History is a guide to navigation in perilous times. History is who we are and why we are the way we are.
David C. McCullough, Historian
USP was established in 1968 with 3 schools:
- School of Education
- School of Social Development
- School of Natural Resources
Mathematics was among the first disciplines to be offered by the School of Education. Back then, there were 4 mathematicians.
As the University grew in the 1970s, it became necessary to form departments. In 1977, the staffing structure was put into place and some resemblance of a department began to take shape, with Mr. Renner, a New Zealander, being a Reader of Mathematics, at the helm. By 1980, a full Department of Mathematics, led by Dr. Joyce, also a New Zealander, was established.
In 1986, the Department of Mathematics became an entity in the newly formed School of Pure and Applied Sciences (SPAS), which was formerly the School of Natural Resources.
In 1990, the department was renamed the Department of Mathematics and Computing Science to reflect the growing importance of information technology. That year the CS/IS courses were still labeled as math courses (MAxxx), and there were only 7 CS/IS-related courses out of a total of 18 undergraduate courses offered by the Department. The label switched to CSxxx in 1993, by which time there were 9 CS/IS courses out of a total of 21 courses offered by the Department. By the end of 2004, there were 17 CS/IS courses and 18 math courses at the undergraduate level. This showed that the CS section of the Department grew exponentially within a decade, fueled by the advent of the Internet and the resultant high enrollment figures. On the other hand, mathematics courses remained essentially services courses for other disciplines.
In 2005, the process of changing to a Faculty-based structure began at USP. It was proposed to transform the Department of Mathematics and Computing Science into a school that would consists of the 4 main disciplines in the Department – computing science, information systems, mathematics and statistics. The proposal was approved by USP, and the School of Computing, Information & Mathematical Sciences (SCIMS), with four divisions, came into existence in 2006 under the Faculty of Science & Technology (FST), formerly SPAS. During the year, the School readied itself to differentiate computing science, information systems, mathematics and statistic courses and label them CSxxx, ISxxx, MAxxx and STxxx, respectively, from 2007.
In 2008, FST was renamed the Faculty of Science, Technology & Environment (FSTE) and in 2021 school has a new name as School of Information Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Physics (STEMP)
Discipline of Computing, Information, and Mathematical Science is currently housed in the Japan-Pacific ICT Center.