Contemporary mathematics began with students studying abroad at the end of the Qing Dynasty and the beginning of the Republic of China (1911-1949), many of whom became famous mathematicians or math educators after they came back to China. They also made great contributions to the math education field at universities across the country

The year 1912 saw the establishment of the department of mathematics at Peking University - the first department of mathematics in China.

Among the first graduate students of mathematics was S.S. Chern.

In 1936, the China Mathematics Academy Journal and Mathematics Magazine appeared, symbolizing a further development in modern math researches.

The first National Conference of Chinese Mathematic Institutes was held in August 1951, discussing the developmental trend and problems in the math education reform of various schools.

By 1966, about 20,000 mathematic dissertations had already been released, and many of these works being at the world's leading level.

In the latter half of the 1960s (the first part of the 1966-1976 Culture Revolution), the research of Chinese math was suspended, with the education paralyzed, talents lost, and external communications halted.

In 1973, Chen Jingrui published a dissertation in the China Science magazine, making a major breakthrough of the Goldbach's conjecture (one of the oldest unsolved number theory problems) by using the methods of sieve theory (a way to estimate the size of sifted integer sets).

In November 1978, the Third National Conference of Chinese Mathematic Institutes was held, symbolizing the resurgence of Chinese math.

In the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Chinese Mathematic Institute in 1985, a long-term development objective was set for Chinese math. As a result, in the past couple of years, the number of dissertations has doubled and the quality also improved significantly.