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Katarzyna Chalasinska-Macukow

Professor of Physics
Rector of the University of Warsaw
President of the Conference of Rectors of Academic Schools in Poland
Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw, Poland
Country of origin: Poland

What I do.
Almost from the beginning of my career I've worked at the Faculty of Physics of the University of Warsaw. In my scientific research, I focus on information optics, holography, and pattern recognition and classification. Ten years ago I was elected as dean of the Faculty of Physics at my university. In 2005 I became a rector of the University of Warsaw. It was the first time in the history of the university that a woman was elected for this position.

What I find exciting.
The most exciting experience for me is to be in contact with young people. I appreciate their enthusiasm, energy, and will to change common practices. It is very interesting and also motivating to see their perception of science. We can learn a lot from our younger colleagues and scientists.

What I wish someone had told me.
In the 1980s, during my stay in Québec, I used to go to baseball games. When one of the players would run to catch the ball, all the fans would shout: "Vas-y, tu es capable!" (Run, you can make it!) I think it is very important to hear that at the beginning of your journey. Tutors should say to their students: you can and you will make it! That is what I always say to my students and younger colleagues.

[Katarzyna Chalasinska-Macukow receives congratulations from SPIE Director, Anthony DeMaria.]