Institute of Mathematics and Its Applications

Institute of Mathematics and Its Applications

The need for a learned society for mathematics which catered for mathematicians working in industry, higher education establishments and Government research establishments began to be felt in the late 1950s. One of the first to make an active move towards bringing mathematicians working in these areas together was James Lighthill when he organised the British Theoretical Mechanics Colloquium at the University of Manchester in 1959. The second main impetus came from a committee set up in May 1959 consisting of mathematicians from the above areas which discussed the formation of a professional body. Alfred Geary, Head of the Department of Mathematics at Northampton College of Advanced Technology was elected as chairman of this committee which became known as the Geary Committee. The story of how this and other moves led to the founding of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications in 1964 was told in an article by John Theodore Combridge. A version of this article is available at THIS LINK.

John Combridge's article only gives an account of the founding of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications so we need to say a little about how the Institute developed. From the beginning, the Institute had different grades of membership.

Fellow (FIMA) is the highest grade which requires seven years experience. To attain this grade it is necessary to hold a senior position in an institution in which one teaches mathematics or is a user of mathematics.
Member (MIMA) is a grade which requires a degree and at least three years experience teaching mathematics or using mathematics.
Associate Member (AMIMA) requires a degree in mathematics or a degree with a high mathematical component.
Student is a grade for someone who is on a course which with lead to a degree in mathematics or a degree with a high mathematical component.
Affiliate is a grade which has no necessary requirements.
Another feature of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications which goes back to its founding was its organisation of conferences.

In 1990 the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications was awarded a Royal Charter which led to it being able to grant someone the title Chartered Mathematician. In November 2008 the Royal Charter was amended so that the Institute was able to grant Chartered Mathematics Teacher status.

Over the years the number of journals published by the Institute had increased markedly. At present it publishes eight research journals: Transactions of Mathematics and its Applications. A Journal of the IMA; Information and Inference. a Journal of the IMA; IMA Journal of Applied Mathematics; IMA Journal of Numerical Analysis; Mathematical Medicine and Biology. A Journal of the IMA; IMA Journal of Mathematical Control and Information; IMA Journal of Management Mathematics; and Teaching Mathematics and its Applications. An International Journal of the IMA. It also publishes Mathematics Today, an excellent general interest publication which is published six times a year.

An account of the origins of the Institute is given at THIS LINK.

A list of Presidents of the Institute is given at THIS LINK.

A list of Institute prizewinners is given at THIS LINK.


Alphabetical list of Societies Chronological list of Societies
Main MacTutor index Biographies Index

JOC/EFR May 2017 School of Mathematics and Statistics
University of St Andrews, Scotland
The URL of this page is:
http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Societies/IMA.html