International Multiconference
on Computer Science and Information Technology

18-20 October 2010, Wisła, Poland
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Polish Information Processing Society
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5th International Symposium
Advances in Artificial Intelligence and Applications (AAIA'10)

Wisła, Poland, October 18-20, 2010

A scientific Portrait of Professor Leonard Bolc*

ProfLeonardBolc.jpgLeonard Bolc started his scientific career studying at the Philological Department of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. From 1961 to 1987 Leonard Bolc worked at the Warsaw University (UW) in the Institute of Computer Science from the position of assistant to associate professor. He received his PhD in applied linguistics from Adam Mickiewicz University in 1964. In the same year he began his postdoctoral studies in the Institute of Mathematics of the University of Münster.  He spent four years there, expanding his knowledge of mathematics and computer science under supervision of Professor H. Hermes, whose mentor was one of the founders of modern logic, G. Frege. During his stay at  Münster, Leonard Bolc attended the lectures of Noam Chomsky, who sparked his interest in computational linguistics, especially in formal grammars and natural language parsers. In 1969, he received his habilitation at the Adam Mickiewicz University in using a context-free grammar formalism for natural language text analysis. The next year was spent in Dresden working on digital processing of speech signals. When he returned to Warsaw, he was nominated the Head of Department of Information Analysis and Synthesis in the Institute of Computer Science, UW where he worked on artificial intelligence,

focusing on various aspects of natural language processing [2]. From 1987 to 2007 he worked at the Institute of Computer Science, Polish Academy of Sciences, where he organized the Man-Machine Communication Group, that later changed its name to the Linguistics Engineering Group.


Professor Bolc focused his research on logic and computational linguistics, with the aim of creating a computer system with a natural language user interface. To achieve this goal, it is necessary to solve various problems from many fields – speech technologies, language engineering, knowledge representation and reasoning. Professor Leonard Bolc himself explored some of them and inspired his students and colleagues to work on many others. He worked in the fields of formal grammar [8], semantic interpretation of texts [1], searching in large data sets [7], information retrieval [3,5], non-classical logic [10,11], uncertain and incomplete knowledge processing [6] and automatic deduction [4].

The wide range of Leonard Bolc's research was the result of his conviction that only by taking into account all aspects of natural language communication – speech understanding, syntactic, semantic and pragmatic analysis of utterances, and automatic deduction based on human reasoning – can we implement a system that processes data in natural language.


Professor Leonard Bolc was very active in dissemination of  many important scientific results. He has been on the editorial board of many journals published by Academic Press, Springer-Verlag, Kluwer Academic Publishing, and Blackwell Scientific Publications. Many important monographs concerning new achievements in various fields of computer science have been edited by him. He has been a co-founder of the series “Symbolic Computation” published by Springer-Verlag. He has edited more than 40 volumes in world-famous publishing houses, and he continues to be a very active editor. Leonard Bolc is also a very well-known editor in Poland. More than 120 volumes have been published in various book series edited by him. On the basis of many of these publications, Polish scientists received their habitation or were nominated professors. Over the last few years, he has been the editor-in-chief for many academic handbooks of the Polish-Japanese Institute of Information Technology Press.

During his long scientific career, first at the Warsaw University, then at the Institute of Computer Science PAS, he was a scientific mentor to many students and young scientists. He encouraged many young people to devote their life to research in various aspects of artificial intelligence.


  1. Bolc, L., Strzalkowski, T.: Transformation Of Natural Language Into Logical Formulas. COLING 1982, 29-36
  2. Bolc, L., Cichy, M., Różańska, L.: Przetwarzanie języka naturalnego. WNT Warsaw (1982)
  3. Bolc, L., Kochut, K., Leśniewski, A., Strzalkowski, T.: Natural Language Information Retrieval System Dialog. EACL 1983, 196-203
  4. Bolc, L., Rychlik, P.: The Use of Modal Default Reasoning in a Medical Diagnostic System with Natural Language Interface, Proc. Of the 6th ECAI, Pisa (1984)
  5. Bolc, L., Kowalski, A., Kozłowska, M., Strzalkowski, T.:  A Natural Language Information Retrieval System with Extensions Towards Fuzzy Reasoning. International Journal of Man-Machine Studies 23(4), 335-367 (1985)
  6. Bolc, L., Borodziewicz, W., Wójcik, M.: Podstawy przetwarzania informacji niepewnej i niepełnej. PWN, Warszawa (1991)
  7. Bolc, L., Cytowski, J.: Search Methods for Artificial Intelligence. Academic Press, London (1992)
  8. Bolc, L., Mykowiecka, A: Podstawy przetwarzania języka naturalnego. Wybrane metody formalnego zapisu składni, Akademicka Oficyna Wydawnicza (1992)
  9. Bolc, L., Zaremba, J.: Wprowadzenie do uczenia sie maszyn. PWN, Warszawa (1993)
  10. Bolc, L., Borowik, P.: Many-Valued Logic. Vol. 1: Theoretical Foundations. Springer, Heidelberg (2000)
  11. Bolc, L., Borowik, P.: Many-Valued Logic. Vol. 2: Automated Reasoning and Practical Applications. Springer, Heidelberg (2003)


* Aspects of Natural Language Processing. Essays Dedicated to Leonard Bolc on the Occasion of His 75th Birthday, edited by: Marciniak, Malgorzata; Mykowiecka, Agnieszka, in series: Lecture Notes in Computer Science, subseries: Information Systems and Applications, incl. Internet/Web, and HCI , Vol. 5070, 2009, ISBN: 978-3-642-04734-3.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: We would like to thank Malgorzata Marciniak and Agnieszka Mykowiecka, the editors of the book, as well as the Springer-Verlag, for the permissions of using the text and the photo of prof. Leonard Bolc at the AAIA'2010 website

AAIA 2010 chairs


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