I met professor Michał Życzkowski for the first time in October 1971
After disastrous holidays, I came to
So, I go to the
Lady at the Dean’s Office, introduce myself and ask, if she knows something.
After a short investigation, the Lady tells me that professor Michał
Życzkowski – a person I knew nothing about at that time – wants to talk to
me. Who is professor Życzkowski, I am thinking. Most probably a
disciplinary committee or something like that. I go to the indicated address of
the M1 Institute (the old barracks at the
I went week at the knees. They know me here by name! In the next sentence, professor Życzkowski – for it was him – explains to me that he wanted to talk about enrolment for Applied Mechanics and asks me, if I want to study this specialization. It was a load off my mind. I agree immediately. That’s how the twenty years of our cooperation started. Under the direction of professor Życzkowski, I wrote my master’s thesis and later my doctoral dissertation. He was the best “boss” one could imagine. Very patient and tolerant of my stupidity. The expression "I feel like giving you a dressing-down, mister" was the expression of his highest discontentment. Of course, he never gave me one (which is a pity). On the contrary, he helped me solve all problems.
In his honesty, kind-heartedness and kindliness towards others, professor Michał Życzkowski remains for me an unattainable example not only of a great scientist, but also of a great man and humanist. The impact of professor Michał Życzkowski on my life can only be compared to the impact of my parents.
For all of us, who worked under the direction of
professor Michał Życzkowski at the
11th December 2009
Mayagüez, PR - USA
P.S. Both of us celebrated our birthdays on 12th April. The professor used to say that we differ only by a “vingt-et-un”. I was always a bit embarrassed when wishing him on his birthday, for it could look as if I meant my own.