History

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering is the oldest department of this kind in the Czech Republic, one of the oldest in Europe and, indeed, the world.

What started in 1963 as just a department operation the Faculty of Electrical Engineering became formalised as the Cabinet for Computers at the Department of Automation and Measurement under the Directorship of Oldřich Koníček. As a result, the Department of Computer Science and Engineering was founded in September 1st 1964 in connection with the creation of a specialist study programme in Computers called Technical Cybernetics. This department was located in Jecna Street in Prague and accredited courses in Mathematics for Automation and Digital and Analogue Computers. In 1965 the Department was moved to CTU building on Karlovo square where it is still situated.

In Czechoslovakia during the 1960s there were a variety of different types of computer systems which were incompatible. For that reason the department worked on a basic programming system for the MINSK 22 computer, which was used for education. The design and implementation of the FELSYS system took several years to complete. This design contained: compilers capable of generating relative addresses and symbolic instructions; a system for input and output; compilers for programming languages ALGOL 60, FORTRAN and Assembler; conversion programs; and, many others. Some of the main components of FELSYS were implemented not only for the first time at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and not only for the first time in Czechoslovakia, but also a first in Eastern Europe.

In school year 1970/71 programming was introduced into the teaching programmes for all subjects at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering. Computers and Control Technique courses specialised in the programming language ALGOL 60 and FORTRAN. In 1973 the department had 47 employees including 19 teachers and 14 technicians and by 1974 the department was equipped with a Czechoslovak TESLA 200 mainframe computer.

An important turning point in departmental teaching took place in 1974/75 when the innovative study programme, Electronic Computers, was introduced that required the creation of lectures and seminars for 19 newly introduced courses. The first graduates from this programme finished studying in 1978. Before this year it was necessary to create lectures and seminars for 19 newly introduced courses.

By the end of 1982, the department employed 1 professor, 5 associated professors and 16 assistants. Up to 1989 some of pedagogical development milestones were the creation of specialisation on Computers in study programme Technical Cybernetics, an innovative Computing programme, and the introduction of programming into all study programmes run by the Faculty of Electrical Engineering. By 1989/90 the department had 72 employees (including 48 teachers) teaching 29 accredited courses.

Research in the department focused on: compilers for programming languages; artificial intelligence; computer graphics; computer networks; and, the automation of circuit design.  The design and implementation of compilers was historically the oldest research area in the department. In the four years from 1964 to 1968 for example, the department developed an operating system and compilers for FORTRAN and ALGOL for MINSK 22 computer. Later from 1972 to 1978 compilers were developed for ALGOL 60, PASCAL, LISP 1.5 and other system programmes for the TESLA 200 computer.

An integral element of the research programme at the department was the education of new researchers. The department was also the graduate school in the field of Technical Cybernetics. In school year 1981/82 there were 9 supervisors in different forms of postgraduate study and 30 PhD students in the programme. 

1989 proved to be a milestone in development of the department. Political changes in society were strongly reflected in the faculty and the department in liberalisation of study and in opening up to the professional world. The introduction of a new credit system of study was the end result of the dedicated, long term effort of the department to offer informatics and computer science across a wide range of specialisations for students of CTU.

By 2000 the department employed 64 including 45 teachers and became the biggest department within the Faculty of Electrical Engineering.

With great pride in the achievements of all our expert employees over five decades of national, European and global leadership, the current members of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering will be celebrating 50th birthday of the Department in 2014

 

The following faculty have been Department Chairs:

Name Year
Oldřich Koníček 1964 - 1981
Vlastimil Jáneš 1981 - 1990
Bořivoj Melichar 1990 - 1997
Josef Kolář 1997 - 2006
Pavel Tvrdík 2006 - 2008
Miroslav Šnorek 2008 - 2013
Filip Železný 2013 - 2016
Michal Pěchouček 2016 -