Victor W. Marek

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Victor Witold Marek, formerly Wiktor Witold Marek known as Witek Marek (born 22 March 1943) is a Polish mathematician and computer scientist working in the field of theoretical computer science and mathematical logic.


Victor Witold Marek studied mathematics at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of the University of Warsaw. Supervised by Andrzej Mostowski, he received both a magister degree in mathematics in 1964 and a doctoral degree in mathematics in 1968. He completed habilitation in mathematics in 1972.

In 1970–1971, Marek was a postdoctoral researcher at the Utrecht University, the Netherlands, where he worked under Dirk van Dalen. In 1967–1968 as well as in 1973–1975, he was a researcher at the Institute of Mathematics of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland. In 1979-1980 and 1982-1983 he worked at the Venezuelan Institute of Scientific Research. In 1976, he was appointed an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the University of Warsaw.

In 1983, he was appointed a professor of computer science at the University of Kentucky. In 1989–1990, he was a Visiting Professor of Mathematics at the Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. In 2001-2002, he was a visitor at the Department of Mathematics of the University of California, San Diego.



He has supervised a number of graduate theses and projects. He was an advisor of 16 doctoral candidates both in mathematics and computer science. In particular, he advised dissertations in mathematics by Małgorzata Dubiel-Lachlan, Roman Kossak, Adam Krawczyk, Tadeusz Kreid, Roman Murawski, Andrzej Pelc, Zygmunt Ratajczyk, Marian Srebrny, and Zygmunt Vetulani. In computer science his students were V. K. Cody Bumgardner, Waldemar W. Koczkodaj, Witold Lipski, Joseph Oldham, Inna Pivkina, Michał Sobolewski[1], Paweł Traczyk, and Zygmunt Vetulani. All these individuals has worked in the various institutions of higher education in Canada, France, Poland, and the United States.


He investigated a number of areas in the foundations of mathematics, for instance infinitary combinatorics (large cardinals), metamathematics of set theory, the hierarchy of constructible sets,[1] models of second-order arithmetic,[2] the impredicative theory of Kelley–Morse classes.[3] He proved that the so-called Fraïssé conjecture (second-order theories of denumerable ordinals are all different) is entailed by Gödel's axiom of constructibility. Together with Marian Srebrny, he investigated properties of gaps in a constructible universe.

Computer science[edit]

He studied logical foundations of computer science. In the early 1970s, in collaboration with Zdzislaw Pawlak,[4][5] he investigated Pawlak's information storage and retrieval systems [6] which then was a widely studied concept, especially in the Eastern Europe. These systems were, essentially a single-table relational databases, but unlike Codd's relational databases were bags rather than sets of records. These investigations, in turn, led Pawlak to the concept of rough set,[5] studied by Marek and Pawlak in 1981.[7] The concept of rough set, in computer science, statistics, topology, universal algebra, combinatorics, and modal logic, turned out to be an expressive language for describing, and especially manipulating an incomplete information.


In the area of nonmonotonic logics, a group of logics related to artificial intelligence, he focused on investigations of Reiter's Deault Logic,[8] and autoepistemic logic of R. Moore. These investigations led to a form of Logic Programming called Answer Set Programming [9] a computational knowledge representation formalism, studied both in Europe and in the United States. Together with Mirosław Truszczynski, he proved that the problem of existence of stable models of logic programs is NP-complete. In a stronger formalism admitting function symbols, along with Nerode and Remmel he showed that the analogous problem is Σ1


V. W. Marek is an author of over 180 scientific papers in the area of foundations of mathematics and of computer science. He was also an editor of numerous proceedings of scientific meetings. Additionally, he authored or coauthored several books. These include:

  • Logika i Podstawy Matematyki w Zadaniach (jointly with J. Onyszkiewicz)
  • Logic and Foundations of Mathematics in problems (jointly with J. Onyszkiewicz)
  • Analiza Kombinatoryczna (jointly with W. Lipski),
  • Nonmonotonic Logic – Context-dependent Reasoning (jointly with M. Truszczyński),
  • Introduction to Mathematics of Satisfiability.


  1. ^ W. Marek and M. Srebrny, Gaps in constructible universe, Annals of Mathematical Logic, 6:359–394, 1974.
  2. ^ K.R. Apt and W. Marek, Second order arithmetic and related topics, Annals of Mathematical Logic, 6:177–229, 1974
  3. ^ W. Marek, On the metamathematics of impredicative set theory. Dissertationes Mathematicae 98, 45 pages, 1973
  4. ^ Z. Pawlak, Mathematical foundations of information retrieval. Institute of Computer Sciences, Polish Academy of Sciences, Technical Report 101, 8 pages, 1973
  5. ^ a b Z. Pawlak, Rough sets. Institute of Computer Science, Polish Academy of Sciences, Technical Report 431, 12 pages, 1981
  6. ^ W. Marek and Z. Pawlak On the foundations of information retrieval. Bull. Acad. Pol. Sci. 22:447–452, 1974
  7. ^ W. Marek and Z. Pawlak. Rough sets and information systems, Institute of Computer Science, Technical Report 441, Polish Academy of Sciences, 15 pages, 1981
  8. ^ M.Denecker, V.W. Marek and M. Truszczynski, Uniform semantic treatment of default and autoepistemic logics. Artificial Intelligence. 143:79–122, 2003
  9. ^ V.W. Marek and M. Truszczynski, Stable logic programming – an alternative logic programming paradigm. In: 25 years of Logic Programming Paradigm, pages 375–398, Springer-Verlag, 1999

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