The Indian Mathematical Society (IMS or The Society) is the oldest scientific society in India. It was founded by Late Shri V. Ramaswami Aiyar in April 1907 with twenty founding members having its Headquarters at Pune as the Indian Mathematical Club (though initially it was tentatively proposed as Analytic Club). In 1910, however, the new revised Constitution of the IMS was adopted and the Club acquired its present name, the 'The Indian Mathematical Society'. Professor B. Hanumanta Rao was its first President from 1907 to 1912.
The object of the Society is the promotion of Mathematics Education and Research. Its central activity is to inspire and encourage researchers, students and all the mathematics-loving persons. In this connection, it started publishing a periodical 'Progress Reports' right from its inception, which in the year 1910 ultimately turned into The Journal of The Indian Mathematical Society. It may be worth pointing out here that the greatest Indian mathematician of our time, Srinivasa Ramanujan with one of his notebooks met with V. Ramaswami Aiyar at his office in 1910 who recognized the creative spirit of Srinivasa Ramanujan. Thereafter Ramanujan published many of his works in the Journal of The Indian Mathematical Society.
The IMS organizes Annual Conferences to encourage young researchers to present their work and interact with the experts. The First, Second and Third Conference of the IMS were held respectively at Madras (1916), Bombay (1919) and Lahore (1921). The Fourth Conference of the IMS was organized at Pune in 1924. In those days the Conferences of the Society were organized intermittently with a gap of more years than one. From 1951 onwards, the Conferences of the Society are being organized annually every year. On completion of twenty five years of the existence of the IMS, Silver Jubilee Celebration was held at Pune on March 26, 1932. It is at this conference that it was decided to start the publication of another periodical, as a part of the Silver Jubilee Celebrations, and accordingly the Society started the second Journal namely The Mathematics Student in 1933. The 25th (Silver Jubilee) Conference of the IMS was held at Allahabad in 1959 which was inaugurated by Late Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India. The Golden Jubilee 50th Conference of the IMS was held in February 1985 at Sardar Patel University, Vallabh Vidyanagar. The Centenary Year Celebrations of the existence of the Society took place during the 73rd Annual Conference of the Society held in December 2007 under the auspices of the University of Pune, Pune. 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 journals: The Journal of the Indian Mathematical Society - The Special Volume 1907-2007 as well as of The Mathematics Student - Special Centenary Volume (2007) were published. The Platinum Jubilee 75th Annual Conference of the Society was held under the auspices of the Kalasalingam University, Krishnankoil, Tamilnadu in December 2009. The Department of Posts (Philately Division), Government of India issued a Commemorative Postage Stamp (along with the first day cover) on 'The Indian Mathematical Society' to mark the completion of the hundred years of the establishment of the Society. The stamp was released on the inaugural day of this 75th Annual Conference. Since 2017 these conferences are organized as 'Annual Conference of The Indian Mathematical Society - an International Meet' to encourage international participation. 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.
During every Annual Conference of the Society, Memorial Award Lectures namely P. L. Bhatnagar Memorial Award Lecture (instituted in 1987), Srinivasa Ramanujan Memorial Award Lecture (instituted in 1990), V. Ramaswami Aiyar Memorial Award Lecture (instituted in 1990), Hansraj Gupta Memorial Award Lecture (instituted in 1990), and Ganesh Prasad Memorial Award Lecture (instituted in 1993; it is delivered every alternate year) are arranged as a part of the Academic Programme. Further, as a part of the Academic Programme, Plenary lectures by eminent Mathematicians, Symposia on current topics, Invited talks, and Research paper presentation sessions are organized.
The IMS has instituted various awards and prizes, namely A. K. Agarwal Award, A. M. Mathai Award, Satish Bhatnagar Award, Subhash Bhatt Award, P. K. Jain Award, B. N. Waphare Award and A. Narasinga Rao Prize. These are given during the Annual Conferences. A special competition session for paper presentation is organized for various prizes and AMU Prize, V. M. Shah Prize and IMS Prizes are given for best research papers presented in this session. Also to motivate young students, the top scorer of the Indian Team, participating in the International Mathematical Olympiads, is honoured with the P. L. Bhatnagar Memorial Prize in the inaugural session of Annual Conference every year.
IMS Sponsored Lectures: To popularize Mathematics and to create awareness regarding the Society and its activities in the Country, the Society has a scheme of Sponsored Lectures by eminent mathematicians of India and abroad. It provides a token support to a number of Departments / Institutions for organizing popular, semi-technical and technical lectures.
The Society is a non-profit organization and invites interested mathematics loving people, who are at least graduates, to become it's Life Member. At present, it has more than 3500 Life members. The Society also accepts Donations under the guidelines as formulated by The Society.