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Chicago Public School science fair honors Paul Sally

The Chicago Public School science fair will be awarding $2500 in prizes for outstanding math research projects this year and into the future. The top prize, $233 (prime AND Fibonacci!), will be named in honor of Professor Sally, in honor of his incredible impact in bringing high-quality mathematics to students in Chicago.

The awards paragraph will read:

Paul J. Sally, Jr. Prize for Outstanding Mathematical Research by a Young Mathematician

One (1) award of $233 to an outstanding work of research in mathematics

Professor Paul J. Sally, Jr. (1933-2013) was a professor of mathematics and, for more than 30 years, the director of undergraduate studies at the University of Chicago. It is likely that no single person has had as much impact as Professor Sally in ensuring that students across the city of Chicago learn high-quality mathematics. Professor Sally was one of the founders of the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project, a textbook and curriculum production team that proved that ordinary elementary and high school students could learn deep, genuine mathematics thoughtfully and well and whose materials are used throughout Chicago and indeed the United States to this day. The SESAME program, which he started and ran for over 20 years, brought hundreds of practicing elementary and high school teachers to the University of Chicago to learn mathematics from professors of the highest caliber. The summer program he co-founded in 1988, the Young Scholars Program, continues to serve hundreds of students each year, teaching mathematics from tessellations to Galois Theory to children in grades 6-12, while training undergraduate and graduate students in the arts of teaching and mathematical research. Many of the people Professor Sally taught became mathematicians, but among Chicago's mathematics teachers (and teachers of mathematics teachers) are dozens of his own students, all of whom aspire to provide children with the kinds of exciting mathematics they experienced with Professor Sally.