The Institute of Mathematics was established in 1947 in Kunming, China. The Institute's first director was Dr. Jiang Li Fu, with world renowned mathematician Dr. S.S. Chern serving as acting director in Shanghai. The Institute relocated to Taiwan in 1949, as research activities almost came to a standstill due to the difficulties caused by unstable political circumstances. When the situation improved a few years later, the Institute immediately began training younger talent. Within a few years, staff members of the Institute began pursuing research in many areas of pure and applied mathematics. When Dr. Y.S. Chow assumed the directorship in 1970, efforts were made to improve the funding of research as well as to extend research activities to Probability and Statistics. Since 1978, under the directorship of Dr. Ky Fan, emphasis has been put on fundamental research (this being possible with the increase of research funding following the first Five-Year Plan of the Academia Sinica). Between 1984 and the conclusion of the third Five-year plan in 1996, research areas has been rapidly expanded under the directorship of Dr. Fon-Che Liu, Dr. Ko- Wei Lih, Dr. Chii-Ruey Hwang and Dr. Tai-Ping Liu, to include major areas of mathematics .
The research produced in the past few years are well recognized with many either appearing in well-established journals or presented at important international conferences.
In view of the profound influence of computers on the research of mathematics, the Institute will also lay emphasis on research that will bring to the foreground the computational aspect of mathematics as well as research utilizing computers as the primary or preliminary tool.