Professor Richard S. Michalski passed away on September 20, 2007. Once we learned about his untimely death we immediately realized that we would no longer have with us a truly exceptional scholar and researcher who for several decades had been inf- encing the work of numerous scientists all over the world - not only in his area of expertise, notably machine learning, but also in the broadly understood areas of data analysis, data mining, knowledge discovery and many others. In fact, his influence was even much broader due to his creative vision, integrity, scientific excellence and exceptionally wide intellectual horizons which extended to history, political science and arts. Professor Michalski's death was a particularly deep loss to the whole Polish sci- tific community and the Polish Academy of Sciences in particular. After graduation, he began his research career at the Institute of Automatic Control, Polish Academy of Science in Warsaw. In 1970 he left his native country and hold various prestigious positions at top US universities. His research gained impetus and he soon established himself as a world authority in his areas of interest - notably, he was widely cons- ered a father of machine learning.