THE INDIAN MATHEAMTICAL SOCIETY
(Estd. 1907; Registration No. S-550, Delhi)
Regd. Office: Center for Advanced Study in Mathematics,
S. P. Pune University, Pune-411 007, Maharashtra
http://www.indianmathsociety.org.in



Shri V. Ramaswami Aiyar

It was a landmark in the history of Indian Mathematics when more than a century ago, on April 4, 1907, late Shri V. Ramaswami Aiyar , a Deputy Collector in the services of the then Madras Province, founded India’s first Mathematical Society, with twenty enthusiastic founding members , and with its Headquarters at Pune .

The objects of the Society is the promotion of Mathematical Study and Research in India and abroad among professionals and amateurs, and hence its central activity is to inspire and encourage researchers, educationists, students and all the mathematics loving persons. Right from its establishment, the Society is a non-profit making Society.

Today, the Indian Mathematical Society (IMS) is the oldest and the largest Mathematical Society of the Country with more than 3500 Life Members as in 2019.

Professor B. Hanumantha Rao was the first President of the Society from 1907 to 1912. The complete list of all the presidents of the Society right from the begining can be aceeses here: Past Presidents of the Society.

The complete list of all the office beares of the Society right from the begining can be accessed here: the succession list of the office bearers of the Society

Genesis and History of Founding of the Society
The Founder of Our Society.
The honour of being the Founder of our Society belongs to Mr. V. Ramaswami Aiyar. His first letter proposing the formation of the Society, dated 25th December 1906, is contained in his letter dated 3rd April 1907 (reproduced at the end along with the list of 20 founding members), announcing the formation of the Society under the name “Analytic Club”. The letter was published in the leading Madras dailies of the 4th April, 1907; and it is but fitting that it is on record in the pages of the J. Ind. Math. Soc., Vol. XI, No. 2, April 1919.(Refer The Math. Student, 80, Nos.1-4, (2011), 259)

Genesis and History of Founding of the Society -
Mathematical Reminiscences of the founding father himself.

(excerpts from V. Ramaswami Aiyar's presidential address of 1926.
See The Math. Student, 80, Nos.1-4, (2011), 243-258)

“ In 1893 I took M. A. degree and about August in the following year I was a candidate for the Mysore Civil Service Examination and failed. I then received an enquiry from Mr. Bhabha, Inspector-General of Education in Mysore, asking if I can act as a Professor of Mathematics in the Central College, Bangalore, in place of Mr. T. R. Venkataswami Naidu, who was taking a short leave. I was glad to accept the offer. This made me a colleague of Mr. M. T. Naraniengar and we became intimate friends. We were both deeply interested in Mathematics and in a modest way Geometry was our forte and curves our fancy; we discussed nothing but mathematics. Ball’s Mathematical Recreations had recently come out and contained a lot to interest us. After Mr. Venkataswami Naidu rejoined duty, I continued to remain in Bangalore, meeting Mr. M. T. Naraniengar frequently. We had a special affinity as both of us were old boys of the Cambridge College.

In 1895, Mathematics classes were opened for B. A. in the Maharaja’s college, Mysore, and I was appointed to a permanent post in the staff of the college, as Lecturer in the subject. Mr. J. Weir was the principal of the college and Professor of Mathematics. Mr. Weir got me introduced as a member of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society and I felt very proud. The proceedings of the Society, which I received, gave me my first glimmer of hope that a Mathematical Society like the Edinburgh could, perhaps, be formed in India.

My service in Mysore did not continue long. I appeared for the Madras Civil Service Examination of 1895 and came out successfully. I joined the Madras Civil Service as a Deputy Collector at the end of 1895.

The year 1906, I think, is an important date in the intellectual history of the world. It was the year in which Einstein made his great discovery of the principle of relativity. It was also the year, probably, in which our own great mathematician, Ramanujan, unknown as yet, was making some of his discoveries. However that be, there was a feeling in India that it was the time of large awakening. There was considerable political agitation then, owing to the partition of Bengal. But men also saw that, before India could become great, we needed advancement in many different directions. Our great countryman, Sir J. N. Tata, had these problems in mind and laid the foundation of a considerable industrial and intellectual advancement. But his great scheme of Central Research Institute for India made no provision for mathematical advancement. One day I put myself the question “Can I not be of some help in advancing the interests of Mathematics in India?” The spirit of the times made me think seriously about the question. I wanted to form a Mathematical Society which might be something like the Edinburgh (Mathematical) Society. I obtained the Calendars of the Madras and the Bombay Universities and made a list of all men who had taken the M. A. degree, or a first class in B. A., or doing work as Professors and Assistant Professors in various colleges. The list was very encouraging. There were men of distinction like Dastur, Sanjana, Apte and Paranjpye in the Bombay Presidency. There were men like Hanumantha Rao, my own teacher Swaminatha Aiyar, Ramchandra Rao, Naraniengar, Ramesham, Venkataswami Naidu, and so on in my Presidency. On perusal of the long list, it occurred to me that, if by some magic, I could only put all these names in to a Society, then with Euclid, I might say, Q. E. F. (what is required is now done). But I did not see my way for this magic. I was a Deputy Collector and not a Professor of a College whom his fellow mathematicians would know. I sometimes thought that, if I were the great Asutosh Mukherji of Bengal, I could make a trumpet call, bringing all the mathematicians to gether at once. But I was unknown; and any call by me, I felt, would fall flat on the public ear. So, I was in a state of hesitation as to the action I should take.

In that year I saw a copy of the Quarterly Journal of Mathematics, sent me by a friend. The matter which it contained was mostly beyond me but there was a little bit that delighted me. And I began to wonder how many such delightful bits, we in India, may be missing by not seeing the leading journals. This made me more eager than ever to try to form a Mathematical Society. At length came the Christmas Day of December 1906 . I was put up in a village Chavidi, in Gooty Division, Anantpur District. Thinking calmly, I felt that God will prosper any earnest endeavour made in a self-less cause. I was able to see my plan clearly and I wrote a little letter asking friends to join and form a small Mathematical Society . The letter was simply conceived and had no ambitious programme. (published in vol. XI of the journal of the Society; it is reproduced below at the end). I sent copies of the letter to one friend after another and I received an abundant response during three months. Then on the 4th of April 1907, I was able to announce in the Madras dailies that the Society was formed, with a strength of 20 members, under the name “The Indian Mathematical Club ,” and I became one of its Joint Secretaries along with Mr. Naraniengar and I continued so till 1910

After the formation of our Society in 1907, I wrote to the leading mathematicians of Bengal (with copies of my original letter and letter of announcement) asking for their support. I got a prompt response from Professor Mahendra Nath Dey, but not from others. Professor Dey informed me that my letters to others had been received, but mathematicians of Bengal were considering the formation of a separate Society at Calcutta. I was feeling disappointed that Bengal did not join us. Before long, however, I received a kind letter from Sir Gurudas Banerjee, the eminent judge, as well as mathematician, acknowledging my letter, commending our action, and stating that they in Bengal preferred to have a Society formed in Calcutta itself, to gain our common objects the better, and that plans for this were ready. He said that India was such a vast country that there was ample room for both the Societies to function and he wished all prosperity to our endeavours. With such blessings from Sir Gurudas we were very glad to see our sister Society The Calcutta Mathematical Society come in to existence in Calcutta in 1908, for promoting our common objects.
MR. RAMASWAMI AIYAR’S LETTER, DATED 3RD APRIL 1907;
and 20 FOUNDING MEMBERS OF THE SOCIETY
.

Sir,–I recently sent a proposal to some gentlemen interested in mathematics suggesting the formation of a small Mathematical Society. The proposal ran as follows : –

Sir,–I believe several friends interested in Mathematics have felt the present lack of facilities for seeing mathematical periodicals and books. This is a very great disadvantage we are suffering.

I propose therefore that a few friends may at once join and form a small Mathematical Society and subscribe for all the important Mathematical periodicals and, as far as possible, for all important books in Higher Mathematics.

We may call the Society “The Analytic Club” for the present, and have it in view to give it a broader basis with a suitable name by and by.

Our work immediately will be to obtain all the important periodicals and new books and circulate them to members. I shall be glad to undertake the duties of Secretary for the first year and do my best to promote the object in view.

If half a dozen members can be counted upon to join immediately and each subscribe Rs. 25/- per annum, we shall be able to make a good start. The Annual Subscription may perhaps be somewhat less, say, if a dozen members can be had; but even a dozen members paying Rs. 25/- per annum would not suffice to enable the Club to obtain the more important books appearing every year. I propose therefore that the subscription be Rs. 25/- per annum.

It appears to me necessary also that members should be prepared for a further sacrifice, and I propose that each member should send the journals and books he receives on to the next, and the last to the Secretary, at his own cost. This in effect would be to add about Rs. 5/- more to one’s subscription. I hope friends interested in Mathematics will not consider this a too heavy sacrifice – at any rate initially, in giving a club start.

Will you kindly write to me if you are in favour of the proposal? In case you are, I request you will send me your subscription of Rs. 25/- for 1907, as early as possible, so that we make a start at once.

This is only a tentative scheme and we may try it for a year and then introduce necessary changes.

I propose to consider the club formed as soon as three friends have agreed to the proposal, making with me four members. Thereafter, all business requiring determination by the Club can be done by circulation. Requesting the favour of an early reply,

I remain, Sir, Yours truly ,

(Signed) V. Ramaswami Aiyar.

In response to this proposal (which I was able to send only to a very limited number of persons) the under mentioned have written to me consenting to become members of the proposed Society :

Messrs :

1. R. N. Apte, M. A., L.L. B., F. R. A. S., Professor of Mathematics, Rajaram College, Kolhapur.

2. M. V. Arunachala Sastri, M. A., Assistant Professor, Nizam’s College, Hyderabad.

3. K. Chinnatambi Pillai, B. A., Assistant Professor, Christian College, Madras.

4. B. Hanumanta Rao, B. A., Professor of Mathematics, College of Engineering, Madras.

5. D. K. Hardikar, B.A., Professor of Mathematics, Nizam’s College, Hyderabad.

6. G. Kasturiranga Aiyangar, M. A., Lecturer, Maharaja College, Mysore.

7. B. Krishnamachari, M. A., Asst. Superintendent, Accountant General’s Office, Madras.

8. A. V. Kuttikrishna Menon, M. A., Teacher’s College, saidapet.

9. V. Madhava Rao, M. A., Professor of Mathematics, Maharaja’s College, Vizianagaram.

10. M. T. Narayana Aiyangar, M. A., Professor of Mathematics, Central College, Bangalore.

11. R. P. Paranjpye, B. Sc., M. A., Principal and Professor of Mathematics, Fergusson College, Poona.

12. R. Ramachandra Rao, B. A., Collector of Kurnool.

13. K. J. Sanjana, M. A., Principal and Professor of Mathematics, Samaldas College, Bhavnagar, Kathiawar.

14. P. V. Seshu Aiyar, M. A., Lecturer, Government College, Kumbhakonam.

15. S. P. Singaravelu Mudaliar, B. A., Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Christian College, Madras.

16. R. Swaminatha Aiyar, B. A., Treasury Deputy Collector, Coimbatore.

17. T. R. Venkataswami Nayudu, B. A. , Professor of Mathematics, Maharaja’s College, Mysore.

18. K. Krishnan Nayar, B. A., B. C. E., District Board Engineer, Mangalore.

19. S. A. Subramania Aiyar, B. A., B. C. E., Executive Engineer, Madras P. W. D., Madanapalli.

With me, it makes 20 members.

I beg to declare on behalf of all those that have joined, that the Society is now formed, under the proposed name “The Analytic Club” for the time being; and I shall be its Secretary provisionally.

My thanks are due to the gentlemen who have joined, for the support they have given me in starting the club. The membership has already exceeded my modest anticipations, and many more, I think, will be joining. This renders some changes and a better organization at once necessary. I shall soon be submitting to members proposals for a simple constitution for the Society according to which the affairs of the Society will be managed by a committee consisting of a President, a few office bearers and some additional members. From the support that I have received in this respect also, I feel we shall have a Committee giving the greatest possible confidence.
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Our Library should preferably be in a place which is postally a good centre for all India. In this respect, Poona is, next to Bombay, the most central place for all India. Further, I am glad to be able to mention that Prof. Paranjpye will be willing to take charge of the Library, provision being made for the discharge of purely mechanical work through Assistant Librarians. By voting Poona as our centre, we Madrassees will convince the rest of India that we do not look at the matter from a purely provincial point of view.
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We reproduce here, in a tabular form, the list of the above 20 founding members with the photos affixed (of those whose photos Society could find).
Assistance from any source in getting the missing photos will be greatly appreciated by the Society.

Messrs :

Sr. No. Name & degrees Affiliation photo
1 R. N. Apte
M. A., L.L. B., F. R. A. S.
Professor of Mathematics
Rajaram College, Kolhapur
2 M. V. Arunachala Sastri
M. A.
Assistant Professor
Nizam’s College, Hyderabad.
3 K. Chinnatambi Pillai
B. A.
Assistant Professor
Christian College, Madras
4 B. Hanumanta Rao
B. A.
Professor of Mathematics
College of Engineering, Madras.
5 D. K. Hardikar
B. A.
Professor of Mathematics
Nizam’s College, Hyderabad
6 G. Kasturiranga Aiyangar
M. A.
Lecturer, Maharaja College
Mysore
7 B. Krishnamachari
M. A.
Asst. Superintendent
Accountant General’s Office, Madras
8 A. V. Kuttikrishna Menon
M. A.
Teacher's College, Saidapet
9 V. Madhava Rao
M. A.
Professor of Mathematics
Maharaja’s College, Vizianagaram
10 M. T. Narayana Aiyangar
M. A.
Professor of Mathematics,
Central College, Bangalore.
11 R. P. Paranjpye
B. Sc., M. A.
Principal and Professor of Mathematics
Fergusson College, Poona
12 R. Ramachandra Rao
B. A.
Collector of Kurnool
13 K. J. Sanjana
M. A.
Principal and Professor of Mathematics
Samaldas College, Bhavnagar, Kathiawar
14 P. V. Seshu Aiyar
M. A.
Lecturer
Government College, Kumbhakonam
15 S. P. Singaravelu Mudaliar
B. A.
Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Christian College, Madras
16 R. Swaminatha Aiyar
B. A.
Treasury Deputy Collector, Coimbatores
17 T. R. Venkataswami Nayudu
B. A.
Professor of Mathematics
Maharaja’s College, Mysore
18 K. Krishnan Nayar
B. A., B. C. E.
District Board Engineer, Mangalore
19 S. A. Subramania Aiyar
B. A., B. C. E.,
Executive Engineer
Madras P. W. D., Madanapalli
20 V. Ramaswami Aiyar
M. A.
Deputy Collector, Madras.


---------

Note : It may be observed from the above (the complete articles are reproduced in The Mathematics Student, Vol. 80, Nos. 1-4, (2011), 239-263) that the first copy of the above proposal letter was sent by Mr. V. Ramaswami Aiyar on 25th December,1906 ; and then he went on sending its copies to one friend after another, of course only to a very limited number of persons, as stated by him. During the next three months he got above responses which exceeded his modest anticipations. He then declared formation of “The Analytic Club” in his above letter of 3rd April 1907; and on 4th April 1907 he announced in the Madras dailies that the Society is formed, with a strength of 20 founding members, under the name “The Indian Mathematical Club”.

Also, the 1907 and 1908 volumes of the Journal published by the Society are under the name “Journal of the Indian Mathematical Club”; thereafter they are published under the present name.

Discovery of Srinivasa Ramanujan – the greatest mathematical genius of modern times in India.

" When we pause to reflect on Ramanujan’s life, we see that there were certain events that seemingly were necessary in order that Ramanujan and his mathematics be brought to posterity. One of these was V. Ramaswami Aiyar’s founding of the Indian Mathematical Society, for had he not launched the Indian Mathematical Society, the next necessary episode, namely, Ramanujan’s meeting with Ramaswami Aiyar at his office in 1910, would also have not taken place. Ramanujan had carried with him one of his notebooks, and Ramaswami Aiyar not only recognized the creative spirit that produced its contents, but he also had the wisdom to contact others in order to bring Ramanujan’s mathematics to others for appreciation and support. The large mathematical community that has thrived on Ramanujan’s discoveries for nearly a century owes a huge debt to V. Ramaswami Aiyar and the Indian Mathematical Society " .

Reference:
Baruah, N. D., Brendt, B. C. and Chan, H. H.,
Ramanujan's series for 1/pi: A survey,
The Math. Student, Special Centenary Volume (2007), 1-24.

Since 1916, the Society regularly organizes its conferences, initially biannually and since 1951 annually. The details are available on IMS Conferences

The Society publishes two periodicals
The Journal of the Indian Mathematical Society
( J. Indian Math. Soc. , JIMS; The Journal ; ISSN 019-5839)
and
The Mathematics Student
( Math. Student ; the Student ; ISSN 0025-5742)
both of which are quarterly.
Taking decision at the time of Silver Jubilee Celebrations of the establishment of the Society in 1932 to start another periodical dedicated to students, teachers and upcomming researchers, the Society started publishing "The Math. Student" since 1933. Earlier a hard copy and since 2012 a soft copy of "The Student" is circulated among members, and is also made available for free open access to all on its website.

The Society also publishes online IMS News Letters, two News Letters (March & August) in a year, a soft copy of which is circulated among members for providing records of the Society's activities, proceedings of Society's annual conferences, etc. More detailed information may be obtained by referring to the latest news letter from the IMS Website.

Centenary Year Celebrations
The Centenary Year Celebrations of the existence of the Society took place during 73rd Annual Conference of the Society held under the auspices of the University of Pune, Pune, in December 2007.

Prof. S.T. Yau (Fields Medalist), Prof. Richard Hamilton (Clay Award winner) and Prof. S.R. S. Varadhan (Abel Prize Winner) delivered Plenary lectures during the Conference.

To mark the occasion of this Centenary Year, Special Volumes of the Journal (The Journal of the Indian Mathematical Society, The Special Volume 1907-2007) as well as of the Mathematics Student (The Mathematics Student, Special Centenary Volume (2007)) were published.

Also, to mark the completion of the hundred years of the establishment of the Society
a Commemorative Postage Stamp on the “Indian Mathematical Society”
was issued by the Department of Posts (Philately Division), Government of India, on the occasion of the Platinum Jubilee 75th Annual Conference of the Society held under the auspices of the Kalasalingam University, Krishnankoil, Tamil Nadu, in December 2009. .

All these years, the Society has motivated and inspired a very large number of budding mathematicians, and thus has served a great cause of promoting Mathematics Education and Research in the Country.
The Membership of the Society is open, the details are available on IMS Membership
The complete list of Life Members of the Society is available in List of Life Members

The Society has its own library . Till 1950, it was housed in the Fergusson College, Pune, and then shifted to The Ramanujan Institute of Advanced Study in Mathematics, University of Madras, Chennai. Further information regarding the services being rendered, library catalogue, etc. is available on IMS Library .
For the cause of mathematics, keeping in mind promotion of mathematics at all levels, Society carries out several activites on regular basis during its Annual Conferences, many since 1990's and some since last few years. For details one can go to

Memorial Award Lectures
(Instituted in the memory of distinguished Indian mathematicians)

P. L. Bhatnagar IMO Prize
(Instituted to encourage and inspire the top scorer(s) from the Indian Team at the International Mathematical Olympiad)

Various Prizes for the best research paper presentation
(Instituted to encourage and inspire a best performing budding young researcher of the motherland in the Paper Presentation Competition at Society's Annual Conference)

A. Narasinga Rao Prize
(Instituted to encourage and inspire an author whose research paper, published in any of the Society's periodicals, is found best in that year)

IMS Awards for specific areas
(Instituted to appreciate, encourage and inspire the authors whose research work in specific areas is internationaly published and is found best in that year from among the applicants)

Schemes of IMS Sponsored Lectures.
(Instituted to popularize mathematics and to create awareness regarding the Society and its activities in the Country by organizing popular, semi-technical and technical lectures through such schemes)


The Society now has its own Premises .

At its Meeting held on December 26, 2009 at the Kalasalingam University, Krishnankoil – 626 190 (which was adjourned) and of the adjourned Meeting that was held on December 29, 2009 at 4.30 p.m. at the Kalasalingam University, Krishnankoil – 626 190 during its Platinum Jubilee 75th Annual Conference, the Council of the Indian Mathematical Society had resolved as in the following: (Reference - Item 18: A. Consideration of having Society’s own premises at Pune where the Society was founded).

The Council resolves to take necessary steps to purchase Society’s own premises at Pune and authorizes the General Secretary, IMS, to take necessary measures accordingly on behalf of IMS, and to sign necessary documents.

In this regard, it is a matter of great pleasure to announce that The Indian Mathematical Society has now purchased its own Office premises (a Flat) at a prime location at Pune.

The details are as follows :

Address :
Flat No. 301, Third Floor,
Shriram Tower Co-operative Housing Society,
Chhatrapati Shivaji Chowk,
(CTS No. 346 + 347), Aundth, PUNE – 395 007 (MS).

Area :
900 sq. ft. (83.64 sq. m.).

Cost :
Rs. 29,50,000/- (Rupees Twenty Nine lakhs fifty thousand only).

The purchase documents were signed by
Prof. V. M. Shah, The General Secretary, IMS
on
September 09, 2010.

and they were witnessed by
1. Prof. N. K. Thakare.
2. Prof. J. R. Patadia.
3. Prof. S. K. Nimbhorkar.
4. Prof. B. N. Waphare.
5. Prof. M. M. Shikare.

Guidelines for acceptance of Donations to the Society

1. There will not be any further institution of Memorial Award Lectures. (This point was discussed in the earlier meetings of the Council and such was the consensus).

2. The donation amount will not be less than Rupees Five Lacs. (There could be an upward revision of this amount from time to time).

3. The donor may be an individual or a trust or a group of individuals.

4. The Indian Mathematical Society will solely and independently own the amount donated to it.

5. A prospective donor should approach the General Secretary of the Indian Mathematical Society with a Offer. Keeping with the spirit of this Policy guidelines and if so felt necessary, referring to the Council whether the proposal be negotiated or not, in his wisdom, the General Secretary will negotiate the terms and conditions for each donation proposal and will put it before the Council for its consideration and approval. The Council will deliberate on the proposal, and after modifications, if any, may accept the proposal through a special resolution with specific details mentioning the terms and conditions. This will be published in the IMS News Letter after the Donor agrees to the resolution of the Council.

6. Ordinarily during every Annual Conference of the Society there are several Invited Lectures and Symposia running in parallel sessions. One of these academic programmes may be permanently marked / identified as “so and so sponsored programme in the (fond) memory of ” or “so and so sponsored programme in the honour of ”, as per the wish of each donor, by the Council. This programme may be arranged in a parallel session during the Conference.

7. Each year, the Council through its Academic Planning Committee (APC) will be the final authority in this regard to finalize the name of an invited award speaker (under the Donor's scheme) of an invited talk or the names of such symposia speakers for this sponsored programme. The modus operandi for identifying the speaker(s) may be decided by the Council. The invited speaker(s) will be the guest of the host institution. In case of an honourarium, if any, to the invited speaker, the amount of the honourarium will not exceed the honourarium amount for the existing Memorial Award Lectures.

8. Oridinarily train travel to the extent of AC-2 Tier fare will be reimbursed. However, in special cases the domestic air travel may be considered.

9. Not withstanding the above,

(A). An offer of a donation with a stipulated purpose (not as part of the corpus), may be accepted by the Council on its merit.

(B). An offer of a donation of any amount in general, without any stipulated conditions, may be accepted by the Council on its merit as a part of the General Purpose Corpus.

The Council reserves its right whether or not a particular donation be accepted.