It is UC San Diego policy that all courses must be listed with their instructor's legal name.
Although I go by Aaron Schulman professionally, my legal name is actually Aaron Shalev.
My birth name is Aaron Schulman. This is the name that I used for
all of my publications in graduate school, and the name that I used when I went
on the job market. It is also the name that I continue to use
In 2013, when my partner and I decided that we were going to get married, we also decided that we wanted to share the same last name. The problem was, neither of us wanted to adopt to the other's last name. We also didn't have the most hyphenatible name combination. Instead, we decided the only fair thing to do would be to make up an entirely new last name. We settled on "Shalev", the Hebrew word for calm.
Settle on your new last name before you get married. Changing your last
name on state marriage documents is easy and free.
We waited until our first child was about to be born to finally settle on our new name. This means that we had to pay about $1,000 in legal fees and do some pretty time-consuming tasks like announcing our new name in a local newspaper. We also had to show up in court with our newborn in tow and wait through some other proceedings before the judge changed our name.
When my name was entered into the plethora of UC San Diego databases, it was mistakenly entered as Aron Shalev. I have tried to find and fix all major instances of this, but there still seem to be a few rogue databases where my name is still spelled incorrectly (most notably, the database that the course registration system pulls from). If you discover any other instances of this error, please let me know.
I wasn't sure how American society would accept the idea of a male changing
his name for marriage. I am proud to report that the number-one reaction
that I get when I explain why I changed my name is:
"Wow, that's a really nice idea".
One interesting thing that I discovered by changing my name is that there is no gender neutral term for "maiden name". If anyone cares, I prefer to use the term "birth name".