The groundwork of the book is memories of the author about his way in science. He has dedicated more than a half of century to development and extension in practice of a cybernetic engineering, namely: cipher control machines and devices, which are necessary for contemporary scientific and technical progress.
The memories are supplemented by sketches about the persons who with the author have developed and extended in practice the cybernetic engineering. The main events described in the memories and sketches take place in the Institute of Electronics and the Computing Center of Academy of Sciences of Ukrainian Soviet Socialistic Republic (Computing Center AS UkSSR), in the Victor Glushkov Institute of Cybernetics of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, which was found in 1962 on the base of the Computing Center AS UkSSR.
It has been shown the state of science in the National Academy of Sciences in the years of formation of independent Ukraine, and the prominent role of President of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine Boris Paton in maintaining and development of scientific potential of the Academy. It is of undoubted interest the author's impressions about meetings and professional intercommunications with prominent persons - the initiators of domestic mathematical engineering Sergey Lebedev; the initiator of informative technologies in Ukraine and in the former USSR, the founder of the Institute of Cybernetics of Academy of Sciences of UkSSR (now the Victor Glushkov Institute of Cybernetics of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine), and the first director of this Institute Victor Glushkov; the heaven-sent surgeon, scientist, public figure, and writer Nikolay Amosov; the President of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, the unique person, prominent scientist and organizer of science Boris Paton; at last with a number of eminent scientists - companions-in-arm in the field of construction and extension in practice of the cybernetic engineering.
The large number of photographic illustrations provide the described events by clearness and make better perception of the text.
The book is untended to the scientific and engineer community, students of technical specialties, the readers, which are interested by the past and present state of science and engineering in Ukraine.
The cybernetic engineering and its constructors (creators) are the main characters of this book. This is not a chance. Formation and development of computing engineering in Ukraine have proceeded at my participation over the period more a half of century beginning with 1950. This work has been conducted in the first place in the Academy of Sciences of UkSSR - a beginning in the Institute of Electrical Engineering, than in the Institute of Mathematics, further in Computing Center AS UkSSR, and since 1962 - in the Victor Glushkov Institute of Cybernetics of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.
The founder of this institute Viktor Glushkov directed by this institute over twenty years (1962-1982)1.
In further years, the Academician Vladimir Mikhalevich (1982-1994) directed by this institute. In the present time, the Academician Ivan Sergienko has directed by this institute and guided by the Cybernetic Center of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. The Center has incorporated the Victor Glushkov Institute of Cybernetics.
Over these years, I had a happy to intercommunicate with many colleagues in the institute, including with collaborators of the Department of Cybernetic Engineering, which was guided by me more 20 years.
The Victor Glushkov Institute of Cybernetics has been before and still is now a unique scientific organization. It should note the evaluation of activity of the Institute of Cybernetics, which was done by the delegation of prominent American scientists visited the Academy of Sciences of UkSSR. After the tale of Viktor Glushkov about the studies conducting in the institute, one of participants of the meeting the Dean of the Faculty of Informatics of the Berkley University Professor L. Zade has said: Viktor ! Your institute is known widely in Soviet Union and in us, in America. The institute, indeed, is unique by its multilateral activity and profound character of the studies; and he has fooled - "you know that all the problems are studied in the institute. It might be the only acupuncture is not worked out!"
"It should search for it in secluded corners, it might be this is in them" - momentary responded Viktor Glushkov. And to the point, he was true !
A number of authors wrote about the scientific school of Victor Glushkov2 . Its prominent achievements became a groundwork for formation of scientific schools of his disciples and followers, who realized many ideas that were spoke out by Victor Glushkov about further development of diverse directions of cybernetics.
The proposed for a reader book gives an account in brief the results of studies in such a direction, which has obtained the name cybernetic engineering. In the book, it has been shown the whole layer of many year scientific activity of the large personnel of workers of technical departments of Computing Center AS UkSSR, and the Victor Glushkov Institute of Cybernetics of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.
Why this book was not written before ?
At beginning, ten years ago, I prepared the books about the scientists - pioneers of computing engineering and informative technologies, which were timed to the anniversary data: ninety years from the birthday of the initiator of domestic computing engineering Sergey Lebedev who created (constructed) in the Institute of Electrical Engineering of AS UkSSR the first in the continental Europe computer "MESM" (Malaya Elektronaya Schetnaya Mashina or Small Electronic Calculating Machine); and seventy years from the birthday of Victor Glushkov - the initiator of informative technologies in Ukraine and former USSR, founder and the first director of the Institute of Cybernetics of AS UkSSR (now the Victor Glushkov Institute of Cybernetics of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine). Further, I wrote the books about contribution of Ukraine in development of computing engineering in applied (formerly secret) scientific-designing organizations. I very wanted to tell about all these things because otherwise many important events and facts would sink into oblivion. I have done this in time, and supposedly with benefit. It should say that history of computing science and engineering including cybernetic engineering in Ukraine was over long time in the situation of pariah. Too little was known about it, and nearly nothing was published until 1990-ies due to a secret character of many works. Therefore, it had to begin nearly on "an empty place" and "to bridge the gaps" in the history of this important direction of science and engineering.
At present, it should remember about myself, chiefly about the big and harmonious personnel of talented and laborious people, which worked in technical departments of Computing Center AS UkSSR and in the Department of Cybernetic Engineering of the Victor Glushkov Institute of Cybernetics of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Nearly nothing was said about these people in my books and books of other authors.
It is very difficult to speak about myself and my numerous collaborators who have worked over many years with me. It needs maximal objectivity, exact knowledge of what has been done. Despite a passionate desire to do it correctly, the subjectivity in presentation of achievements and events, which took place in the Department, would hardly be avoided. Nevertheless, I will try to minimize such defects in the presentations.
"The man's reminiscences are the main treasure for him. And the more they were connected with some turning-point periods, which required great tension of main body and nerves, or they were connected with the tragically events, the dearest these reminiscences for him." These words were said by the Great Russian writer Fedor M. Dostoyevsky. He arrived at this notion to the end his life3.
The fortune as if wanted to convince me in truth of the words of the great writer. In 1939, having education only during two months in the Leningrad Mining Institute, I was called to military service. After two years, when I waited demobilization, and returning to the institute seemed to be in near future, the Great Patriotic War began, which left in my body traces of wounds and permanent pain in my soul about victims of the war. The young men - soldiers, sergeants, and lieutenants fought in the first lines. Just they were on forward positions and sustained heavy losses. My elder brother, a tank-man occurred among those who left to be laying in thousands of common graves on fields of battles: The orders of Patriotic War of I and II grades, which have been handed over to my parents together the letter reporting about his perish, several photographs, and his letters from the battle-front are kept in my family as dear relics:
The war years will be in my memory forever.
After the war, a new life began with significant difficulties. Being demobilized in 1945, I supposed that I unable to educate in an institute, and of course I did not dream about scientific activity.
However, youth occurred to be potent. I succeeded to complete the Institute with a honorees diploma. After that, I have been working over more a half a century in the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.
I suppose that the words by Fedor Dostoyevsky are true for all people, including those who are presented in this book. It is not a chance that they shared me with good will by their memories, archives materials, and photographs. I thank them for this help.
The book consists of three parts. In the first one, which is called "The way of a half century long", it is said about activity of the author and studies conducted in the technical departments of Computing Center AS UkSSR and in the Department of Computing Engineering of the Victor Glushkov Institute of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. This part was prepared on the base my memories and documents from my private archives. In this part, the names of Sergey Lebedev and Victor Glushkov are mentioned often because the described events were connected closely with their activity. In the second part, which supplements the first one, and is called "Companions-in-arms - veterans of cybernetic engineering", it exposed sketches about initiators of cybernetic engineering and cybernetic systems. The most of them are young contemporaries of Sergey Lebedev and Victor Glushkov and other pioneers of cipher computing engineering; they have participated actively in realization of ideas of the pioneers. Eventually, the young specialists and postgraduates have become venerable scientists, which succeeded suitably confirm and multiply success of their teachers.
The new generation of scientists has became initiators of further means of cybernetic engineering and the first cybernetic systems. The current sketches have been prepared with participation of them.
Unfortunately, I cannot collect materials about all of those who should be described in the book. The sketches under the present publication of course have same flaws. It should have hope that the readers will be lenient to me.
The third part of the book is called "From an eye-witness" is dedicated by events in National Academy of Ukraine and in Ukraine as a whole in the first decade of its independence, and about the role of Boris Paton in maintaining of the Academy.