David W. H. Shale, professor emeritus of mathematics at Penn, died on January 7 from respiratory disease. He was 83 years old.
Dr. Shale was born in Christchurch, New Zealand. He attended St. Andrew’s Preparatory School, then graduated from Canterbury College at age 20 with a master’s degree and first class honors in mathematics. In 1954, he entered the mathematics program at the University of Chicago, where he earned his PhD. He spent time at the Mathematics Institute in Copenhagen, the University of Toronto, the University of California, Berkeley, and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, before coming to the University of Pennsylvania in 1964 as an assistant professor.
In 1966, he became a US citizen and an associate professor. In 1970, he became a professor. From 1986-1989, he served as the undergraduate chair in the department of mathematics. During his time at Penn he also taught courses in the College of General Studies and the Wharton School.
Dr. Shale did research in functional analyses of the formation of the quantum theory. He retired from Penn and took emeritus status in 2000. His scientific interests, apart from mathematics, included physics and astrophysics, and after his retirement he added economics.
He is survived by his wife, Marilyn; his son, Joshua; his daughter, Jennifer Adams; his children’s spouses; five grandchildren; and his sister, Jennifer Bertram.