Maths department > About the department > History

Brief history

The Department of Mathematics was created by the Governing Council of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) on 27 September 1985, replacing its predecessor, the Mathematics Section of the Faculty of Science.

The UAB opened its doors in 1968/69. At the time, it had just two faculties: Arts and Medicine. The following academic year, the university opened the Faculty of Science and held its first selective entry course. In 1970/71, the second years of the degrees in Physics, Chemistry and Biology were taught. The second year of the degrees in Mathematics and Geology were taught for the first time in 1971/72. This academic year, therefore, marked the beginning of the UAB’s mathematics training and a step towards the creation of the Department of Mathematics as we know it today. The UAB was originally located at Hospital Sant Pau and the Monastery of Sant Cugat, but the mathematics degree was taught in the Faculty of Science building in Bellaterra, where the teaching staff occupied two floors that are still used by the Department of Mathematics today.

At the time, the Faculty of Science was divided into ‘sections’ – one for each degree programme. The Mathematics Section, therefore, served as the UAB’s mathematics group until the creation of the current Department. The Mathematics Section was responsible for organising the subjects taught as part of the degree, as well as the mathematics subjects taught as part of other degrees, including Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geology, Medicine and others that would be introduced later. It also handled all mathematics-related matters that are now the responsibility of the Department. For example, it was responsible for hiring new lecturers, promoting research and creating a mathematics library. In 1974/75, it created the journal Publicacions de la Secció de Matemàtiques, which in 1988 would become Publicacions Matemàtiques, the current journal of the Department of Mathematics. The Mathematics Section also cultivated scientific relations with foreign universities by implementing a policy for visiting lecturers, oversaw doctoral theses, taught PhD courses, and provided working conditions that allowed assistant lecturers to conduct research.

In 1985, the UAB Statutes were approved and applied, which resulted in the creation of the Department of Mathematics and the other UAB departments. The Statutes defined the two networks that would make up the UAB’s structure: the departments, which are responsible for teaching staff and research, and the teaching centres, which organise courses. In a decision that would preserve the spirit of unity and collaboration that had characterised the Mathematics Section, the UAB chose to create a single mathematics department. From its inception, the Department of Mathematics worked to strengthen and improve mathematics research by recruiting the right people and obtaining the right materials. The Mathematics Section still exists as a section of the Faculty of Science; it organises the mathematics degree and handles relations with students.

Over time, the Department has made several major changes, such as expanding its facilities into the third floor of Building C1 and the former Calculation Centre, moving the mathematics library from the Department to the Science Library, and creating its own computer network. Throughout these changes and during the significant growth enjoyed by the Department through the ongoing recruitment of lecturers and researchers, the spirit that inspired the pre-1985 Mathematics Section in the early days of the UAB has been adopted and promoted by all of the teams that have since led the Department. The result is an active, cohesive Department that is open to new lines of research, dedicated to innovative teaching, and worthy of its international reputation.

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Department of Mathematics
Building C Science Faculty
08193 Bellaterra (Barcelona)
TEL +34 93 581 13 04
FAX +34 93 581 27 90





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