here and here for more details. — February 18, 2014
  • We are very happy to congratulate our current graduates Galyna Dobrovolska and Ilya Gekhtman who have received NSF Postdoctoral Fellowships and Alex Wright who has received a Clay Fellowship. They will be going to Columbia, Yale and Stanford respectively. — February 13, 2014
  • Paul Sally has been named as the first recipient of the AMS Award for Impact on the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics. Happily, he received word of this award in late December of last year. — January 9, 2014
  • The mathematical world and the University of Chicago lost one of its beloved and honored members on December 30, 2013. Paul Sally was a specialist in harmonic analysis on semi-simple groups and a renowned educator.

    Paul received his Ph.D. in 1965 from Brandeis and then moved to the University of Chicago as an instructor. He quickly moved up the ranks on the basis of his excellent work on representation theory of p-adic groups, and was the chairman from 1977-1980. Since 1984, Paul was Director of Undergraduate Studies of the Mathematics department, where he has had enormous impact on the undergraduate program at the University of Chicago. Paul also had 19 Ph.D. students whose accomplishments gave him great satisfaction.

    Paul’s seminal work with Joseph Shalika on SL(2) in the late 1960s ushered in an era of rapid development in harmonic analysis on reductive p-adic groups, an area of mathematics that lies at the intersection of many mathematical fields including number theory, algebra, analysis, and geometry. Within this area, Paul’s research focused on questions surrounding the Plancherel formula, specifically the computation of the characters of irreducible representations and the explicit understanding of the Fourier transforms of orbital integrals. As a mentor and agitator in this and allied fields, his influence extended well beyond his own work.

    Moreover, Paul’s influence on mathematics extended far beyond the research work that he and his collaborators and students produced. He was involved with the Chicago Public Schools starting in 1969, when he ran a math competition and conducted classes for students and teachers. From 1983 to 1987 he was the first director of the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project (UCSMP). In 1992, Paul founded the Seminars for Elementary Specialists and Mathematics Educators (SESAME), a staff development program for elementary school teachers in Chicago public schools. Since the program’s inception, more than 600 teachers from 125 schools have participated in SESAME. In 1988, Paul, together with Diane Herrmann, began another enterprise, the University of Chicago Young Scholars Program for mathematically talented 7-12 grade students. The Mathematics department has recruited faculty from among the graduates of this program.

    Paul also had a large role in the administration of the AMS (American Mathematical Society), having served in the Council and the Executive committee and as a trustee as well as several other committees over the years. He also was on the advisory committee for the mathematical sciences at the NSF. He served on two influential National Academy committees on mathematics education, and was recognized by numerous awards for his contributions to teaching: among his distinctions, Paul won the Quantrell Award for excellent undergraduate teaching at the University, and the Haimo award of the Mathematical Association of America. He was a fellow of the AMS.

    Paul was a great believer in Mathematics and in the possibilities of people to achieve. He was an inspiration to many with his indomitable spirit. He constantly demanded from instructors and students complete devotion to Mathematics, and was remarkably successful in eliciting this: it is impossible to give a blind double amputee excuses for shirking. Paul held his views strongly, and was always willing to express and defend them. (He first came to prominence within the university community for opposing the harsh treatment of Vietnam War protesting students, thereby gaining a reputation as a radical.) He loved a good argument, but in the end, felt that the way to accomplish things was by doing, not by talking. Paul had indeed accomplished much, although he has left many unfinished plans - he was among those who believed that if you are working on project that can be completed in one lifetime, then you are thinking too small. We will miss him.

    Paul is survived by his wife Judy, three sons David, Steven and Paul III, and their families.

    There is a fascinating video interview with Paul in the Simons foundation’s Science Lives Project, which features in-depth interviews with "some giants of twentieth century mathematics and science.". Other recent interviews can be found at here, here and pp 6-7 of here.

    Please see here for an obituary of Paul Sally by the University. — January 2, 2014
  • We are happy to congratulate Amie Wilkinson for her election as a Fellow of the AMS in the 2013 class of Fellows "for contributions to dynamical systems". — January 2, 2014
  • Benson Farb will be giving the joint MAA-AMS address at the annual joint meeting in January. His talk will be on on Braids, Homology and Polynomials: An Emerging Pattern in Algebra and Topology - See more at here. — December 19, 2013
  • We are very happy to congratulate Sarah Peluse for winning the Alice T. Schafer prize for Excellence in Mathematics by an Undergraduate Woman of the AWM. She will receive it at the annual meeting of the AMS. For more information, please see here. — December 16, 2013
  • We are happy to congratulate Shmuel Weinberger on his election as a fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science. For more details, see here. — December 5, 2013
  • Matt Emerton, Benson Farb, Wilhelm Schlag and Luis Silvestre will be speaking at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Seoul this coming summer, in Number Theory, Topology, Analysis and Partial Differential Equations, respectively. For more information, see here.— October 31, 2013
  • The recent issue of PNAS contains the announcement of Maryanthe Malliaris's solution, with Saharon Shelah, of the longstanding "p = t" problem in set theory. It also contains a commentary explaining something about the problem and some of its context. — August 20, 2013
  • The AMS calendar has a wonderful series of mathematical images. This month's image is the work of Diane Herrmann, Senior Lecturer and Co-Director of Undergraduate Studies. You can see it here (PDF, images may take some time to load). — August 12, 2013
  • We are happy to announce that Greg Lawler has been appointed the George Wells Beadle Distinguished Service Professor in Mathematics and Statistics. — July 29, 2013


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