About the Author

Tomasz Pietrzykowski

I  was born in Łódź, Poland, in 1934 as Tomasz Margulies. Despite being ethnically Jewish, my family 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-sized factory in Zduńska Wola near Łódź. My mother, though she had no university education and my father, was well versed in the Polish and western culture. Such a positive atmosphere of tolerance and culture shaped me since early childhood.

My life changed radically when the German army entered Łódź in September 1939 – just four days before my 5-the birthday. During the German occupation being a Jew meant to be eventually killed. 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 it perished.

In 1942 when Adolf Hitler decided to implement the so-called final solution to kill all Jews in Poland. My closest 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. I was living with various Polish families under the pretense of being some kind of a relative. I would like to stress their bravery –  by protecting a Jewish child, they also risked the death penalty.

In 1944 when the Soviet army entered the village where my family reunited, the German occupation nightmare ended. Poland received limited independence, and our 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 Polish textile industry. After the war, my parents decided to change our family’s name to Pietrzykowski, which my father used during the German occupation.

This relatively normal life ended when Stalin, in 1948, decided to impose severe oppression, which lasted until his death. It was another period of danger and darkness. Since my father was branded as a “capitalist, the class enemy,” he was immediately thrown out work. He 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 survival skills (learned during the German occupation’s), 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 (later elevated to the rang of the Institute) of Mathematical Machines 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 in non-linear optimization, at the Polish Academy of Science in 1960.

In 1955 I married my first wife, Anna Dylla. Our marriage lasted until 1966, and we had one daughter Agnieszka.

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

In 1965 I met my second wife, Anna Szczgielska. We have not formally married until 1967 when we both arrived in Canada.

In 1967, I received an invitation from the University of Waterloo in Canada to assume a Professor’s position. Since the ruling Polish Communist regime forbade emigration to capitalistic countries, so under a pretense of going for a vacation to visit my family in France, I managed to leave Poland (with my future wife), finally arriving in Canada. A year later, 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 restarted the research topic of my Ph.D. on conditional maxima and received significant results, expanding my method of applicability to locally compact, metric Banach spaces and followed by the paper in which is described method of finding this second-order. Later on, I expanded this result to the omega (infinite) order.  The latter work was obtained in cooperation with my Post Doctorate Associate, young and brilliant mathematician D.C. Jensen. Unfortunately, before the paper was published, he was killed in a tragic traffic accident.

After Jensen’s death, I abandoned the 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) and Stan Matwin, Distinguished Professor Emeritus and Director of the Institute for Big Data Analytics. As a result of this, we published several papers: some in artificial intelligence and others in visual programming.  All my 33 publications are listed in Research Gate, have over 500 reads and 1000 citations despite their modest number.

In 1978 I met my third wife, Glenys Sloan, with whom I married a year later. We remain married until today. From this marriage, we have one daughter Tashi who lives in Canada.

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

In 1984 I received an offer a tenured professor from the Technical University of Nova Scotia, which I accepted. It permitted me to return to research instead of various administrative duties. This university eventually merged with Dalhousie University. In the year 2000, I retired.

So far, I have focused mainly on my personal affairs and academic activities, but it does not provide a complete picture of my life. Other aspects were dedicated to a very different fields: the study and practice of Buddhism and Shambhala and business entrepreneurship. 

My involvement with Shambhala had earlier roots. In 1973, I realized that humanity, via the overuse of natural resources and social inequality, may proceed to a global catastrophe. I decided that neither politics nor religion or science would be able to prevent it. I began to search for people who may share my views, and due to several strange coincidences, I met Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche (CRT), who became my teacher. He was a very unique, charismatic and controversial human being:  a meditation master, a poet, a scholar of Buddhism, social reformer, and much more. For me, the most important was his vision of the Enlightened Society (called Shambhala), which he presented. Soon after our meeting, under his guidance, I became a teacher of Buddhism and Shambhala.

In 1987 CRT died at the age of 47. I was looking for another person to help me in my study and practice of Buddhism. In 1995, I met Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche a renowned teacher of Buddhism and Dzogchen and became his student. I began studying and practicing trekcho, one of Dzogchen’s forms, under his guidance and continued until now. However, I realized that to access our mind’s power, the meditation is not sufficient. To better understand the associated experiences, developing a new neuro-physical model brain-body complex is necessary based on energies’ wave structure. I began to work on it but stopped: it was unrealistic, far too late (I am 86) to restart such radically different a new research direction.

The third aspect of my life was dedicated to commercial software development business. In 1984 I with my friend P.T. Cox, we decided to use our research results, the visual programming language Prograph and commercialize it.  We created a software development company called TGS Systems, where I became the President and later the Chairman of the Board. After the initial success (in 1989 Prograph received MacUser Editor’s Choice Award for Best Development Tool and our sales reached over one million dollars per year), the company began to deteriorate. In 1993 I left TGS systems, and two years later, the company went into receivership. 

In 2000 soon after retiring from Dalhousie University, my family and I moved to France, where I continue to reside until now with the four-year interruption during our stay in Poland.

2016 I realized that the Shambhala vision helping humanity was unrealistic, so I decided to break my relation with this organization. However, I continue to dedicate the rest of my life to creating a theoretical foundation for a new egalitarian society called  Wisdom Society. The first step is creating this internet site wisdom-society.org where I am publishing articles and talks on this subject.

3 thoughts on “About the Author

  1. Hi Tomasz — Glad to hear from you! Cheryl and I got tired of shoveling snow and chipping ice in Nova Scotia, so we moved to Northern California (I lived in Berkeley for almost 20 years before moving to Boulder and Halifax). We’ve been living in the San Francisco Bay Area for almost 10 years. We have a condo across the street from a beach on San Francisco Bay, and there’s a heated swimming pool in the courtyard.

    Love to you both!

  2. Tomku kochany, gratuluję ci całej tej pracy jaką wkładasz w tą stronę i ciągniesz twoją wizje i misję z taka siłą i determinacją. Cudownie, ze mogliśmy w tym życiu się spotkać i budować wartościowe rzeczy wespół. Dziękuję ci za wszystko. Powodzenia z twoim projektem. Ściskam cieplutko

  3. Tomku,
    Marysia z Podleśnej w Warszawie razem z Agnieszką i rodziną ściska Cię serdecznie na Święta, znaleźliśmy Twoją stronę w internecie.
    Mieszkam od szeregu lat u Agnieszki i Janusza pod Warszawą. Nasz adres mejlowy: agnieszka.kulesza@vp.pl

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