The Institute of Computer Science

70 years of Polish computer science

The Institute of Computer Science is one of the oldest academic institutions in Poland, dealing with research and teaching in this field. Its origins date back to the former Department of Telecommunications Structures and Radio Broadcasting at the then Faculty of Communications of the Warsaw University of Technology, where already in the mid-fifties a tube computer UMC 1 was built (one of the first in Poland). In 1963, the Department was transformed into the Department of Mathematical Machine Building. In 1970, along with the reorganization of the University, the Institute of Mathematical Machine Building was established, finally transformed in 1975 into the Institute of Computer Science. The synthetic history of the Institute until 2001 was presented by Dr. Jerzy Mieścicki. As part of the Institute, there was an Experimental Department, in which specialized digital-analog devices as well as computers were implemented.  The history of research and design activities of this Department (years 1951-1989) was presented by Dr. Andrzej Skorupski. This document is complemented by studies devoted to the most important implementation projects carried out by the Institute's employees (memoirs of Michał Wołyński and Józef Bratosiewicz), and a description of the UMC KRTM GEO-20 system and industrial systems for Siarkopol. The first few master's degrees in communication engineers with a specialization in Mathematical Machines graduated in 1962. Since then, continuously for the next several decades, master's degrees have been obtained by up to 80 people a year. Thus, during its history, the Institute has educated well over 2500 Polish IT specialists. Many graduates of the Institute have worked or work in renowned foreign centers. From the very beginning until 1978, the Department, The Department and the Institute were headed by Prof. Antoni Kiliński, who in 1997 was awarded the Computer Pioneer medal for his activities. This highly prestigious award on a global scale was awarded to him, unfortunately posthumously, by the IEEE Computer Society, the world's largest association of computer scientists.  A significant contribution to the development of Computer Science in Poland was made by Prof. Zdzisław Pawlak, who was associated with the Institute in the initial period and in the years 1994-2009. His works in the field of approximate collections brought him international fame.  In the study and popularization of programming languages, Dr. Jan Bielecki had special achievements - the author of over 100 books published in over 800,000 copies (including 3 translated into German). The contribution of the Institute of Computer Science to the development of Computer Science in Poland was and is significant, it was noted by the Polish Information Technology Society in connection with the celebration of the 70th anniversary of Polish Computer Science.