After the death of Sir Edmund Whittaker in 1956 his son John Whittaker most generously gave on behalf of the Whittaker Family the sum of £500 to the Edinburgh Mathematical Society to establish a prize for mathematical work in memory of his father. The main rules governing the award of the prize are as follows:
  1. Prizes will be awarded for published work of particular merit in pure mathematics, applied mathematics, mathematical statistics or mathematical physics.
  2. Normally one or more prizes of at least £50 will be awarded at four-yearly intervals, but an award may be withheld if no eligible work of sufficient merit has been published.
  3. A candidate for a prize
    1. must be 35 years of age or less at the time of the award,
    2. must either be a graduate of a Scottish University and/or have been engaged in postgraduate research in Scotland for at least three years.
  4. No prizewinner shall be eligible thereafter.

The winners are listed below:

1961 A G Mackie and A H Wallace

1965 J B McLeod

1970 D J S Robinson

1973 A M Davie

1977 G Brown and C A Stuart

1981 J M Ball

1985 J Howie

1989 A A Lacey and M Röckner

1993 M A Berger and A W Reid

1997 A D Rendall

2001 M L McQuillan and J A Sherratt

2005 T Bridgeland

2009 A Smoktunowicz

2013 S White

2016 A Bayer