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On 12th October 2022 the 18th edition of the Witold Lipski Award Contest granted for extraordinary achievements in computer science and documented scientific achievements of the candidates has ended.

Dr. Filip Mazowiecki from the University of Warsaw has been awarded in theoretical aspects of computer science category, and two equal Awards in implementation of computer science have been granted to dr. Michał Koziarski from the Wrocław University of Science and Technology and dr. Mateusz Ostaszewski from the Warsaw University of Technology.

During the ceremonial meeting organized at the University of Warsaw, in the presence of 50 distinguished guests, prof. Leszek Pacholski – Chairman of the Award Council and Marek Skulimowski – President and Executive Director of Kosciuszko Foundation in New York, under the auspices of which this year’s Contest was organised, presented the winners with awards of a total value of PLN 100,000.

Witold Lipski Award has been been established in 2005 in order to commemorate its prematurely deceased at 35 patron, the pioneer of Polish computer science. “Witold Lipski was an outstanding world class computer scientist with sustainable results in database theory, computational geometry and algorithm theory. His award is supposed to inspire young computer scientists in Poland and promote development of the computer science in Poland” said prof. Truszczyński, the Chairman of the Award Committee.

“I am honoured to receive the Lipski Award. It is a great honour to join the group of laureates among Polish computer scientists being part of the group of the world’s leading scientists. I believe that this Award will increase the visibility of my research topic, theoretical formal verification, which I consider to be an important field”, said Dr. Filip Mazowiecki.

Lipski Award Contest, organised yearly, is addressed to the scientists under 35, being Polish citizens and permanently residing in Poland.

In December 2021, the Polish Foundation of the Development of Computer Science, which had been organizing the Contest, transferred this function to Kosciuszko Foundation supporting scientific and cultural exchange between Poland and the United States. At the same time, starting from 2022, the private benefactor from the USA allowed to increase the monetary value of the Award, which was also expanded to two categories – theoretical aspects of computer science and implementation of computer science, in amount of PLN 50,000 each.

In 2022 edition of the Contest, on the basis of recommendation of  Award Council, the Committee presented one Award in theoretical aspects of computer science category in  amount of PLN 50,000  and two equal Awards in implementation of computer science category  in amount of PLN 25,000 each. “This year we had a record number of contestants. The winners stood out clearly, but there were at least 3 other persons, who deserved the award. That bodes well for the level of computer science in Poland” said prof. Leszek Pacholski, the Chairman of the Award Council.

The Award was initiated by the Polish computer scientists living abroad: professors Krzysztof Apt, Wiktor Marek and Mirosław Truszczyński. Financed by individuals, scientists, Polish Computer Science Society and the companies operating in Poland, such as Sage (2006-2015), Atende (2016-2021), Huawei (2020-2021), it is a platform for cooperation between the world of science and business.

This year’s ceremony was attended by distinguished scientists, creators of the Award, members of the Award Committee, and also by prof. Piotr Sankowski, the first laureate of the Award presented to him in 2005, currently the President of IDEAS NCBR. The host of the venue, the Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Mechanics of the University of Warsaw, prof. Paweł Strzelecki. Marek Skulimowski, the President of Kosciuszko Foundation welcomed the guests and thanked the Polish Foundation of the Development of Computer Science for organising the contest for so many years. Maciej Lipski, brother of the patron of the Award shared some warm memories. The children of the patron – dr. Kasia Lipska and dr. Witold Lipski also spoke. Remembrance of the patron, as a great PhD supervisor, collaborator, friend and outstanding scientist, was shared by prof. Tomasz Imieliński. The winners gave short lectures summarizing their scientific achievements.

“We are very happy that we can support the organizers in promoting the Witold Lipski Award. Of course, I am personally associated with this initiative, but I believe that it is a unique opportunity to promote talented Polish computer scientists. I look forward with optimism to the next, upcoming editions of the Award” says dr. hab. Piotr Sankowski, prof. UW, President of IDEAS NCBR.

Information on winners of the 18th edition of the Witold Lipski Award Contest:

Michał Koziarski, winner in implementation of computer science category, in 2021 defended his doctoral thesis on unbalanced data pre-processing algorithms in the classification task at the AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow. Currently, he conducts research on multi-criteria classification algorithms at the Wrocław University of Science and Technology, where he previously completed the master’s degree. In addition to theoretical research on machine learning algorithms, Michał Koziarski also participated in research and development projects on cancer detection based on histopathological photos and creating summaries of large sets of image data. He is particularly interested in the application of artificial intelligence methods in medicine and life sciences and is working on the use of machine learning in medicines discovery. Winner of the scholarship of the Minister of Science and Higher Education for outstanding young scientists in 2020, and the distinction of the Polish Association of Artificial Intelligence in the competition for the best Polish doctoral dissertation in 2021. Manager of the PRELUDIUM grant on image classification for unbalanced data in 2018-2021

Filip Mazowiecki, winner in theoretical aspects of computer science category, defended his doctoral thesis at the University of Warsaw with 6 months stay at the University of Wrocław examining the formalisms of queries related to databases. At that time, he was working on establishing complexity and finding the limit of decidability for classical decision problems in query languages. Specifically, his work concerned the problems of satisfiability and the inclusion of two languages: first-order logics with two variables and the datalog. He spent most of the last year of his doctorate on a research visit to the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, where he began working in a new field: formal verification, which conducts verification of the proper functioning of systems. After defending his doctoral thesis in February 2016, he continued work on formal verification problems. He also spent almost four years as a postdoc at the Universities of Warwick, Oxford and Bordeaux. In September 2019 he got the position of research group leader at the Max Planck Institute for  Software Systems in Saarbrücken. Since February 2022, he has been an Eilenberg Assistant Professor at the University of Warsaw.

Mateusz Ostaszewski, winner in implementation of computer science category, defended his doctorate thesis with honours at the Institute of Theoretical and Applied Informatics, Polish Academy of Sciences in Gliwice under the supervision of dr hab. Jarosław Adam Miszczak and dr. Przemysław Sadowski. During the preparation of his doctoral dissertation, he collaborated with prof. Leonardo Banchi and completed a research internship at UCL with prof. Simone Severini. After his doctorate, he started cooperation with a research group led by prof. Vedran Dunjko (Leiden University). He is currently completing a postdoctoral internship at the Warsaw University of Technology. Dr. Ostaszewski was a laureate of the scholarship of the Minister of Science and Higher Education for outstanding achievements and the Etiuda doctoral scholarship. Moreover, he participated in projects financed by the National Science Center and the Foundation for Polish Science. His research results were presented at the prestigious NeurIPS conference and published in magazines such as Quantum, Computer Physics Communications, or Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical. Currently, his research focuses on the issues of continuous learning. In addition, he is also involved in the use of deep learning to construct quantum circuits for currently built quantum devices.

The Kosciuszko Foundation Inc. for almost 100 years has been granting scholarships to young people and scientists from Poland and the USA. It conducts philanthropic, information and popularizing activity in the field of the history of Polish culture and science. It promotes Polish culture and science by organizing exhibitions, concerts and competitions. It also preserves the memory of Tadeusz Kościuszko – an exceptional general, insurrectionist and hero of two nations. The Kościuszko Foundation Poland, working closely with The Kosciuszko Foundation Inc., supports the intellectual, scientific and cultural exchange between Poland and the United States. It hosts American volunteers at camps for children and youth all over Poland as part of the TEIP program. It cares for the common Polish American history and creates better conditions for the development and cooperation of subsequent generations.

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