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The Warsaw Voice » Other » August 13, 2008
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Cracow University of Economics Honors a Renaissance Man
August 13, 2008   
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Prof. Ryszard Tadeusiewicz has received an honorary doctorate from the Cracow University of Economics. Tadeusiewicz has been setting the pace in such rapidly developing fields as biocybernetics, automation, robotics and information technology for more than 30 years, largely through the boldness of his vision and the breadth of his interests.

This latter attribute qualifies Tadeusiewicz as a latter-day renaissance man and goes some way toward explaining the enormity of his contribution to modern science. His earliest publications on biocybernetics and biomedical engineering continue to guide much of today's research in recognizing, analyzing and converting speech signals.

Back in the 1970s, Tadeusiewicz was a Polish trailblazer in the then-new field of artificial neural networks. Tadeusiewicz's first monograph, published in Poland in 1993, is a standard reference for students and researchers alike. He carried out some highly original work in processing digital images and in finding industrial robotic applications for them before coming to worldwide prominence with his methodology on automatic image recognition.

"My research work focuses on seeking out and storing images by electronic means," Tadeusiewicz says. "Current technology allows us to process digital images in all sorts of ways. We can already analyze images and identify several parameters that are useful in medicine. We can also automatically recognize images, make out characters on a scanned document, and discern handwritten characters, faces and fingerprints. My colleagues and I saw that we needed to take all this a step further. Images usually have a semantic value, a deeper content and meaning. It is not enough to merely recognize and classify an image. We have to be able to make sense of it."

Tadeusiewicz has achieved all this through mathematical linguistics. He has devised special languages in which nouns are replaced by the structures that give an image its form, verbs by its distortions and adjectives by the relationships between its various components. "We've managed to create a whole suite of practical computer programs," Tadeusiewicz says. "These can extract the meaning from an image in the same way that other software can translate, say Japanese texts into English texts."

Tadeusiewicz's scientific output is as impressive as it is variegated. Many of his more than 500 publications have appeared in illustrious foreign scientific journals and have been used in international conferences and congresses. Tadeusiewicz has also published more than 70 monographs, books, textbooks, scripts and educational aids, and many of his books and monographs have been translated into other languages.

Tadeusiewicz has trained 48 Ph.D. students at the AGH University of Science and Technology in Cracow and at the Cracow University of Economics. He has assessed 159 doctoral dissertations, 71 post-doctoral dissertations, and 61 professorial applications.

Tadeusiewicz graduated from the AGH University of Science and Technology in Cracow in 1971 and immediately immersed himself in biocybernetics, automation and information technology. He became a doctor of science in 1975, a doctor of habilitation (a post-doctoral qualification common in continental Europe) in 1981, and a professor in 1986. He has been qualified to teach all technical sciences since 1991. Tadeusiewicz has achieved all this at AGH.

The European Federation of National Engineering Associations, FEANI, awarded him the title Euroengineer in 1998. He was made a member correspondent of the Polish Academy of Sciences four years later, and, in 2003, was made a titular member of the European Academy of Arts, Sciences and Humanities (EAASH), an organization based in Paris whose members include many Nobel Prize winners and members of national academies from 54 countries.

Tadeusiewicz is a reviewer for several international scientific journals including Computer Vision and Graphics, Signal Processing and Biological Cybernetics. He is also an advisory editor for Neurocomputing, IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and International Journal Machine Graphics & Vision.

Tadeusiewicz has a lot of contacts in the international scientific community. He collaborates with Toledo University in Ohio, USA; Denver University in Colorado, USA; George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, USA; Anstes University in Massachusetts, USA; the Institution of Electrical Engineers in London, UK; Deakin University in Geelong, Victoria, Australia; the German Electron Synchrotron, DESY, in Hamburg, Germany; the Technical University of Genoa, Italy; the European Organization for Nuclear Research, CERN, in Geneva, Switzerland; the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland; the Higher School of Electronic Physical Chemistry, CPE, in Lyon, France; the National Institute of Applied Sciences, INSA, in Lyon, France; Bristol University in the UK; Birmingham University in the UK; the Technical University of Ilmenau, Thuringia, Germany; the University of Aveiro in Portugal; and the University of Valencia in Spain.

Tadeusiewicz was appointed president of Cracow's AGH university in 1998 and served three terms until 2005. He is the longest serving AGH president ever and the longest ever continuously serving Polish university president.

Tadeusiewicz has been awarded honorary doctorates from several institutions including the UK-based Ansted International University, the National Mining Institute of Ukraine, and the Technical University of Ivano-Frankivsk in Ukraine, in addition to Poland's University of Zielona Góra, the Częstochowa University of Technology, the Silesian University of Technology, and the Wrocław University of Technology.

Tadeusz Belerski
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