History of the department :
Since its inception in 1912, the Department of Pure Mathematics has always been a Department of appreciation by its quality of teaching and level of research. A galaxy of Mathematicians has adorned the Department all the time; men like Prof. Young, Prof. Forsyth, Prof. Ganesh Prasad, Prof. S. D. Mukherjee, Prof. F. W. Levi and many others enhanced the prestige of the Department by their valuable teaching and research. It is interesting to note that the first lecturer appointed by the University for teaching Mathematics was Mr. C. Little for 1907 – 1909; in fact for a long time appointments in the University was on contract basis. Next to Mr. Little was Mr. D. N. Mallick for 1908 and 1909 respectively for teaching both Mathematics and Physics; the first reader for teaching Mathematics was Mr. C. E. Cullis who was given appointment for 1909 and 1910. It is interesting again to note that the first two posts of Professors were created in 1912 – one for Mathematics and another for Indian History and Antiquities; at that time the Governor of West Bengal was Lord Hardinge who was himself a distinguished graduate of Mathematics which is why the first Professorship of Mathematics was named ‘Hardinge Professor of Higher Mathematics’; this chair was first offered, for a period of three years, to Prof. M. Frechet whose researches in the field of Pure Mathematics still astound us; unfortunately, for some unavoidable circumstances, Prof. Frechet could not join; but he was kind enough to recommend Dr. W. H. Young, Lecturer of Higher Analysis at the University of Liverpool and some times Fellow of Peter House, Cambridge for the said Professorship. Thus the first Hardinge Professor of Higher Mathematics, to be associated with the Department of Pure Mathematics was Dr. W. H. Young; the name ‘Department of Pure Mathematics’ came in 1912 and the Department was blessed with the leadership of a man like Prof. Young whose researches have enriched the field of Analysis and many of his theorems go without any name in the current books of the said subject.
The first Indian teacher of Pure Mathematics with International accolades was Prof. S. D.Mukherjee whose works in Geometry derive appreciation even now. The Department of Pure Mathematics can boast of its predecessors who have set up such a qualitative pattern that the progeny feels inspired. The Department feels pride for the Geometers, like Dr. S. D. Mukherjee, Dr. R. N. Sen, Dr. M. C. Chaki and others; Analysts, like Dr. W. H. Young, Dr. Ganesh Prasad, Dr. Haridas Bagchi, Dr. H. M. Senguta, Dr. N. C. Bose Majumdar, Dr. P. L. Ganguly and others; Algebraists like Dr. F. W. Levi, Dr. R. C. Bose, Dr. S. S. Pillai, Dr. B. C. Chatterjee, Dr. A. C. Chowdhury, Dr. S. P. Bandyopadhyay and other luminaries in the field of other branches of Mathematics as well.
Along with the vigorous activity in research, the Department does also excel in teaching for almost a century; the Department can live up to the expectations of serious students all the time and in all the days to come.