Kazimierz Urbanik, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at Wroclaw University, whose research, teaching and administrative work was decisive in creation of a major school in probability theory in Poland, died Sunday, May 29, 2005, of cancer. He was 75. Born in Krzemieniec in Eastern Poland, following the end of World War II he moved with his family to the western territory of Lower Silesia, where he lived for the next sixty years, almost all of it in the capital city of Wroclaw.
Urbanik, a two-term Rector of Wroclaw University and an Ordinary Member of the Polish Academy of Sciences, led the Institute of Mathematics in Wroclaw for several decades and was the founding editor of the international journal Probability and Mathematical Statistics. His over 180 published scientific papers developed several novel approaches to problems of the theory of stochastic processes, mathematical physics, and information theory. Today they are well known in the global mathematics research community. His favored tools were functional and analytic but he did not shrink from tackling difficult unsolved problems in universal algebra either.
As an educator Urbanik was the principal advisor of almost twenty doctoral students who continued work on his ideas at academic institutions of five continents. His fairness, generosity and devotion to them was legendary and they reciprocated in kind.
He is survived by his wife Stefania, son Witold, and daughter Jadwiga, all of them of Wroclaw, Poland.