In July 1980, while attending the 14th assembly of members of Academia Sinica, a group of twenty-one members, including Professors. C.C. Li, Y.S. Chow and G.C. Tiao, drafted a resolution calling for the establishment of the Institute of Statistics. Later, the Council of Academia Sinica confirmed the resolution and recommended establishing a preparatory office. The approval was granted by the President of the Republic of China in February 1981. An advisory board composed of thirteen was soon formed: Prof. Y.S. Chow served as Chairman of the board, and Dr. M.T. Chao was appointed Director of the preparatory office. On July 1,1982, the preparatory office was officially founded.
The advisory board recommended removing the status of preparatory office in 1987. The recommendation was approved on August 3, 1987 by the Presidential Office. At the same time, the name of this institute was changed to the "Institute of Statistical Science" and Dr. M. T. Chao was appointed Director of the Institute. In August 1993, Dr. C. Z. Wei succeeded Dr. Chao as Director, and Dr. G. D. Lin (1993-98) and Dr. J.P. Chou(1998-99) were appointed Deputy directors. In August 1999, Dr. C. H. Chen succeeded Dr. Wei as Director and Dr. Y. C. Chang (1999-2000), Dr. S. Y. Huang (1999-2000), and later Dr. C. C. Chao (2000-2002), Dr. H. K. Hwang (2001-2002) were appointed Deputy directors. In January 2003, Dr. C. S. Cheng succeeded Dr. Chen as Director, and Dr. G. D. Lin and Dr. Y. C. Yao(2003) and Dr. J. S. Hwang were appointed Deputy Directors.