Curriculum Vitae

Curriculum Vitae


Tomasz Pietrzykowski


I was born in Łódź, Poland in 1934. My family in spite of being ethnically Jewish spoke exclusively Polish – my mother did not know Yiddish at all.

My father, who was an expert in the textile industry, was the director of a family-owned medium-size factory in Zduńska Wola near Łódź. My mother, though she had no university education, as well as my father were well versed in the Polish and western culture, and the atmosphere of culture shaped me since early childhood.

My life changed radically when the German army entered Łódź in September 1939 – just four day before my 5-th birthday. During the German occupation being a Jew meant to be eventually sentenced to death. Fortunately, my closest family, that is, my mother and father survived. As far as the rest is concerned out of 12 people besides my parents survived only three persons. The rest of the family perished.

In 1942 Adolf Hitler decided to implement the so-called final solution, that is to kill all Jews in Poland. My family, that is, my mother, father and I, dispersed because living together was too dangerous. My parents survived pretending to be Poles using purchased on the black market Polish identification documents while I survived living with various Polish families under the pretense of being some kind of a relative, due to their bravery -they also risked the death penalty.

In 1944 when the Soviet army entered the village where my family reunited, the nightmare of the German occupation ended. Poland received limited independence and life returned to some normality. We returned to our prewar apartment in Łódź and my father, as an expert in his field, was employed as the director of technology of the nationalized textile industry.

This relative normal life ended when Stalin, in 1948, decided to impose strict oppression which lasted until his death. It was another period of darkness. Since my father was branded as a “class enemy” he was immediately thrown out work and could be arrested and even sentenced to death as an “imperialistic spy.” I,  as a descendant of the class enemy, was barred from studying at any university.

However, utilizing the survival skills acquired during the German occupation, I managed in 1951 to enroll at the University of Warsaw. I originally studied physics, but after a year I changed it to mathematics.

Before finishing my studies, I began to work at the Department of Mathematical Machines (later the Institute)  of the Polish Academy of Science.  Four years later I became the Director of Research of this Institute. I obtained the Ph. D degrees in mathematics, at Polish Academy of Science in 1960.

During the period 1964 -1965 I briefly held a position of the Director of the Department of Computer Application in the Ministry for Electronic Computation in Poland.

In 1967, I received an invitation from the University of Waterloo in Canada to assume there the position of a Professor. Since the Communist regime forbade any form emigration to “capitalistic” countries, so under a pretense, I managed to leave Poland for Canada. A year later, in and in 1968, I became a tenured Professor in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Waterloo.  After a few years, I received Canadian citizenship which I held until now.

I re-started my research topic of my Ph.D., on conditional maxima expanding the earlier results published several papers.

In 1970 I decided to change the research area to the theoretical artificial intelligence, more specifically mechanical theorem proving. I generalized Robinson’s first order unification method of well-formed formulae to the second-order, and later expanding, this results to omega (infinite) order.  The result was obtained in e cooperation with my Post Doctorate assistant, young, and brilliant mathematician D.C. Jensen. Unfortunately, before the paper was published, he was killed in a tragic traffic accident.

After his death of Jensen, I abandoned the work on mechanical theorem proving and began long-lasting research cooperation with my Ph.D. student and friend  P.T. Cox (now a retired professor at Dalhousie University). As a result of this, we published several papers: some in the area of artificial intelligence and others in visual programming.  All my 36 publications are listed in Research Gate.

In 1980 I received an offer from Acadia University to assume there the position of Professor and Director of the School of Computer Science. I accepted it and held till 1984.

In 1984 I received an offer from a professor from the Technical University of Nova Scotia which I accepted. This university eventually merged with the Dalhousie University, and In the year 2000, I retired from this university. Soon after we left Canada for France

So far, I focused mainly on my academic activity, but it does not provide a complete picture of my life. Other aspects were dedicated to a very different field: the study and practice of Buddhism.  In 1975, I met Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, who became my teacher. He was a   human being in the fullest sense:  a meditation master, a scholar of Buddhism, social reformer, and much more. For me, the most important was the vision of an Enlightened Society (called Shambhala), which he presented. Soon after meeting him, I became his student and, under his guidance, a teacher of Buddhism and Shambhala.

In 1987 CRT died at the age of 47. I was looking for another person to further my study and practice, and in 1995 I met Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche a renown teacher of Buddhism and Dzogchen, and I became his student. I continue the study and practice of Dzogchen under his guidance till now.

The third aspect of my life was dedicated to commercial software development and business. In 1984 I with my friend P.T. Cox we decided to use the results of our research, the visual programming language Prograph and commercialize it.  We created a  software development business venture called The Gunakara Sun System (TGS System) where I became the Founder and President and later the Chairman of the Board. After the initial success (in1989 Prograph received MacUser Editor’s Choice Award for Best Development Tool our sales reached over one million dollars per year), the company began to deteriorate. 1993  I left TGS systems, and two years later the company went into receivership. More about Prograph can be found at Wikipedia.

In 2000 after retiring from the Dalhousie University my family and me, moved to France where I continue to reside until now with the four years long interruption by my stay in Poland.

Now, after retiring from the teaching in Shambhala, I  dedicated the rest of my life to the development of a new egalitarian society called Cooperative Wisdom Society  (in short CWS). Soon, I will commence public talks on this subject.