Leobardo Elizondo, precursor de la Escuela de Matemáticas

At the beginning of 1950, a group of professors and students of the School of Civil Engineering met up in order to find a solution to the low academic level of Mathematics  in the high schools, undergraduate and graduate schools of the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon.

Finally, in September of 1953 our School was established with the name of School of Mathematics, it was located in one of the classrooms of the School of Civil Engineering on the north wing of 'Colegio Civil'. Raul Rangel Frias, who was in that time the president of the Universidad de Nuevo Leon and also founder of the School of Philosophy and Literature in 1950, promoted the idea to create the School of Mathematics, considering that it was an important base for the University structure.  

Leobardo Elizondo, dean of the School of Civil Engineering since 1948, established a system of laboratories in the mathematics courses, which consisted of exercises and assessment tests in charge of Assistant Professors. One of the immediate purposes of the School was to prepare specialized professors in mathematics to work in our school, as well as in the Escuela de Bachilleres, and the schools of Chemistry, Architecture, and Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, which were also founded in those times.

Before starting official activities, distinguished lecturers as Dr. Carlos Graeff Fernandez and Dr. Nabor Carrillo Flores were invited to create a favorable academic environment. Rafael Serna Treviño taught the first class, and Roberto Treviño Gonzalez was made first dean of the school from1953 to 1958.

In the early years the school received academic support from the School of Sciences of UNAM, from where distinguished professors came for periods of one week to two months, among them were Dr. Emilio Luis, Remigio Valdez, and Mr. Gonzalo Zubieta.

In September 1953, the first part-time schedules were given to professors Rafael Serna Treviño, Eladio Saenz Quiroga, and Domingo Treviño Saenz to support the bachelor degree in Mathematics. It should be pointed out that they were distinguished for being the first ones who gave support to create the bachelor degree. With the financial assistance from the University Foundation and the Mexican Mathematic Society, the students were sent to the UNAM to complement their courses.

That’s how our school was born as School of Mathematics; even when some people thought it had few possibilities to succeed.

In 1958, the school was moved to a house located in front of the Hospital del Seguro Social on 15 de Mayo Street. On December were given the first bachelor degrees in Mathematics to Rafael Serna Treviño and Eladio Saenz Quiroga by means of a professional examination and some essay presentations.

In 1959, the School of Mathematics was moved to the Main Campus, located in the section of cubicles inside the laboratories building in the School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineer until 1962, when it was moved to the 9th and 10th floors in the Central Administration Offices where for the first time there was an adequate space thanks to the President’s support Jose Alvarado. In the ceremony of the local opening the great importance of Jose Treviño Garcia was mentioned, for his voluntary collaboration as Professor in Abstract Algebra and Mathematical Logic for eight years, as well as for his donations of books and Mathematic magazines collection, which were the first books on the library of the school in 1959.

In that year, Rafael Serna and Romeo Madrigal went out to carry out of Graduate Studies and Eladio Saenz as interim dean. With the support of the Office of the President some books were received as well as a list of Mathematics texts from the U. S Consulate as an answer to the request made by the school.

The Library Department of the University began to give books as an answer to specific requests from the school. In 1964, the School of Mathematics became the School of Physics and Mathematics, starting a new bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Physics, in charge of Rafael Serna and with the incorporation of the professor in Physics Rodolfo Jaime Mendoza as a full-time professor.

In 1966 some professors and graduated students provided books to the library and the Alumni Association imposed a semester fee for each student, and with the money from those fees the Alumni Association bought books for the library and contributed to improve the laboratories.

In 1964 were inaugurated the first physics laboratories in the school, which had an electrical equipment purchased with the profits from raffles of the University Foundation, in which students and professors participated. Since those years, detailed projects and requests of equipment have been elaborated with the collaboration of IPN (National Polytechnic Institute) and UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico)

In 1965, professors from the school were sent to IPN to get Masters in Mathematics at the Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Avanzados (Investigation and Advanced Studies Center) and then they came back in 1969 to be incorporated in the Mathematics academic body.

In 1968, on occasion of the School’s XV Anniversary, it was organized a contest to choose an emblem to represent us and Andrés Torres Ruiz was the student who won this contest. However, the symbol which he presented is not precisely the one we have now, due to it was modified in a board meeting later on. On November 4, 1968 was presented the current emblem.

From 1967 to 1969, Jaime Navarro Cuevas was in charge of the school. In 1969, the first Mathematics Physicists graduated went to IPN to study a postgraduate degree in Physics to strengthen the academic staff of the school.

In 1969, Eladio Saenz Quiroga became dean of the school through the new election system by the board meeting. That year the curriculum was modified after a careful review with the participation of guest lecturers, and taking into account the graduates’ opinions about the school regarding their professional activities and the possibilities of the future graduates in Physics and Mathematics in the following areas: teaching, research, public and private companies.

Then the new study curriculum was proposed and approved for the Bachelors in Mathematics and Physics, with credit courses, mandatory and elective subjects and a variety of alternative suggestions for each program.

In August 1970, the School was moved to its current building in the Main Campus, which was built by the University Foundation with the collaboration of Foundation for the University Benefit.

New furnishings were acquired with available funds in the University Foundation, with the earnings from tickets sold in a raffle of Siembra Cultural in which professors and students participated from the School. New professors of Physics and Mathematics coming from IPN (National Polytechnic Institute) were incorporated. 

On June 7, 1971, the State Congress approved the autonomy of the University, the Rafael Serna Treviño was appointed dean of the school and he was in charge of it until September 1972.

From 1972 to 1974, he was in the position of Director of Higher Studies with the Master’s degree of Nuclear Engineering and Statistics, under the charge of Dr. Federico A. Rodríguez and the coordination of Rafael Serna Treviño. Professors from UNAM, IPN, and Chapingo were invited to collaborate.

In 1975 new changes were approved and was created a new of Bachelor’s degree of Computer Sciences and some modifications to the careers of Mathematics and Physics.

In 1984 was made the reform of the Curriculum for the Bachelor in Computer Sciences which involved some professors and alumni.

1990 were reformed the three academic programs. In 1992 were approved the Master’s degree of Computer Sciences, Total Control of Quality, and Metrology of Radiation.

In 1995 it was decided to make changes in the academic programs in order to be up to date, according with the society needs. Such changes were put into practice in 1997 (August-January Semester).

Since November 15th, 1995 the Oscar Recio Cantu was in charge of the School. During his period, was created the Ph.D. of Industrial Engineering and Master of Teleinformatics, also in that period was signed an agreement of student exchange program with Universidad de Concepción de Chile.

It was also created the web page of our School and was established the distinctions ceremony for seniority to the academic staff. The Post-graduate education building and Astronomical Observatory were built; this last one is located in The Hacienda San Pedro of UANL, in Zuazua, NL.

From November, 2002 the school was in charge of M. A. Carmen Del Rosario de la Fuente Garcia. During her management, it was promoted the research development, so that in September, 2003, Dr. Manuel Garcia Méndez received the UANL Award for Research in Exact Sciences, 2002. For the first time on November 10th, 2003 Professor Aracelia Alcorta Garcia received the Doctorate degree in Industrial Engineering at the School facilities.

This story was written based on document investigation and testimonials of those who lived and made history.