Meet Dr. Jacek Zurada
Get to know the IEEE candidate, starting from the beginning.
Upbringing and Education
Dr. Jacek Zurada was born in Sosnowiec, Poland to a family of pharmacists. During his high school years he participated successfully in the National Olympics in physics and mathematics. Thanks to his early interest in foreign cultures, he has mastered three foreign languages: German, Russian and French. He has also played violin and given public performances. In 1968 he graduated from the Gdansk University of Technology. His MSc thesis was in Control and Information Theory. In 1975 he received his PhD degree and became a post-doc at the Swiss Institute of Technology in Zurich.
Dr. Zurada serves as a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Louisville, Kentucky. He has held visiting appointments at Princeton, Northeastern, Auburn, and at overseas universities in Australia, Chile, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Poland, Singapore, Spain, South Africa and Taiwan. These appointments included named professorship during sabbaticals at the National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore, where he served as Nanyang Professor with the School of Computer Sciences, and as a Nanyang Professor with the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (2004-10). He was also the Michael Fam Distinguished Professor at NTU (2013-14).
His research contributions cover data mining with an emphasis on data and feature understanding, rule extraction from semantic and visual information, machine and neural learning, decomposition methods for salient feature extraction, lambda learning rule for neural networks, and deep learning. His work has been cited over 10,700 times (Google Scholar, 2017). He has published over 400 journal and conference papers. He has also authored or co-authored three books, including the pioneering neural networks text “Introduction to Artificial Neural Systems” (1992), and co-edited a number of volumes in the Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science.
He was the Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks (1998–2003). Dr. Zurada was an Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems, Pt. I and Pt. II, and served on the Editorial Board of the Proceedings of IEEE and of Neural Networks (Elsevier). He is currently an Associate Editor of Neurocomputing, Schedae Informaticae, the International Journal of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, Advisory Editor of the International Journal of Information Technology and Intelligent Computing, and Editor of the Springer Natural Computing Book series.
Service to the Profession
Dr. Zurada has served the engineering profession for over 30 years, and over the last 25 years he has held positions of increasing responsibility. While he has been an active member of several international professional associations and editorial and conference boards, his service has been mostly with the IEEE. Some notable leading roles include 2014 IEEE VP-Technical Activities (TAB Chair), President of IEEE Computational Intelligence Society in 2004-05 and its ADCOM member in 2009-14, 2016-17 and in earlier years before the Presidency. He chaired the IEEE TAB Strategic Planning Committee in 2015, the IEEE TAB Periodicals Review and Advisory Committee in 2012–13, and the IEEE TAB Periodicals Committee in 2010–11. In 2007-10 he chaired the IEEE TAB Transactions Committee. In 2011 he was Vice-Chair of PSP Board and a member of PSP Board Strategic Planning Committee in 2010–11. Since 2016 he serves as a TAB Representative to the Members and Geographic Activities.
Awards and Distinctions
Dr. Zurada has received a number of awards for distinction in research, teaching, and service, including the 1993 UofL’s Presidential Award for Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity, 1999 IEEE Circuits and Systems Society Golden Jubilee Medal, and the 2001 and 2014 UofL’s Presidential Distinguished Service Awards for Service to the Profession. In 2013 he received the Joe Desch Innovation Award. His Distinguished Speaker contributions include the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society (2012–15), and the IEEE SMC Society (2016–17). He also served as a Senior Fulbright Specialist in Bulgaria (2010) and Italy (2012).
In 2003 he was conferred the Title of National Professor by the President of Poland. He received five Honorary Professorships from foreign universities, including Sichuan University in Chengdu, China, and Obuda University in Budapest, Hungary. Since 2005 he has been an elected Member of the Polish Academy of Sciences.
For over 30 years Dr. Zurada has lived in Louisville, Kentucky with his wife, Anna. They often visit their two adult children in Manhattan. Joanna, the older child, works as an MD, and Mark is an entrepreneur in the technology area. Jacek and Anna’s hobbies include traveling to warm places in winter (like Riviera Maya, Mexico) and cool places in summer (like Poland). While not traveling, they love dogs…provided they are terriers (though in fact all dogs are great!). Dramas in the Zurada family aren’t uncommon given Anna enjoyment of Mexican food vs. Jacek’s preference for Indian cuisine. As a compromise they often settle on cooking something Polish. In addition, they are avid book readers, music fans, and enjoy relaxing with their favorite Netflix shows.