Sokal is also just an all around brilliant guy. He speaks and reads several foreign languages fluently, including French
. Although I never actually had him for a class, my peers confirm that he is an amazing teacher.
Unfortunately, his social activism and opinions have gotten him into official trouble with 'the man', here in this so called 'free' country. About a decade ago he spent a while teaching mathematics to peasants in Nicaragua. This being under the Sandinista government, the CIA got wind of his activities and put this socially conscious physicist on some sort of unsavory characters list. Later, when the time came to renew his Italian wife's visa so she could continue to live with him in New York, a mere formality for Europeans married to Americans in almost all cases, she was denied. As far as I know a good reason was not given, and it seems like some form of harassment.