In 1913, Peking University began to enroll students in mathematics, marking the official start of teaching activities of mathematics in higher education in China. In 1919, Cai Yuanpei, the president of Peking University, said that one must first study mathematics in order to study science, so the Department of Mathematics should be the first among all departments." A major reconstruction occurred in 1952 when three departments of Mathematics at Peking University, Tsinghua University and Yenching University were merged to form the Department of Mathematics and Mechanics, patterned after the Department of Mechanics and Mathematics of Lomonosov Moscow State University. After chaotic years of Great Cultural Revolution, the department is renamed as Mathematics in 1978. In the same year, the department restarted to enroll undergraduate students as well as graduate students. The Institute of Mathematics was established in 1981, operated jointly with the Department. In 1995 the Department of Mathematics and the Department of Probability and Statistics were merged to form the School of Mathematical Sciences.
The Mission of the School is to foster talents in mathematics, to explore the forefront of mathematics, to solve mathematical problems in the national construction, and to disseminate mathematics by all means. In the past one hundred years, Peking University has made remarkable achievements in mathematics, and made an important contribution to the development of mathematics in China and even in the world. Mathematicians of Peking University play an important role in mathematical societies such as the Chinese Mathematical Society, and provide expert consultation to the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Science and Technology, the National Foundation of Natural Science of China, etc. We share our resourceful advantages with the mathematical community, receiving visiting scholars and students for a period of one semester or longer.
More than 8000 students have studied in the School of Mathematical Sciences and its predecessor since 1952. Among them more than 30 have been elected as the academicians of the Chinese Academy of Science. Many alumni are very active in the mathematical community in the world. To name a few: Yitang Zhang of UC Santa Barbara, Bin Yu of UC Berkeley, Sam Kou of Harvard, Yi Ni of Caltech, Wei Zhang of Columbia, Zhiwei Yun of Yale. In particular 2 faculty members and 6 alumni are invited to give talks in IMC 2018
It is not only our goal but also the expectation of the Chinese People to build a strong school and to uplift the standing among all math schools/departments in the world. A building of 14000 square meters will be constructed to be the new home of the School by 2020. Let us join hands and work together with the Beijing International Center of Mathematical Research (BICMR) we shall strive to be a leading center of mathematics in the world.