Derek Arthur was born on 6th May 1945 in Lerwick, Shetland and died on 9th October 2010 in Glasgow.
Derek was educated at the Anderson Educational Institute in Lerwick and graduated with a 1st Class Honours degree in Mathematical Science from Edinburgh University in 1967. He moved to Wadham College, Oxford in 1967 to study at the Oxford University Computing Laboratory. He was awarded Carnegie Trust and Sir David Baxter Scholarships and graduated with a MSc in 1968. He continued research work at Oxford until 1970. This, and later work, was written up in a thesis “Numerical Approximation in One or more Dimensions” for the Degree of DPhil , Oxford 1972.
He was appointed as a Junior Lecturer at Trinity College, Dublin in 1970, and as a Lecturer in the Department of Mathematics, University of Edinburgh in 1973. He was subsequently promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1993. During his time at Edinburgh he also took on wider responsibilities as an Associate Dean and Schools Liaison Officer in the Faculty of Science. Derek authored several textbooks on Applicable Mathematics. He was the founding Director of the Mathematical Teaching Organisation, a role he continued in until his retirement on 31 July 2005. Derek was a significant source of advice to the School on many matters to do with teaching policy and management. He will be much missed in both his professional and personal capacities.
Derek was known as "Viking" to the crossword fraternity, and will also be much missed by them:
The Times published an obituary of Derek on 19th October:
Derek’s wife, Alison, has asked the School to ensure that his many University friends and colleagues are made aware of the funeral arrangements which are:
14.30 pm, Tuesday 19th October 2010, Main Chapel, Mortonhall Crematorium
(Family flowers only).