W F Sheppard


Dr W F Sheppard, late Assistant Secretary of the Board of Education, was the Senior Wrangler of 1886. As a Fellow of Trinity, he resided in Cambridge for some years after taking his degree; afterwards he was called to the Bar, and later became a member of the staff of the Board of Education, where his knowledge of statistics proved very valuable. It was in the study of statistical problems that he made his most valuable contributions to mathematical knowledge, and his name is assured of a permanent place on the list of those who have added to the scope and power of statistical methods.

Dr. Sheppard joined the Association in 1906; he served on the Council as an ordinary member from 1920 to 1925, and as a co-opted representative of the London Branch for 1926 and 1927. As President of the Association in 1928 and 1929, he was able to share two of his keenest mathematical interests with members through his presidential addresses, "Variety of Method in the Teaching of Arithmetic" and "Mathematics for the Study of Frequency Statistics". He remained on the Council as a Vice-President; a wonderfully regular attendant at Council meetings until his health began to fail, his shrewd judgment was of great value. The London Branch of which he was President in 1926, found in him an active and powerful helper.

So varied were Dr Sheppard's interests that our Association is but one of many which now deplore a severe loss.

This obituary of William Fleetwood Sheppard appeared in The Mathematical Gazette XX (241) (December 1936), 297.