Institute of Computer Science Polish Academy of Sciences in the 20th century

Our history can be traced back to 1961, when the Computation Centre of the Polish Academy of Sciences was established. At the time of its establishment, the core of the Centre was the Applied Mathematics Division, transferred to CC PAS from the Institute of Nuclear Research and headed by Prof. Mieczysław Warmus. It was him who became the first Director of CC PAS, and his account of the first years of the Centre can be read [here]. With time, the Centre was joined by the most eminent computer scientists and IT people in Poland. Consequently, in 1976 it was transformed into the Institute of Computer Science PAS based on a resolution of the Presidium of PAS. The eminent researchers from CC PAS/ICS PAS laid the foundations for the development of Polish Computer Science. At the time of its establishment, the most important researchers in ICS PAS included: Zdzisław Pawlak, Leon Łukaszewicz, Antoni Mazurkiewicz and Józef Winkowski (co-developers of the XYS machine) and Romuald Marczyński (initiation and main developer of the EMAL and EMAL-2 machines). The first Director of ICS PAS was Zenon Szoda.

The pioneering achievements obtained in CC PAS / ICS PAS in the beginnings of its operation include first and foremost: development of proprietary operating systems, programming languages, translators and methods for their implementation; establishment of an advanced library of numerical programs; development of methods and applications of new computing techniques: statistics, its computing techniques and applications to medicine and agriculture; proprietary methods and algorithms for land surveying , satellite computations and astronomy; algorithms for operating research.

The solutions gained recognition abroad, which resulted in ICS PAS establishing contacts with IFIP.

1972 was marked by the initiation of a series of international MFCS symposia in Computer Science, organized in turns first in Poland and Czechoslovakia, and then in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. This was the first series of international conferences in the region – which is still being continued.

In 1973, S. Banach Centre in Warsaw organized the international semester “Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science”.

1977 saw the establishment of Fundamenta Informaticae – a still existing CS journal, the only one created and edited in Poland with worldwide recognition. Its first Editor-in-Chief was Prof. Helena Rasiowa, the long-standing Scientific Council Chair of ICS PAS.

The first decades of ICS PAS existence were marked by the development of the following areas, where pioneering results, recognized worldwide, were obtained: mathematical models of computing machines and their computations (Z. Pawlak et al.); automata and formal languages (A. Blikle et al.); compute-based simulation (J. Winkowski); algebraic and logical approach to defining programs and programming languages (A. Blikle and A. Mazurkiewicz); formal methods for defining syntax and semantics of programming languages (P. Dembiński and J. Małuszyński); specification and verification of IT systems (A. Tarlecki, A. Blikle et al.); design and analysis methodology of digital structures (R. Marczyński et al.); methods of computational statistics (M. Warmus, E. Pleszczyńska); applications of mathematical models in economy (J. Łoś et al.). It was just in ICS PAS in 1982 that Zdzisław Pawlak presented his rough set theory. He was also the Deputy Director for Scientific Affairs of first CC PAS, and then ICS PAS, in 1970-79.

ICS PAS also designed computer tools for supporting the work of blind programmers (Wojciech Zawistowski, Stanisław Jakubowski, Ryszard Sawa).

The establishment of IPI PAN was accompanied by establishing a scientific library, at the that time the only computer science library in Poland, and the best such in the country until this day. At present, it is an excellently equipped hybrid library, which combines a traditional collection of books accrued, described and made available on the premises in the reading room, and a modern library with an electronic network resource and information about the collection on the website of the Library.

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