Murray H. Protter

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Murray H. Protter
Murray Protter.jpeg
Murray Protter in 1982 (photo by George Bergman)
Born (1918-02-13)February 13, 1918
Brooklyn, New York
Died May 1, 2008(2008-05-01) (aged 90)
Berkeley, California
Nationality United States
Fields Mathematics
Institutions University of California, Berkeley
Alma mater Brown University
University of Michigan
Doctoral advisor Lipman Bers
Doctoral students Amy Cohen-Corwin
George Cosner
Milton Lees
Hajimu Ogawa
Steve Pomerantz

Murray Harold Protter (February 13, 1918 – May 1, 2008) was an American mathematician and educator, known for his contributions to the theory of partial differential equations, as well as his well-selling textbooks in Calculus.[1]

Protter earned a M.Sc. in mathematics at University of Michigan (1937) and a Ph.D. at Brown University on a thesis entitled "Generalized Spherical Harmonics" advised by Lipman Bers (1946).[2] During the World War II era, he studied the aeroelasticity and flutter of military air planes at the Vought aircraft company in Stratford, Connecticut (1943–45). Since his graduation, he worked as assistant professor at Syracuse University (1947–51), was a researcher at Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (1951–53) and at University of California at Berkeley (1953–88) where he also was the chairman (1962–65). He also was the Miller Research Professor (1959, 1967) and executive director of the Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science (1981–83). He was the father of operations researcher Philip Protter.

Protter developed self-paced learning of mathematics. For American Mathematical Society he was a long-time member (1941–) serving as treasurer (1968–72) and editor of the book review column.


  • Calculus with Analytic Geometry: A first Course (1964). With Charles B. Morrey, Jr.
  • Intermediate Calculus (1971, 1985). With Charles B. Morrey, Jr.
  • A First Course in Real Analysis (1976, 1991). With Charles B. Morrey, Jr.
  • Basic Elements of Real Analysis (1998).
  • Maximum Principles in Differential Equations (1967,[3] 1999). With Hans Weinberger