Type of entity
Authorized form of name
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Dates of existence
One of the original departments of Simon Fraser University, the Department of Mathematics was opened to students in September 1965 as part of the Faculty of Science. The Department has been responsible, through its Head, for the promotion of research and the development and delivery of programs in mathematics and statistics. In 1984 the name of the Department was changed to its present form. In 1965, there were five full and assistant professors, two instructors and one visiting lecturer. In 1986, the faculty comprised twenty professors, eleven associate professors and three assistant professors.
Initial programs offered led to the B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Mathematics. In 1977, a B.Sc. (honours) program was introduced. By 1986, honours programs in conjunction with other departments included Mathematical Physics, Mathematics and Computing Science, and Management and Systems Science. The original goal of the Department, which it has continued to emphasize, was to work towards excellence in pure mathematics, and in certain branches of mathematics, statistics and computing – a regimen frequently encountered in British and European universities, but at that time a rarity in North America.
Like other SFU departments, the Department of Mathematics and Statistics was organized administratively into a Head (renamed Chair in 1972), and departmental committees. While the Chair had overall responsibility to the Department and the Dean of Science for the efficient operation of the Department, most decisions were made at the committee level with major issues referred to Departmental meetings for decision. The long-standing committees of the Department were the Appointments Committee, renamed the Appointment and long-range Planning Committee; the Graduate Studies Committee; the Undergraduate Studies Committee; and the Salaries, Tenure and Promotion Committee (known also as the Departmental Tenure Committee (DTC) and the Tenure and Promotions Committee).