CMI's goal is to evolve into an institution on the lines of the great universities in Europe and USA. These institutions, founded on a tradition of learning and scholarship over the past few centuries, attract students by the presence of outstanding academic persons on their faculties.
Excellence in research and teaching go together. Faculty who are research oriented can present the material they teach from fresh perspectives. This gets students involved in the process of scientific discovery and opens the eyes of bright young minds to the joy of doing science.
The teaching programme at CMI began in 1998, when the Institute arrived at an arrangement with the Madhya Pradesh Bhoj Open University (MPBOU), Bhopal, to offer accreditation for a BSc Honours course in Mathematics and Computer Science at CMI. In 2001, the BSc programme at CMI was augmented to include separate MSc programmes in Mathematics and Computer Science. In 2003, CMI expanded its BSc programme to include a course in Physics.
From 2007, CMI has begun awarding its own degrees as a university under Section 3 of the UGC Act, 1956. The undergraduate and graduate programmmes at CMI are overseen by the Academic Council. The academic content of these programmes is determined by the Boards of Studies for Mathematics, Computer Science and Physics..
Students who have graduated from CMI have pursued higher studies at the most prestigious institutions around the world: Caltech, Chicago, Johns Hopkins, MIT, Princeton, Rutgers and Yale in USA, the Ecole Normale Superieure, the Ecole Polytechnique, the University of Paris-Sud and the University of Bordeaux in France, the Max Planck Institutes in Saarbruecken and Bonn in Germany, ETH in Zurich, not to mention CMI, IMSc, HRI, TIFR, IITs, ISI and other institutions in India.
The teaching programme at CMI has benefitted greatly from the active participation of faculty from the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai (IMSc). CMI also attracts visiting faculty from other research institutes around the country, many of whom stay for a semester to teach courses and participate in the research activities of the Institute.
CMI has a regular exchange programme with the Ecole Normale Superieure (ENS) in France. ENS is one of the leading academic institutions in the world, with an admission procedure that is as selective as that of the IITs. Alumni of ENS have gone on to win eleven Nobel prizes and seven Fields Medals (the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in Mathematics). Each year, the two top-ranking senior BSc students from CMI spend the summer at ENS working on research problems with faculty there. In return, four PhD students from ENS visit CMI each year to participate in research and teaching.