Donald G. Saari

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Donald Gene Saari (born March 1940 in Houghton, Michigan) is the Distinguished Professor of Mathematics and Economics and director of the Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences at the University of California Irvine. He received his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics in 1962 from Michigan Technological University, his Master of Science and PhD in Mathematics from Purdue University in 1964 and 1967, respectively. From 1968 to 2000, he served as assistant, associate, and full professor of mathematics at Northwestern University. He holds the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences Distinguished Chair at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada. In 1985, with John B. Urenko, Saari received a Lester Randolph Ford Award.[1] He received in 1995 the Chauvenet Prize[2] and in 1999, with Fabrice Valognes, the Allendoerfer Award.[3] In 2001 he was elected to the United States National Academy of Sciences,[4] and in 2004 he was named a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[5] In 2012 he became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society.[6]

Saari has been widely quoted as an expert in voting methods[7] and lottery odds.[8] His research interests include the n-body problem, the Borda count, and application of mathematics to the Social Sciences. In 1999, a conference on celestial mechanics was held at Northwestern in honor of his 60th birthday.[9] Saari is also known for having some discussion with Theodore J. Kaczynski in 1978, prior to the mail bombings that led to Kaczynski's 1996 arrest.[10]

Books written by Donald Saari[edit]

  • "Collisions, Rings, and Other Newtonian N-Body Problems", American Mathematical Society, Providence RI, 2005.
  • "The Way it Was: Mathematics From the Early Years of the Bulletin", American Mathematical Society, 2003.
  • "Chaotic Elections! A Mathematician Looks at Voting", American Mathematical Society, Providence, RI, 2001.
  • Decisions and Elections; Explaining the Unexpected, Cambridge University Press, 2001.
  • "Hamiltonian Dynamics and Celestial Mechanics", (with Z. Xia), Contemporary Mathematics, vol 198, American Mathematical Society, Providence, 1996.
  • Basic Geometry of Voting, Springer-Verlag, 1995.


  1. ^ Saari, Donald G.; Urenko, John B. (1984). "Newton's method, circle maps, and chaotic motion". Amer. Math. Monthly. 91: 3–17. doi:10.2307/2322163. 
  2. ^ Saari, Donald G. (1990). "A Visit to the Newtonian N-body Problem via Elementary Complex Variables". Amer. Math. Monthly. 97: 105–119. doi:10.2307/2323910. 
  3. ^ Saari, Donald G.; Valognes, Fabrice (1998). "Geometry, Voting, and Paradoxes". Mathematics Magazine. 71: 243–259. doi:10.2307/2690696. 
  4. ^ "UCI scholar in science academy", Orange County Register, May 2, 2001.
  5. ^ "UCI professors efforts rewarded: Carew, Saari, Samueli and Wallace named Fellows of American Academy of Arts and Sciences for contributions to disciplines", Orange County Register, May 16, 2004.
  6. ^ List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society, retrieved 2013-07-11.
  7. ^ "One Person, One Vote May Not Be The Fairest Of Them All", National Public Radio, Oct. 14, 1995.
    "How to Fix an Election", Science News, Oct. 1998.
    "In Some Elections, The `Bullet' Rules: Tactic Has Voters Skipping 2nd Choice", Washington Post, Nov. 1, 1998.
    "How to get the most out of your vote", Daily Herald, Apr. 13, 1999.
    "Has there been any progress in developing fairer ways for people to vote in elections?" Questions and Answers, Scientific American, Oct. 1999.
    "May The Best Man Lose", Discover Magazine, Nov. 2000.
    "When Votes Don't Add Up", The Chronicle of Higher Education, Nov. 3, 2000.
    "Election selection: are we using the worst voting procedure?" Science News, Nov. 2002.
    "How Beef-Hungry Voters Can Get Tofu for President", Wall Street Journal, Mar. 14, 2003.
    "How to Vote? Let Us Count the Ways", New York Times, Jul. 27, 2003.
    "Are All Elections Chaotic?" Boston Globe, Aug. 24, 2003.
    "Election Reversals", Ivars Peterson, Science News, Oct. 2003.
  8. ^ "A Dow oddity beats the odds", Chicago Sun-Times, Nov. 6, 1998.
    "Odds UCI math expert says chances of winning California Super Lotto are super low", Orange County Register, Jun. 23, 2001.
  9. ^ Celestial Mechanics: Dedicated to Donald Saari for His 60th Birthday. American Mathematical Society, Contemporary Mathematics 292, 2002. ISBN 978-0-8218-2902-8
  10. ^ "NU Prof: Kaczynski Vowed to `Get Even'", Chicago Sun-Times, May 1, 1996.
    "Teacher May Have Met Kaczynski in '78; Man Trying to Get Paper Published Was Rebuffed and Angry, He Says", Washington Post, May 2, 1996.

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