George Cunliffe McVittie

Born: 5 June 1904 in Smyrna, Turkey (now Izmir)
Died: 8 March 1988 in Canterbury, Kent, England

George McVittie's parents were Frank S McVittie and Emily Caroline Weber. George entered the University of Edinburgh in 1923. There he studied mathematics and natural philosophy (physics), strongly influenced by his lecturers E T Whittaker and C G Darwin. He graduated in 1928 with an M.A., and then studied for a doctorate, beginning work in Edinburgh with Whittaker as advisor, and continuing at Christ's College Cambridge with Eddington as his advisor. In 1934 McVittie married Mildred Bond Strong.

McVittie held appointments as follows: Assistant Lecturer at Leeds University 1930-34; Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh 1933-34; Reader at King's College, University of London 1936-48; Professor at Queen Mary's College, University of London 1948-52; Professor at Illinois University Observatory 1952-1972; and Honorary Professor at the University of Kent at Canterbury 1972-1988.

McVittie was elected to the Royal Society of Edinburgh on 1 March 1943, having been proposed by David Gibb, Ivor M H Etherington, Robert Schlapp, and Alexander C Aitken. He was a member of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society, being elected in December 1927. He was also a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, being elected in 1933.

An obituary, written by M A H MacCallum, appeared in: George Cunliffe McVittie (1904-1988) (obituary), Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society 30 (3) (1989), 119-122.
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Another obituary of George Cunliffe McVittie, this time written by William McCrea, appeared in The Independent on Friday 11 March 1988.
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Notes on some of McVittie's papers are given at THIS LINK.

Article by: J J O'Connor and E F Robertson

November 2007
MacTutor History of Mathematics