- A new initiative was established in the last years in higher education in Hungary. The Faculty of Information Technology an Bionics of the Pázmány Péter Catholic University (henceforth called the University), as a research university faculty, supported by research institutes of the Hungarian Academy and a few companies, has created a unique synergy among Information Technologies and Life Sciences. When we are witnessing the graduation of the first class of the five year MS/BS curriculum, and the Ph.D. degrees, in the second year, as well as the completion of the construction of our new building, our first words are of thanks and gratitude. * In a few days it will have been eight years since upon the proposal of Cardinal Péter Erdo, the Rector of the University Archbishop István Seregély, the Grand Chancellor of the University, on the 1st of July, 1998, founded the Faculty of Information Technology as the center of a new multidisciplinary research university education. We would like to thank the courage, faith and support of the founding fathers. We would like to express our appreciation to the professors who joined us in the beginning - for their zeal, unselfish work, and daring vision. We would like to show our gratitude to the supporting institutions and their leaders for their foresight, and generous assistance. We also would like to express our thanks to our other fellow professors who joined us later, for their enthusiasm and hard work. In the same way we are thankful to our students for their confidence, talents and loyalty. We are grateful for the help of foreign universities and generous individuals. We are overwhelmed by the experience of Providence, as well.
- The historical beginnings go back very far. Cardinal Péter Pázmány founded the first Hungarian university which is still functioning in 1635, in Nagyszombat. He was certain that the safeguard of our national identity and recovery is faith and erudition. How edifying to see that the same question is treated, 370 years later, in the encyclical Fides and Ratio. Now when Hungary is trying to make up for the forty years lost in terms of participating in the intellectual infrastructure of the European culture, somehow we can hope that this Faculty can contribute to the renewal of this nation in the field of science and technology forming talented, clever, hard working, young men and women with Christian values and morals. Contributing in this way also to the competitiveness of Europe in general. Till 1950 Pázmány University was the citadel of Hungarian higher education, then the communist regime divided it into three parts (Semmelweis Medical University, Eötvös Lóránd University, and the Faculty of Theology that kept the name of Pázmány. After 40 years, in 1990 this one-faculty university expanded and as Pázmány Péter Catholic University - first with the Faculty of Letters and Humanities then with the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences. After the foundation of our Faculty in 1998, at least a dozen of colleagues worked on the five year curriculum and the preparation of the accreditation process. Amending the inter-university Neuromorphic Information Technology doctoral course, started in 1993, we launched our postgraduate program in 2000. The undergraduate program started in 2001. The accredited Multidisciplinary Doctoral School of the Faculty commenced at the same time.
- The objective of the Faculty of Information Technology and Bionics is to provide multidisciplinary education in human-centered information technology, taking the rapidly changing advanced technologies into consideration. Furthermore, we aim at forming our students into becoming creative experts capable of handling various problems in all areas of modern life and scientific research with the help of their deep and comprehensive academic knowledge, classic education and modern, ethical managerial skills. The Faculty today forms electronic and computer engineers, engineers of modern information technology, and in a short time we will launch a new program in Hungary, called molecular bionics (together with Semmelweis Medical University), we have just accredited. Today, the complexity of electronics, the incredible development of chips, went far beyond those computer variations which were invented by engineers during the last 60 years. These new, very complex systems could allow us to communicate with computers in a manner which is much closer to the living organisms and in particular to the human way of thinking and communicating.
- In the human organism there are three systems we deal with in our curriculum. We teach the neurvous system in the first place, but give courses on the Immune system and Genetics as well. We teach these subjects as an introductory minor of the electronic and computer engineering major, and soon, an a more extended way via molecular biology in the molecular bionics major. We would like to research and understand the information technology of living organisms in the age of billion transistor chips, in order to get inspirations from the natural world and be able to create interactive symbioses with the living organism. Prostheses, implanted drug delivery devices, and several innovative products and services. They are already emerging in the market and in research laboratories, we hope that for the benefit of mankind.
- The sensory revolution, the growth in chip complexity, info-bionics, the sensing computers, nanotechnology, the new possibilities of communication technology (internet and mobile phone platforms) are all important fields we are working on. We add to these the fields of human language technology and up-to-date software technology. These are the areas where we would like to make innovative efforts in the international arena. We would like to educate successful engineers, researchers, responsible managers and leaders. We want to participate in the process of innovation via establishing spin-off companies as well. For a young person, to understand what it really means to be human, it is necessary to develop some kind of cultural and moral integrity. This is the only way one can develop a genuine personality with profound knowledge who is responsible for his or her family, country and fellow human beings. Reflecting on the challenges of our modern age we are relying on the results of the international scientific community, on values of the European culture that formed modern science and on the Christian message and on the anthropology of the Bible. We would like to foster a lifestyle which is able to synthesize intensive study, scientific research, innovation and community life. We anticipated that this Faculty is not only exploring new ways in the Hungarian and international higher education but will also be able to predict and solve future demands. We offer also the spirit of Fides et Ratio. We believe that in the beginning of the 21st century to be able to give a full scientific reflection on being human, besides philosophy, theology, humanities, social and legal studies, it is vital to deal with the foundations of life sciences and information technologies. We invite our future students, PhD students, and partners in innovation to join us on this path of new intellectual endeavours.
Prof. Dr. Tamás Roska † 2014