The Institute of Mathematics of the Polish Academy of Sciences is a research center established by the Government on November 20, 1948 as the State Mathematical Institute. According to the project of the Institute completed in 1945 by Professors K. Borsuk, B. Knaster and K. Kuratowski, the Mathematical Institute was divided into sections, which correspond in principle to the particular areas of mathematics. From the very beginning, there existed a publications department to coordinate the mathematical publications in the country; the Central Mathematical Library was also founded at the same time.
Most of the distinguished Polish mathematicians were employed by the Institute in some period of their scientific career. Many of them occupied the posts of branch and section heads, including Karol Borsuk, Stanisław Gołąb, Kazimierz Kuratowski, Franciszek Leja, Edward Marczewski, Stanisław Mazur, Andrzej Mostowski, Władysław Orlicz, Witold Pogorzelski, Wacław Sierpiński, Hugo Steinhaus and Tadeusz Ważewski.
One of the essential features of the Institute is its nation-wide character. The main branch of the Institute is located in the country's capital, but the Institute has branches outside Warsaw: in Cracow, Gdańsk, Katowice, Poznań, Toruń and Wrocław.
In 1952 the State Mathematical Institute was incorporated into the Polish Academy of Sciences and from that time on it has used its present name.
In 1972 the International Stefan Banach Center was established as part of the Institute. The Center hosts workshops and conferences with participation of both young mathematicians and specialists from many countries. The Banach Center has proved extremely useful for international cooperation in mathematics. Recently, some activities of the Banach Center take place at the new Mathematical Conference Center in Będlewo near Poznań. The Conference Center is still under development but it already offers a friendly atmosphere for scientific meetings.