Agnes Scott College

Sheila Scott Macintyre

April 23, 1910 - March 21, 1960

Sheila Scott was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she attended the Edinburgh Ladies' College from 1926-1928. She received her M.A. degree with first class honors in mathematics and natural philosophy in 1932 from the University of Edinburgh. She then continued her studies at Girton College at Cambridge University where she earned First Class Honors in the Mathematical Tripos and a B.A. degree. During her final year at Cambridge she did research with Mary Cartwright leading to a publication "On the asymptotic periods of integral functions" in the Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, Vol. 31 (1935) [Abstract].

Scott returned to Scotland to teach at several schools, including two schools for girls. In 1940 she married the mathematician Archibald James Macintyre. The next year she was appointed as an assistant lecturer at Aberdeen University where her husband taught. While teaching at Aberdeen and raising a family, she also completed her Ph.D. in 1947 under the nominal supervision of Edward M. Wright with a thesis on "Some problems in interpolatory function theory." Some of her results were published in two papers in the Journal of the London Mathematical Society: "An upper bound for the Whittaker constant W" in 1947 [Abstract] and "A functional inequality" in 1948 [Abstract].

Sheila Macintyre continued her teaching and research activities, publishing nine additional mathematical papers (including one with her husband) as well as co-authoring a German-English mathematical dictionary. The preface to that dictionary indicates that "This book is designed to help English-speaking mathematicians to read German. The German mathematician wishing to speak or write in English will require more guidance in the choice of the appropriate English equivalent. The vocabulary covers a fairly wide field in pure mathematics, but applied mathematics, statistics and mathematical logic are not included."

Mary Cartwright quotes the mathematician R.C. Buck as saying that "In her chosen area of analysis, she introduced powerful refinements of techniques, and what is much harder, new and original problems for investigation." Cartwright also writes that "She is remembered as an exceptionally clear lecturer, and an excellent teacher with a warm-hearted but realistic interest in each of her students and also as a charming and helpful and often amusing colleague."

In 1958 Macintyre was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In the year before her death from cancer, she held a visiting professor position at the University of Cincinnati.


  1. Fasanelli, Florence D. "Sheila Scott Macintyre," in Women of Mathematics: A Biobibliographic Sourcebook, Grinstein and Campbell, Editors, Greenwood Press, 1987, 140-143.
  2. Cartwright, Mary L. "Sheila Scott Macintyre," Journal of the London Mathematical Society, 36 (1961), 254-256.
  3. Cossar, J. "Sheila Scott Macintyre," Proceedings of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society, 12 (1960-61), 112.
  4. Wright, E.M. "Sheila Scott Macintyre," Year Book of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (1961), 21-23.
  5. MathSciNet [subscription required]
  6. Author Profile at zbMath
  7. Mathematics Genealogy Project
  8. Biography at the MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive