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UMFK to host director of U-Maine's Homeland Security Lab

April 9, 2004


The director of the University of Maine's Homeland Security Lab will visit the University of Maine at Fort Kent to share with faculty, staff, students and the community information about the latest projects underway at the Orono facility.

George Markowsky, who leads the relatively new entity on the state system's flagship campus and serves as professor and chairperson of computer science at U-Maine, will speak in UMFK's Nadeau Hall teleconference room on Friday, April 30 at 12:30 p.m.

The University of Maine homeland security lab is an inter-disciplinary group that works closely with groups having an interest in developing homeland security.

The organization's mission is "dedicated to carrying out research that can help anticipate and protect against terrorist attacks and other disasters". The group is also interested in the problems of first responders, and are actively involved in educating the public and our leaders on how best to achieve homeland security.

As part of his presentation to the UMFK campus and community, professor Markowsky will review projects including using computer clusters to run multi-agent systems, sensor systems, first responder training, and interoperablility.

Markowsky received his Ph.D. in mathematics in 1973 and his master of arts in mathematics in 1969 from Harvard University in Massachusetts. He received his bachelor of arts in mathematics from Columbia University in New York where he graduated summa cum laude in 1968.

He was employed by the University of Maine as the first chair of the computer science department holding that position from December of 1983 until August 1989. He served as interim chair for the 1995-1996 academic years and is currently serving as chair of the department once again.

He held an undergraduate teaching assistant position at Columbia University from 1967 through 1968, and was a graduate assistant at Harvard University in 1968-1969 and 1972-1973.

Markowsky joined the research staff of the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in 1974 where he was a member of the theory of programming group in the computer sciences department until 1978.

Some of the many projects Markowsky has been involved in are data security, optical character recognition (OCR), the analysis of stochastic processes, and his own research project, voice controlled computer systems for individuals with disabilities.

Markowsky's research also includes areas in discrete mathematics and algorithms, computational geometry, and biological applications of mathematics and computers.

Among his entrepreneurial endeavors Markowsky founded Maine Software Developers Association (MeSDA) and held the presidency of the association until 1998. He stepped down from the position when MeSDA had grown to the point where it could afford to hire a full-time executive director. He remains active in the organization.

In 1994, he founded Trefoil Corporation and based it in downtown Orono. Trefoil developed the O*NET software for the U.S. Department of Labor that will replace the Dictionary of Occupational Titles. Trefoil has handled tasks ranging from software reengineering and testing, to the marketing of products. The company is currently working on a project for the National Institutes of Health.

Markowsky again exercised his entrepreneurial skills in 1999 when he founded a company called Ayers Island, LLC, which is developing a research commercialization facility on a 63 acre island in Orono.

He is an accomplished author having eight of his books published, seventy papers and fifteen technical reports. Additional long articles on information theory and several short biographical article for the Encyclopedia Britannica have also been printed.

Among the professional societies in which Markowsky is active are The Association for Computing Machinery, the Mathematical Association of America, the American Mathematical Society and the New York Academy of Science, where he served on the advisory committee of the instrumentation section.

The presentation by Markowsky was made possible through the collaboration of five UMFK professors who began preparations for the visit a year ago. Lilia Kakaradova, assistant professor of computer applications; Raymond Albert, associate professor of computer science; Tony Gauvin, assistant professor of e-commerce; Allen Shoaff, assistant professor of public safety administration and Brad Ritz, associate professor of business and economics and chair of the natural and behavioral sciences division scheduled Markowsky's presentation to UMFK.

Also involved in the planning of Markowsky's visit to the UMFK campus was Robert Scott, vice president of academic affairs and dean of faculty, and Don Eno, academic outreach coordinator.

The presentation is free and open to the public. For more information contact Kakaradova at 834-7867.