SCIENTIFIC ACTIVITY OF THE INSTITUTE
IThe Institute of Computer Science of the Polish Academy of Sciences (ICS PAS) is one of the select few leading CS research centres in Poland. According to the parametric evaluation carried out by the Polish Ministry of Science and Education, ICS PAS has been ranked among the Category A entities in Group N13 (Mathematics and Computer Science), similarly as 5 years ago and earlier. In all the directions of CS research conducted in the Institute, ICS PAS holds original results on the world level. All those directions are compliant with the program for desirable development of information technology. To put it shortly, that program coincides with the information society development program in the sense of EU Framework Programs, as well as the UE and national strategic programs.
We see the mission of the Institute as one of the leading CS research centre in Poland in three intertwined tasks: conducting high-level research, teaching on the second and especially third level of higher education, and cooperation – plus possibly coordination of cooperation – with other research centres under big IT projects.
We strive to maintain and reinforce basic research in Computer Science – mathematical or close to mathematics (e.g. logics, graphs theory, cryptography, links with information theory, analysis of regression models and other areas of probability theory), with emphasis on developing original solutions of evidently high application potential (e.g., computerized linguistics or knowledge discovery systems).
This is why the starting point of research activities should be basic research – from mathematical, logical and information theory foundations of Computer Science, through work in the area of distributed systems, cryptography, machine learning, linguistic engineering and information extraction from big document collections.
However, in a great majority of cases the research must lead to applications in other sciences or disciplines (e.g., biology or linguistics), as well as practical implementations, available to the general public or having a chance of commercial use.
For many years, ICS PAS has been striving to finance its research to an increasingly high degree from non-budget sources, including especially EU ones. Another source of financing sought by the Institute have been budget funds earmarked for carrying out of special tasks, such as commissioned projects, or participation in developing research directions of strategic importance for the State.
Nowadays, the task of crucial importance is to win additional funds for enhancing research in areas of key importance. These include, among others: linguistic engineering; amassing great collections of text documents and carrying out their semantic grouping; web services; extending software verification methods to cover the security issues for systems, data, applications and data transmission protocols, plus reinforcement of cryptographic research. We have made great progress in that scope thanks to acquiring funds mainly from the Operational Programme Innovative Economy, but also from the EU Framework Programmes and Ministry of Science and Education. The research, bearing fruit in the form of suitable implementations, will enable construction of a new generation of the developed systems and their adjustment to new challenges. In order to obtain a possibly high degree of financial independence, we strive to win projects from NCN (National Science Centre), NCBiR (The National Centre for Research and Development), and to reinforce cooperation with selected renowned universities, at present e.g. in the form of establishing scientific centres. We has also established a special purpose company, whose purpose will be acquiring funds thanks to participation in implementation of technology demonstrators developed in ICS PAS.
Our ambition was for ICS PAS to establish its own PhD studies. We managed to succeed at this in 2011 thanks to the funds from a project under Operational Programme Human Capital). At present, our goal is to assure financial sustainability of those studies. We wish to attract to them PhD students from abroad, especially from Eastern Europe (former USSR), and, if possible, from Asia. We do not exclude the option of extending the studies by a thread of “IT in business/management”, which would imply upgrading the post-graduate studies established at ICS PAS with just this direction to PhD studies.