Ryszard S. Michalski
Born(1937-05-07)May 7, 1937
DiedSeptember 20, 2007(2007-09-20) (aged 70)
Alma materSilesian University of Technology (Ph.D, 1969) Polytechnic Institute of St. Petersburg (M.S., 1961)
Universities of Technology, Krakow and Warsaw (B.S., 1954 - 1959)
Known forA Father of Machine Learning
The first practical expert system that learned its decision rules from examples (1977)[citation needed]
Inferential theory of learning (ITL)
Learnable evolution model (LEM)
An early successful handwritten alpha-numeric characters recognizing system (1969)
Co-founder of Machine Learning (1986)
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Marchut-Michalski
AwardsOfficer's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland (2007)
Foreign Member of the Polish Academy of Sciences (2000)
Fellow of AAAI [1]
Scientific career
FieldsMachine learning, Artificial intelligence
InstitutionsGeorge Mason University (1988 - )
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (1970 -1987)
Institute of Automation of Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw (1962 - 1970)
Institute of Computer Science of PAS (part time)
Doctoral studentsHugo de Garis

Ryszard S. Michalski (May 7, 1937 – September 20, 2007) was a Polish-American computer scientist. Michalski was Professor at George Mason University and a pioneer in the field of machine learning.[2]


Michalski was born in Kalusz near Lvov on 7 May 1937.

He received an equivalent of Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering at the Universities of Technology in Kraków and Warsaw in 1959; obtained M.S. Computer Science at the Polytechnic Institute of St. Petersburg in 1961; and Ph.D. in Computer Science at the Silesian University of Technology, Gliwice in 1969. In the period 1962–1970 he worked at the Institute of Automation of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS) in Warsaw, during which he and Jacek Karpiński developed an early successful learning system for recognizing handwritten alpha-numeric characters.

He emigrated to America in 1970, worked at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign until moved with his research group to the George Mason University in 1988. Although leaving Poland, he worked part-time at the Institute of Computer Science of PAS in Warsaw.

Ryszard S. Michalski died on 20 September 2007 from cancer at his home in Fairfax.[2]

Academic life

Michalski was cofounder of Machine Learning and Inference Laboratory at George Mason University. He earned a patent for the university with Learnable Non-Darwinian Evolution Model (LEM), a form of evolutionary computation, in 2003.

He cofounded the Journal of Machine Learning in 1986 and helped organize the first international multistrategy machine learning conferences in 1991.[3]


Michalski influenced wide areas, notably in machine learning, but also in the broadly understood areas of data analysis and knowledge discovery.[4] Some of his offspring are listed below. (See more on his homepage at GMU)

Honors and awards

Michalski was elected to Foreign Member of the Polish Academy of Sciences in 2000 [5] and Fellow of AAAI.[1] Poland President honored him with the Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland in July 2007.

Selected works

Michalski was prolific author of scientific works on various topics in computer science, including machine learning, artificial intelligence, and human plausible reasoning. He wrote, co-wrote, or co-edited more than 350 research publications and more than one dozen books. Some of which are listed below. (See more on his homepage at GMU)




  2. ^ a b "Ryszard Michalski; Shaped How Machines Learn". The Washington Post. 1 October 2007.
  3. ^ Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Multistrategy Learning, Michalski, R. S. & Tecuci, G. (Eds.), Harpers Ferry, WV, 1991.
  4. ^ Koronacki, Jacek (2010). Advances in Machine Learning I: Dedicated to the Memory of Professor Ryszard S. Michalski. He was one of the fathers of machine learning.
  5. ^ Deceased Members of Polish Academy of Sciences
  6. ^ Machine Learning 1986