When the Department started in 1962, its degree programme was for combined honours, each candidate taking 3suitable subjects including Mathematics in the first year and 2 subjects with Mathematics as the main in each of the second and third years. The first single honours candidate(s) graduated in 1968.
The degree programmes available in the Department duly approved by the University in 1970s and 1980s were:
1. B.Sc. (Hons) in Mathematics
2. B.Sc. (Hons) Statistics
3.B.Sc. (Hons) Mathematics with Computer Science
4. B.Sc. (Hons) Mathematics with Statistics
Apart from these, there were also two combined honours degrees with the then Faculty of Arts and Social Science. These two degree programmes were:
- B.A (Hons) in Mathematics
- B.Sc. (Soc. Science) in Mathematics
For these last two degree programmes a student was expected to take 3 main subjects one of which was Mathematics in the first year and Mathematics with another subject in the two subsequent years. For a student doing B.A. (Hons), he/she was expected to take an Arts option in the second year as the other subject. While the one doing B.Sc. (Soc. Sci.) was to take one subsidiary subject in social science. In both cases the student was to take only Mathematics in the third year.
In those same years, the Department was offering Postgraduate studies leading to M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science. There was also the Postgraduate Diploma Programme in Computer Science which started in 1984.
The Department was also offering and is still offering service courses to almost all Departments on Campus. Faculties of Science, Engineering, Education, Pharmacy and Environmental Design get the most of these service Courses.
The Computer Unit of the University was at the onset a laboratory instruction and programming unit in Mathematics Department. In 1973,it became an independent Computer Centre as a service unit for the entire University. The centre was later rebuilt in order to provide for more space and also renamed as Iya Abubakar Computer Centre. This is in honour of Professor lya Abubakar the first Nigerian Head of Mathematics and also second Nigerian Vice Chancellor of the University.
The period of 1988 to 1998 was not very good for the Department. Many Academic staff left the services of the University and many academic staff trained abroad ‘during the time of Dr. U. M. Makarfi as Head of Department, did not return after completing their Ph.Ds. The main reason for both the two problems was probably the down turn of the Nigerian economy. Many expatriate staff could not sustain their families left in their countries and the staff who finished their Ph.D.’s were afraid of the economic condition they would meet on returning home. Moreover, the ethnic and religious clashes in the country were threatening the Nigerian staff to go back to their respective home states. All these brought loss of academic staff to the Department. Eventually, only B.Sc. (Hons) Mathematics and the service courses were offered at undergraduate level by the Department in these dreadful years. At Postgraduate level, programmes were offered depending upon availability of teachers/supervisors. Only M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Mathematics and Statistics were offered in some of these years.
From the new millennium, 2000, the then Head of Department Dr. Makarfi recruited some Statistics lecturers in the hope of bringing back all programmes in Statistics. This is in addition to some Mathematics lecturers recruited at the time of Professor M. A. Rashid. During his tenure as the Head of Department, Professor D. Singh tried hard to see that all former programmes of the Department were reactivated. The Vice Chancellor, Professor Abdullahi Mahadi, cooperated in all respect to see that this ambition was achieved. Many staff members were recruited from India, as a result of the initiative taken by Professor D. Singh, and the University approved the reactivation programme in respect of B.Sc. (Hons) Mathematics, B.Sc. (Hons) Statistics and B.Sc. (Hons) Computer Science The University also approved the reactivation of Postgraduate Diploma in Computer Science which was also suspended in the 1990’s, and then approved the new Programme of Postgraduate Diploma in Statistics and Advanced Postgraduate Diploma in Computer Science.
This initiative continued up to this time and at the moment, we have the following Programmes fully running in the Department.
B.Sc. (Hons) Mathematics
B.Sc. (Hons) Statistics
B.Sc. (Hons) Computer Science
M.Sc. Computer Science
Ph.D. Computer Science
Advanced Postgraduate Diploma in Computer Science
Postgraduate Diploma in Statistics
The Department is now gradually coming back to its glorious days with many Senior Lecturers, Readers and Professors. These include Professor D. Singh our former Head of Department and Professor Sahalu Balarabe Junaid who has returned to the Department in 2007 after spending several years lecturing in Malysia and King and Fahad University, Saudi Arabia. He is currently the Director of Iya Abubakar Computer Centre and also our Departmental Head of Computer Unit. He has been active in shaping our Computer Science Programmes. There is also Professor Basant Kumar Jha who was formally the Director of Iya Abubakar Computer Centre. He is a very active member of our Mathematics Unit especially the Postgraduate Unit. He has many Postgraduate students and even before coming to ABU, he had more than 50 published articles in reputable world Journals. We also have Professor Jagadish Singh an expert in Space Dynamics and also an active member of the Postgraduate unit of the Department. He also has many Postgraduate Students.
There are also other Professors and Readers/Senior Lecturers coming as visiting lecturers. These include Professor O.E. Asiribo from the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Professor Usman Gulumbe from Usman Danfodio University and Dr. A.O. Adewale a Reader from Federal University of Technology Akure. We also have Professor N.I. Akinwande from Federal University of Technology, Minna and Prof. F.I. Njoku from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.