Skip to main content

History : Department of Mathematics


The Department of Mathematics was one of the six foundation Departments in the Faculty of Science at the inception of the University of Ibadan, the then University College, Ibadan in 1948. Our curriculum was fashioned after that of Mathematics Department, University of London.

The Department has undergone considerable development in terms of teaching and research, staff, culture and achievements. It is noteworthy that the Department maintains an unbroken record of invaluable teaching, offering courses to most science-based Faculties and Departments in the University especially Agriculture and Forestry, Education, Technology, Geology, Computer Science, Statistics, Physics and Chemistry in addition to our regular degree programs at both Undergraduate and Postgraduate levels.

Many of our alumni have distinguished themselves in various fields of endeavour, in academia, business, industry and in government. The Department has a reputation for world-class research in many fields of Pure and Applied Mathematics. Indeed, academic members of Mathematics Department have been involved in frontline research in Ordinary and Partial Differential Equations, Numerical Analysis, Functional Analysis, *-Algebra, Algebraic K-Theory, Algebraic Topology/Geometry, Mathematical Physics, Non-Commutative Stochastic Analysis, Probability Theory and Biomathematics. These research areas constitute core areas of research in Mathematics. Reviews of research articles of our staff by American Mathematical Society – appointed experts and published online in MATHSCINET show major contributions by our present and past academic staff in these fields. Our staff has published in the most competitive and best mathematical journals in the world.

Our distinguished past and present Professors such as Atkinson, Collard, Ezeillo, Olubumo, Tejumola, Sowumi, Olaofe, Kuku, Ilori, Akinyele, Ekhaguere, Babalola, Ugbebor, Ayoola, Payne and others have laboured to put our Department and indeed this country in the consciousness of the World Mathematical Community. So outstanding were their contributions that we used to have what was referred to as “Ibadan School of Ordinary Differential Equations” championed by people like Professors Ezeillo, Tejumola and Akinyele, “Ibadan School of Functional Analysis and Topology” championed by Late Professor Adegoke Olubumo, Professor V.A. Babalola and our distinguished Professor S.A. Ilori, Ibadan School of Algebra championed by distinguished scholars such as Professors A.O. Kuku, Akangbe, Kenku and now the Nigerian Research Group in Non-Commutative Stochastic Analysis being led by Professor G.O.S. Ekhaguere, our world acclaimed Professor of Mathematical Physics and Quantum Stochastic Analysis. Through efforts of our heroes past, Mathematics in Ibadan used to be one of the best in the Commonwealth. It is hoped that through improvements of facilities and environment, and popularization programmes, Mathematics learning and research will be made attractive to talented people and encourage those on ground.

At the moment, our Department is active in research in about 25 sections out of 99 sections of the Mathematical sciences according to the (AMS) Mathematical Reviews subject classification of the year 2010. These are apart from several areas of Computer Science, Theoretical Physics, Mechanics and Statistics that belong to different Departments in this University but are mathematical sections in the MR classification.

Research Fund/Grants:

Research activities in our Department have been supported over the years by International organisations such as the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Trieste, Italy, a UNESCO sponsored establishment focusing on research in Mathematics and Physics in developing countries. Indeed, many of our past and present members of staff such as Professors S.A. Ilori, O. Akinyele, A.O. Kuku, G.O.S. Ekhaguere and E.O. Ayoola, Deborah O. A. Ajayi, M. EniOluwafe had been Research Associates of ICTP. Our researches have been promoted by generous fellowship awards by the Centre. Many academic members of staff of Mathematics Department had been elected in the past as members of the prestigious Institute of Advanced Studies, Princeton, USA. Some of our distinguished Professors had been Fellow of the Alexander Humboldt Stifung, Germany.

In addition, our Department has been designated as a Centre of Excellence in the South by the Third World Academy of Sciences. Experts are expected to be sponsored to visit our Department from time to time. Also, our activities have been supported by MacArthur Research Grant for training of our junior colleagues for short- and medium-term duration abroad. Many of our members of staff have also enjoyed University of Ibadan Senate Research Grants on many occasions. There are current multidisciplinary researches on Bio-fuel involving members of Mathematics Department, Chemistry, Petroleum and Mechanical Engineering sponsored by the University Advancement Centre.

Facilities in the Department:

We have internet that link our Department with the University controlled internet servers. Many digital journals and MATHSCINET (Mathematics Reviews on Web) are accessed through the internet facilities. The facilities also aid our research and linkage with the rest of the mathematical community globally. Our Computing Laboratory is currently being upgraded.

Pastor Adejare Adeboye Professorial Chair in Mathematics

The Redeemed Christian Church of God (Apapa Province) recently endowed a Professorial Chair in the name of Pastor Adejare Adeboye. The Chair is aimed at boosting research and learning in Mathematics.

Adegoke Olubummo International Centre for Mathematical Sciences

The Centre has recently been approved by Senate of the University. The Centre has mandate to:

(i) Advance cutting-edge mathematical research;

(ii) Engage in mathematical research applicable to our immediate needs;

(iii) Act as Centre of Excellence for training and mentoring young Mathematicians for services in business, industry and government.


The Academic members of staff comprises 4 Professors (including 2 Contract Professors), 2 Readers, 5 Senior Lecturers, 9 other Lecturers (Grade I to AL) making a total of 20 members on board. This is easily the largest assembly of Mathematicians in any Nigerian University.

Our student population consists of more than 2,000 students from other Faculties offering users’ courses such as Basic Algebra, Calculus and Trigonometry and Analytical Geometry/Mechanic, Differential Equations, Analysis and Mathematical Methods. We have about 250 Mathematics major students (100 Level to 400 Level) and about 150 postgraduate students pursuing M.Sc., M.Phil./Ph.D. and Ph.D. programmes. Feedbacks from employers of our graduates show that they are doing well wherever they found themselves. We have had requests for our graduates from diverse employers such as Banking, Oil and Gas, Financial outfit, Statistics and Operation Research establishments, Investment Banking, Telecommunication, Industry, Surveying, Insurance and ICT outfits and of course, the Academic Institutions. Our graduates readily fit into these and other organisations because of their mathematical training that enables them to easily adapt to situations and engage in analytical and logical reasoning.


Professor F.V. Atkinson 1948 – 1955

Professor Kathleen Collard 1955 – 1965

Professor A. Olubumo 1965 – 1971

Professor J.O. Oyelese 1971 – 1975

Professor H.O. Tejumola 1975 – 1979, 1980 – 1983

Professor C.O.A. Sowunmi 1979 – 1980

Professor A.O. Kuku 1983 – 1986

Professor S.A. Ilori 1986 – 1989, 2002 – 2005

Professor V.A. Babalola 1989 – 1991, 2005 – 2007

Professor O. Olaofe 1991 – 1993 (Acting)

Professor G.O.S. Ekhaguere 1993 – 1996

Professor Olabisi O Ugbebor 1996 – 2002, 2007 – 2009

Professor E.O. Ayoola 2009 – 2014

Professor V.F Payne 2014 – 2016

Dr U.N Bassey 2016 – 2018

Dr Deborah O. A. Ajayi    2018 - Date