Paul Edelman retires from Vanderbilt faculty, takes emeritus status

Feb 17, 2022

Paul Edelman, who held faculty appointments in the Vanderbilt Department of Mathematics and as a professor of law, has retired and assumed emeritus effective Jan. 1, 2022.

Paul Edelman

A thoughtful and productive scholar, Edelman’s work in the legal arena focused on law and public choice and applied mathematical approaches to legal problems. Among many other topics, his work addressed corporate shareholder voting, apportionment of Congressional seats, judicial decision-making, and methods for distributing attorney fees in multidistrict litigation. His work appeared in the Texas, Minnesota, California, Southern California, Northwestern, Minnesota and Michigan law reviews, among many others, and in prestigious peer-reviewed journals, including Public Choice, the Supreme Court Economic Review, Games and Economic Behavior, Social Choice and Welfare, Election Law Journal, Mathematical Social Sciences, Journal of Legal Studies and the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, among others.

He also published in mathematical journals throughout his career.

Edelman served on the board of editors for Order, a peer-reviewed mathematical journal that publishes research on the theory and application of ordered sets, from 1998 to 2012.

“Paul Edelman is a polymath who brought a unique and useful perspective to legal scholarship. He made meaningful contributions to multiple disciplines throughout his career and made valuable contributions to the life of the law school as a colleague, scholar and teacher,” said Chris Guthrie, Dean and John Wade-Kent Syverud Professor of Law.

Edelman joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 2000 as a professor of mathematics and law. He was the Olin Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Virginia in fall 2003.

He had previously taught as a professor of mathematics at the University of Minnesota, having joined its faculty as an associate professor in 1986. He was an affiliated member of the University of Minnesota law faculty from 1998 to 2000.

Edelman earned his Ph.D. in mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his undergraduate degree at Swarthmore College. He taught mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania and at Carnegie-Mellon University before joining the University of Minnesota mathematics faculty.

Edelman was affiliated with the law school’s Program in Law and Business and with the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions at Vanderbilt University. At the law school, he taught Introduction to Law and Economics, Fair Representation and Election Design, Public Choice and the Law, and co-taught the Law and Business Seminar.

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