In the late 1980's, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) recognized the growing significance of Mathematical Modelling and Computer Simulation, as it became evident that modelling approaches were critical for illuminating the structure and evolution of complex systems that were invading the areas of scientific analysis and technological design. Fields like Geology and Biology, which for a long time was considered largely observational and qualitative had already begun to exploit the new possibilities, offered by Mathematical Modelling and Computer Simulation to grow new areas of computational geology and computational biology.
The Council therefore established in 1988 the "CSIR Center for Mathematical Modelling and Computer Simulation", briefly called C-MMACS (pronounced as seemax). On February 21, 2013, CSIR-CMMACS was repositioned as the nucleus of CSIR-Fourth Paradigm Institute (CSIR-4P1), as it would provide the country a unique positioning in the domain of computational, data intensive research and discovery. The institute is located in the Belur Campus of the CSIR National Aerospace Laboratories (CSIR-NAL), Bangalore. Dr. Sridevi Jade is the current head of the institute. The policies and programmes of the centre are approved and monitored by a high level Advisory Committee comprising members drawn from various Academic, R&D and Industrial Institutions.