Brief History of the Department of Mathematics

The history of the Department of Mathematics at Towson University is as interesting as the metamorphosis of the name of the institution.  When it was known as Towson State Teachers College throughout most of decades of the '40s and '50s, the mathematics “program” was supported by two department members, claimed analytic geometry as its most advanced course, and prepared elementary and junior high school teachers.  All academic courses, save physical education, were taught in what is now Stephens Hall and they competed for space with the administration offices and the library. Considering the fact that the student population numbered approximately 750 in the early '50s, everything fit.  Van Bokkelen Hall served as a campus elementary school for training teachers at that level.

Towson State College during the '60s saw the Department of Mathematics expand its professorial complement, and it supported the two majors of Pure Mathematics and Secondary Education Mathematics.  With the addition of differential equations, algebraic structures, linear algebra, college geometry, probability/statistics and real analysis to the calculus sequence, it could satisfy the needs of most students who wanted to be teachers and/or follow more advanced mathematics pursuits.

The '70s, '80s and '90s ushered in a new name and enhanced image for the institutional mathematical programs.  The Department of Mathematics at Towson State University added the concentrations of Applied Mathematics, Actuarial Science Mathematics, and Applied Mathematics and Computing.  To support this diversity, courses in such areas as complex analysis, numerical analysis and discrete mathematics were added and professors with a wide variety of areas of expertise were hired.  On July 1, 1997 the current name of Towson University was adopted.

In 1998 the Department of Mathematics began offering a Master of Science degree in Applied and Industrial Mathematics.  The newest graduate program, a Master of Science in Mathematics Education, began accepting students in fall 1999.  In 2001 the Actuarial Science Mathematics concentration was updated to Actuarial Science and Risk Management.

Beginning with the fall 2006 term, the Department of Mathematics was relocated to the third floor of the 7800 York Road building, and most of the mathematics classes are taught in classrooms on the first floor of this building.