The secret life of Chief Scientific Officer Marek
Meet Marek Tatara. He’s been working in the DAC.digital team for two years, where he started as R&D Project Coordinator and now acts as Chief Scientific Officer. He holds a Ph.D. in Control Engineering and Robotics and a BSc in Nanotechnology. Marek works also as Assistant Professor at Gdańsk Tech and AI/ML expert at M5 Technology.
Apart from his scientific and technical interests in embedded systems, diagnostics, and system modeling, he plays the bass guitar and enjoys exploring new cuisines.
Marek can set up a demonstrator of an IoT system in only 48h during a hackathon.
What do you like about working at DAC.digital?
Many companies stick to their strategies and products, often forgetting about research and innovation. Here, apart from the constant development of our products, we are working with cutting-edge technologies through our partnerships and publicly funded projects. Combining these with a fantastic team, opportunities for self-development, and the feeling that you have a real influence on what you’ll be working on gives a perfect place to work.
What is more, whenever I have a technical question, there’s always someone who can help and advise me on what should be chosen in a given situation. This is encouraging and gives you the feeling that experts in their field surround you.
What does your average working day look like?
There’s barely anything that can be called an average day - each one is unique, and although some parts are similar, this cannot be called an ordinary 9-to-5 job. I admire switching contexts and going beyond the state-of-the-art. One of my responsibilities is to think out of the box in different contexts and shape a proposal appealing from the implementation and business perspectives. Another part of my work is to contact our project partners and coordinate activities carried out as a part of our R&D. There’s more. Still, eventually, when I get some spare time and do some actual good old-fashioned coding, it feels like I’m doing everything I wanted simultaneously.
What technology do you hope to be working with most?
It’s a tricky question - probably when you read this article, my view has changed, but let me get a snapshot of what I’m thinking right now.
One of the technologies I hope to put my hands on is 5G, but not a theoretical one or a setup closed in a laboratory - the one that’s purely practical and shows the real potential of the technology. Seeing how it chokes with the massive amount of data being continuously sent from the enormous number of small-footprint devices is something I’m looking forward to. On the other hand: 6G… promises here are exceptional, and “choking with data” might be barely achievable in this context, but it’s still more of a concept down the road, so let’s see what the future brings.
Marek is always eager to experiment with new technologies.
How do you predict technological advancement in 30 years?
That’s quite a perspective, and given that the first website was hosted 30 years ago and now we cannot imagine living without the Internet, it’s a bit of a challenge to make predictions, but here’s my try on that. I’ll start with diagnostics (since it was the main topic of my dissertation). I think that telemedicine will be developed to such a stage that the most indicative signals from our body will be constantly monitored, and we’ll get early warnings in case of some potentially dangerous symptoms. Secondly, since I’m still amazed that I can take a car and go to a shop to buy a beer (so I need my ID), having only the car keys and my phone in my pocket gives me a base for predicting that we wouldn’t need a phone or keys anymore. I don’t think it’ll be purely biometric, but there will probably be a somewhat fancy activated transceiver that’ll be able to fetch the data we need, as ubiquitous connectivity is inevitable. Finally, to give just three predictions in total, I think that augmented reality and virtuality will play an essential part in our everyday lives. It can create the feeling of the presence of other persons through advanced haptic enhancements and straightforward hi-resolution image embedding into our environment (see the Jedi Council meeting).
There’s more than that, but a joint effort by taking one step at a time is what will be the enabler of the real breakthrough. But, of course, the above contains only optimistic predictions, whereas the future might not be so promising.
That’s a vision! Does it mean you read a lot of books, sci-fi, for instance?
Actually, no, I don’t - I’m instead a guy who usually prefers a good movie over a book, but it doesn’t mean I don’t read at all. For example, if I choose between reading a renowned sci-fi book or reading a chapter from “modern control theory,” I prefer the latter. Why? I’m passionate about expanding my understanding of things that are on paper, and since someone thought of it already - it’s something that could be comprehended one way or another. Don’t get me wrong, some books with plots I enjoyed, but my idea of a good book might be pretty unusual.
Marek and his sense of humor are well known in DAC.digital and among his students at the Technical University of Gdańsk.
What kind of activities do you enjoy in your free time? Have you ever practiced any sport?
Apart from spending time with my family, I like to read about the latest tech and learn new things, both profoundly theoretical and strictly practical. In addition, I enjoy cooking and occasionally playing bass guitar. I used to train Aikido for six years (achieved 3rd kyu), Gymnastics for a few years (in prehistory, I was even able to somersault), and play in numerous bands (even did a tour around Poland once).
Is there anything you still want to learn?
Apart from differential geometry, my dream from early childhood is to learn how to play the drums, and I plan to try it eventually. Apart from occasional uncoordinated hitting the drums, I have never had any proper lessons. Being a part of the rhythmic section for about ten years only strengthened my becoming a drummer on my bucket list.
Let’s keep the last question classic - what are your top 3 movies?
To me, the definitive top of the top is The Godfather. The latter two are not mainly established in their positions. However, as a top 2, I would say Wall-E and the third one… The Truman Show. The fun fact is that I have a terrible memory for the movie plots, so even if I’m watching something good and I’m shocked by the plot twist, there’s an excellent possibility that next year, when rewatching it, I’ll be surprised just like the first time.
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