The Department of Mathematics and Mechanics was founded in 1961. Before separating out in the frameworks of a proper department, the training in mathematics and mechanics was offered first at the Natural Sciences Department (1959), then at the Physical Mathematical Department (1960). Since 1976, the Department of Mechanics and Mathematics has conducted training in applied mathematics as well.

The establishing of the department was dictated by the necessity to prepare highly skilled specialists able to carry out successful research for the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (SB RAS) (of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR before), for the research institutes of Siberia, Far East, Kazakhstan, and republics of Middle Asia (while in the USSR). This vast eastern region of our country was short of teachers in the field of higher education and professionals for high-tech industries especially with the introduction of computer engineering techniques.

The approach chosen to achieve this aim was nontypical for its time. The University is located nearby the research institutes of the Novosibirsk Scientific Center. This has enabled the Department to involve the leading researchers of the SBRAS in teaching at the university and to carry out fundamental training of students during 3 years as well as further specializing at the university chairs in close contact with our basic research institutes where students could get practical experience and research supervision from outstanding scientists.

The founders of the Department of Mathematics and Mechanics were such distinguished scientists as Academicians M.A.Lavrent'ev, I.N.Vekua, A.I.Mal'tsev, and S.L.Sobolev.