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Helena Rasiowa
(1917-1994)
Poland

Helena Rasiowa, professor of mathematics at the University of Warsaw, died on 9 August, 1994. With her passing the world has lost a great logician, descendant and member of the Polish School of Logic. Born on 20 June 1917, she begun the studies of mathematics at the University of Warsaw in 1938. During the second world war she continued the studies at the Underground University. She wrote her Master's thesis under the supervision of Jan Lukasiewicz and obtained her M.Sc. degree in 1945. She received her Ph.D. degree under the supervision of Andrzej Mostowski in 1950. She held academic positions at the University of Warsaw from 1945 till 1992. She served as the Head of the Chair of Foundations of Mathematics (1964-1970) and the Head of the Chair of Mathematical Logic (1970-1992). She served three terms as the Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics (1958-1960, 1962-1966, 1968-1978). Her research on algebraization of logical systems has lead to an extensive development of algebraic logic. Algebraization of logical calculi, originated by Boole and continued by Lindenbaum, Tarski, Stone, McKinsey, Mostowski, Henkin, has acquired a new dimension due to her monographs and numerous research papers and essays. Helena Rasiowa has developed algebraic theories of a great variety of non-classical logic thus creating a general mathematics framework for algebraic representation and investigation of logical calculi. Already a quarter of a century ago she recognized the significance of research on applications of logic to computer science. She foresaw the strong influence that computer science problems can have on the development of logic. She inspired and actively participated in investigations on logics of programs, reasoning with incomplete information and logical calculi for reasoning under uncertainty. Helena Rasiowa was the founder and the editor-in-chief of Fundamenta Informaticae, collecting editor of Studia Logica and associate editor of Journal of Approximate Reasoning. She received numerous honors and awards, including Sierpinski medal, the title of Honorary Member of the Polish Mathematical Society, the Stefan Mazurkiewicz Award of the Polish Mathematical Society, and the First Class State Science Award in Mathematics. She served as President of the Warsaw Division of the Polish Mathematical Society and as Assessor of the Division of Logic, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science of the International Union of History and Philosophy of Science. She served the Association for Symbolic Logic as a member of the Council. She was the Head of the Council of the Polish Association of Logic and Philosophy of Science. She was inspiring teacher, generations of students and researchers all over the world have studied her books The Mathematics of Metamathematics (joint with Roman Sikorski), Introduction to Modern Mathematics, Algebraic Approach to Non-Classical Logics. Her influence on development of logic was so strong that many logicians consider themselves her students, even those who did not meet her personally. She was active in her work till the last days, during the past two years she was working on a new monograph Algebraic Analysis on Non-Classical First Order Logics.
We all mourn her.
Ewa Or³owska and Andrzej Skowron
See also The Mathematics Genealogy Project and The MacTutor History of Mathematics archive.