James Stewart (mathematician)


James Drewry Stewart, MSC (March 29, 1941 – December 3, 2014) was a Canadian mathematician, violinist, and professor emeritus of mathematics at McMaster University. Stewart is best known for his series of calculus textbooks used for high school, college, and university level courses.

James Stewart
James Stewart at the Stewart Centre for Mathematics.png
James Drewry Stewart

(1941-03-29)March 29, 1941
DiedDecember 3, 2014(2014-12-03) (aged 73)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Alma materStanford University
University of Toronto
Known forWork in harmonic analysis
Functional analysis
Calculus textbooks
Integral House
Scientific career
InstitutionsMcMaster University
University of Toronto
University of London
Doctoral advisorLionel Cooper


Stewart received his master of science at Stanford University and his doctor of philosophy from the University of Toronto in 1967. He worked for two years as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of London, where his research focused on harmonic and functional analysis. His books are standard textbooks in universities in many countries. One of his most well-known textbooks is Calculus: Early Transcendentals (1995),[1] a set of textbooks which is accompanied by a website for students.

Stewart was also a violinist, and a former member of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra.[2]

Integral HouseEdit

From 2003 to 2009[3] a house designed by Brigitte Shim and Howard Sutcliffe was constructed for Stewart in the Rosedale neighbourhood of Toronto at a cost of $32 million. He paid an additional $5.4 million for the existing house and lot which was torn down to make room for his new home.[4] Called Integral House (a reference to its curved walls, and their similarity to the mathematical integral symbol), the house includes a concert hall that seats 150. Stewart has said, "My books and my house are my twin legacies. If I hadn't commissioned the house I'm not sure what I would have spent the money on." Glenn Lowry, director of the Museum of Modern Art, called the house "one of the most important private houses built in North America in a long time."[5]

Personal life and political activismEdit

Stewart was gay and involved in LGBT activism. According to Joseph Clement, a documentary filmmaker who is working on a film about Stewart and Integral House, Stewart brought gay rights activist George Hislop to speak at McMaster in the early 1970s, when the LGBT liberation movement was in its infancy, and was involved in protests and demonstrations.[2]


In the summer of 2013, Stewart was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a blood cancer.[6] He died on December 3, 2014, aged 73.[7]


In 2015, he was posthumously awarded the Meritorious Service Cross.[8]


  1. ^ Stewart, James (2012-01-06). Single Variable Essential Calculus: Early Transcendentals. ISBN 978-1133112785.
  2. ^ a b "The many parts of James Stewart". The Daily Xtra. Archived from the original on December 13, 2014.
  3. ^ Bellos, Alex (2015-10-05). "Maths palace built by calculus 'rock star' on sale for £11.4m". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-02-28.
  4. ^ "The House that Math Built". Archived 2012-10-23 at the Wayback Machine TheStar.com. 2011-02-04
  5. ^ "An 'Accordion' of Wood and Glass" Archived 2017-08-20 at the Wayback Machine, Wall Street Journal, 2009-04-03; retrieved 2009-04-08.
  6. ^ "For millionaire mathematician James Stewart, music will play on after his death" Archived 2017-05-01 at the Wayback Machine, The Globe and Mail, 2014-09-21.
  7. ^ Press Release Archived 2014-12-04 at archive.today, fields.utoronto.ca, 2014-12-04.
  8. ^ "Meritorious Service Cross Citation".

Further readingEdit

  • Peterson, Ivars (August–September 2009). "James Stewart and the House That Calculus Built" (PDF). MAA Focus. 29 (4): 4–6. ISSN 0731-2040. Retrieved 2009-07-27. Article about Stewart's "Integral House".

External linksEdit