Sheila Scott Macintyre

Sheila Scott Macintyre (née Sheila Scott, April 23, 1910 - March 21, 1960) was a Scottish mathematician best known for her work on the Whittaker constant. Macintyre is also known for co-authoring a German-English mathematics dictionary with Edith Witte.

Sheila Scott was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, on April 23, 1910, the daughter of James Alexander Scott and Helen Myers Meldrum. She attended Trinity Academy, Edinburgh, during which time her father was appointed Rector of the Academy. Between 1926 and 1928 she attended Edinburgh Ladies' College (now The Mary Erskine School) where she graduated as Dux in Mathematics and joint Dux of the College. She studied at the University of Edinburgh, graduating in 1932 with an MA in Mathematics and Natural Philosophy. Afterwards, she continued her undergraduate studies at Girton College, Cambridge, undertaking the Mathematical Tripos. In her final year at Cambridge she undertook a research project under the supervision of Mary Cartwright. This resulted in her first published work On the Asymptotic Periods of Integral Functions.

Scott taught mathematics at a number of schools between 1934 and 1940. During this period Edmund Whittaker introduced Scott to fellow mathematician Archibald James Macintyre. The two married in 1940, and shortly thereafter she was appointed as an assistant lecturer at the University of Aberdeen, where her husband was a lecturer. During this time, she began working on her doctoral thesis. While pregnant with her second child, she stopped teaching but continued research. She received her PhD from Aberdeen in 1947 with the thesis Some Problems in Interpolatory Function Theory and under the supervision of Edward Maitland Wright.

Between 1947 and 1958 she published another ten papers during a period where the couple had three children: Alister William Macintyre (born 1944), Douglas (born 1946 - died 1948 of enteritis) and Susan Elizabeth Macintyre Cantey (born 1950). Of her research during this time, Wright wrote "... good as her research was there would have been more of it had she not had a family to look after." In 1956 she and Edith Witte published the book German-English Mathematical Vocabulary.

In 1958, the family emigrated to the Cincinnati, USA, where Macintyre accepted a visiting professorship at the University of Cincinnati. Also in 1958, she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Sheila Scott Macintyre died in 1960 in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA after a long battle with breast cancer.

Mary Cartwright writes in her obituary "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."