A good spirit for all seasons June 7, 2021

Commemoration of Professor Tamás Roska and Professor József Hámori

We cite below Professor Tamás Roska's article in full about his friendship with Professor József Hámori.

A good spirit for all seasons - A few highlights with my friend Jóska Hámori

First, I met Professor József Hámori via reading his book "Does not know the right hand what the left is doing". It gave me a lasting impression about the lateral asymmetry of the human brain. It was written in a vivid style, I read it like a bed-time story, like an exciting novel. For me, that was a breathtaking "example" about the wonderful interaction between two different types of information processing, as I translated to myself: between array type analog nonlinear dynamics and sequential logic. Maybe its essence is different for neuroscientists, never mind, that was the essence for me. It motivated my way of thinking about a new kind of computer principle, later I called dual computing, cellular wave computing.

Next, I met him personally on our journey together to Finland, and my personal impression was more than interesting. Jóska's wit and kindness impressed me and we started to work together for many years. Luckily, this intellectual friendship and collaboration, combining neuroscience and cellular wave computing, have been inherited to our doctoral students later in an interdisciplinary doctoral program. Today, we might call this combination as convergence or quantitative neuroscience or computational neuroscience or biomimetic computer architectures.

Soon, we have started to teach each other. Clearly, it was a great opportunity for me to learn the essentials of neuroscience, studying the Kandel-Schwarz book, with the lucid comments of a world class neuroscientist with brilliant explanations and associations. In addition, it gave me a self confidence not to be lost in the many branching and dead ends in this enormous field. It was also not easy to start an interdisciplinary doctoral program accreditation we have jointly proposed. Without the reputation and perseverance of Jóska we might not have succeeded. Our students' enthusiasm helped a lot, as well.

Later, I have had the privilege to meet Jóska's famous neuroscientist friends. It was a great experience for me to learn the joyful discussions about brain research and their mutual humor rooted in their joint works of earlier years.

Our collaboration developed into another "adventure" when a few of us organized a new Faculty, the youngest one at the oldest University in Hungary. The Faculty of Information Technology at the Pázmány University had some original features: the strong emphasis on physical background and a systematic inclusion of neuroscience.

Now, when we have added the Molecular Bionics curriculum to the Electronic and Computer Engineering, this interdisciplinary link developed into a broader disciplinary pillar among the other three fields (molecular biology, electromagnetism, and computing). This new Faculty, in spite of its disciplinary strengths and institutional novelty (the only department system in Hungary), was a fragile institution during the first few years. Jóska's continuous loyalty and activity helped a lot to transform this new endeavor into an established institution.

I think, my only good idea to Jóska was to encourage him to start a new course on the History of Neuroscience. As far as I know, his unique breath and depth in neuroscience and the many personal relations with key players worldwide leads not only to a great course, however, hopefully soon to a magnificent new book.

I am glad to join to the many friends of Jóska in wishing him many more years in good spirit and the blessings of a loving family and friends.
Tamás Roska
(Budapest)

 

Source: Acta Biologica Hungarica 63 (Suppl. 1), pp. 3–4 (2012)

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