W. W. Sawyer was born in 1911. He won scholarships to Highgate School and St John's College,
Cambridge, where he specialized in relativity and quantum theory. After some years lecturing in British universities,
he became head of mathematics at Leicester College of Technology. With the help of his colleagues he studied the
applications of mathematics to industry, and developed in detail a method by which engineering apprentices learnt
mathematics by handling actual physical objects. In 1948 he became the first head of the mathematics department
in the University of Ghana (then Gold Coast). From 1951 to 1956 he lectured in Canterbury College, New Zealand,
and from 1957 to 1964 he worked in the USA where he publicly criticized many aspects of the modern math movement.
In 1965 he was appointed Professor jointly to the Departments of Mathematics and Education in the University of
Toronto, where he worked until 1976, when he retired to Cambridge (England).
Version: 26 November 2020