Awards & Prizes

Wednesday, 17 September 2014 13:47

The Stan Czamanski Prize

The Stan Czamanski Prize

A dissertation proposal prize in memory of Professor Stan Czamanski, to be awarded biannually, is being established.

Details are currently being worked out. Professor Czamanski’s contributions to regional science are described in the following biographic memorial.

 

 

 

Stanislaw Czamanski Donaghy and SaltzmanStanislaw Czamanski
November 23, 1918 – August 21, 2012

 

Stanislaw Czamanski passed away in Haifa, Israel on August 21, 2012 at the age of 94. Born in Lodz, Poland, he studied textile engineering at the Federal Institute of Textile Technology and business administration at the College for Foreign Trade, both in Vienna. He also studied the history of philosophy at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and economics at the University of Geneva, from which he received his master’s (Lic.es Sc. Comm.) degree in 1941.
During World War II Stan served in the Polish Army but spent a considerable part of the war period working in construction management in Palestine. After the war, he held various positions as a planning official and consultant in Lodz. In the post-war period he was also a lecturer at the School of Planning and Statistics at Lodz. In 1958, Stan joined the ATA Textile Co., Ltd. in Haifa, Israel, as an economist and head of the firm’s planning department.
He came to the United States in 1961 to study for his doctoral degree at the University of Pennsylvania after receiving a Harrison Fellowship.
In 1963 Stan received only the third Ph.D. ever awarded in the nascent field of regional science. After completing his dissertation, which elaborated an urban growth model, he stayed on at the University of Pennsylvania for several years as an assistant professor. From 1964 to 1965, he was a consulting economist for the Baltimore Urban Renewal and Housing Agency. In 1966, Stan was a visiting lecturer in economics at the University of Pittsburgh and joined the faculty of the Department of City and Regional Planning (CRP) at Cornell at the rank of Associate Professor. Stan would remain at Cornell until his retirement in 1988, although he held visiting appointments at various times at the University of Puerto Rico, Harvard University, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Florida State University, and Tel-Aviv University.
In 1966, Stan organized a Regional Studies Group at the Institute of Public Affairs at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, which he directed for many years afterward. He would go on to participate in the formulation of numerous urban and regional development plans, serve as the Deputy Director of the United Nations Development Program in Asia, and advise governments in Brazil, Canada, and Iran.

Stan was a productive and innovative researcher publishing many articles and several books.
His text, Regional Science Techniques in Practice, is considered a classic, as is his volume on regional and interregional social accounting. Stan was a founding member of the European Regional Science Association (ERSA) and was the president of the Regional Science Association (now the Regional Science Association International, or RSAI) in 1975. His presidential address on the evolving epistemology of regional science was remarkable for the scope of topics it surveyed and the depth of insight it evinced.
Along with fellow CRP faculty members Barclay Jones and Sid Saltzman, Stan was instrumental in founding the graduate field of regional science at Cornell in 1972. He mastered and then augmented the entire tool box of the field as it stood in the 1970s and 1980s; hence he could and did offer graduate-level instruction on a broad range of subjects.
His courses were intellectual feasts. Although his style of presentation was formal and somewhat dry, the amount of theoretical material he covered and illustrated with empirical case studies was most impressive. Among the topics he treated were urban and regional economic growth theory, input-output and industrial complex analyses, social accounting, regional econometric modeling, demographic projection techniques, graph theory for network analysis, applications of factor analysis and discriminant analysis, and optimization techniques (linear, non-linear, static and dynamic).
Stan lectured regularly at universities on four continents and advised and mentored students from many countries. He took an active interest in the subjects his advisees were studying for their dissertation research and he often borrowed books and papers in order to familiarize himself with the scholarly conversations his advisees were joining.
Reflecting his life experiences, Stan was multilingual with working knowledge of his native Polish, English, Hebrew, Russian, French, German, (Brazilian) Portuguese, Japanese, and Arabic (learned in Palestine during WWII). It would not be uncommon for students waiting outside his office door to hear him conversing with different students in different languages and then on the phone with his wife in still another language.
Stan was a colorful person. His background in modern textile engineering was reflected in his sartorial choices of suits, ties, shirts, socks, and shoes - some with patterns that were redolent of a Kandinsky painting. Stan’s wife, Francezca, was colorful as well and possessed a keen sense of humor. A world-renowned expert on input-output analysis, Stan was once visited at his home by a junior colleague who was met at the door by Francezca. When asked whether or not Stan was home, Francezca replied that he was but that he was busy with his ‘puts.’
One of the last professional meetings Stan attended was the ERSA congress in Vienna in August of 1998. He greatly enjoyed revisiting the boarding house in which he had roomed as a student and recounted how the housekeeper there knew all the students’ course schedules and would rouse them, ply them with coffee and rolls, and get them off to their respective classes on time.
Stan contributed much to the intellectual and social life of the Department of City and Regional Planning and is remembered with much fondness. Stan was predeceased by his wife but is survived by his son, Daniel, who is a Professor on the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. In his memory the Stan Czamanski Prize for Outstanding Scholarship by a Young Scholar is awarded annually by the Israeli section of the Regional RSAI.
The Czamanski Prize for the best Ph.D. dissertation proposal in Regional Science is being established by the Regional Science Association International with a gift from Stan’s son Daniel.
Kieran Donaghy and Sid Saltzman, Cornell University

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The Regional Science Association International (RSAI), founded in 1954, is an international community of scholars interested in the regional impacts of national or global processes of economic and social change.

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