IS&T President’s Message

Please note: This is taken from the latest Annual Report of the Society.

The first year (of two) as the president of IS&T flew by for me. I am pleased to report that several of the plans put in place by former presidents, including Alan Hodgson and Geoff Wolff, continued apace in 2017-2018. IS&T continued its financial restructuring to streamline costs, improve the value delivered to its members, and expand the scope of its technological offerings while not abandoning its legacy. IS&T continues to provide worldwide scope on the most exciting areas of imaging, printing, color, archiving, and the diverse array of applications enabled by these technologies.

How relevant is IS&T? In my first year as president, I started a new career. After nearly a decade as director and fellow at HP Labs, I decided now was the time to start a new career (a mid-life concord, not crisis). Moving my focus from industrial R&D and products (scanner, digital camera, all-in-one, digital sender, security printing, sensors, cybersecurity, 3D printing, and others) to teaching (analytics, cybersecurity, I.P. creation, sensing and imaging) and primary research, almost everything about my career changed. One thing that did not? My close affiliation with IS&T. Why? Because IS&T really is the society that has it all. It is where industry and academia, prototyping and productizing, planning and pragmatism, mesh in harmony. While at HP Inc., I encouraged researchers in my teams to attend the IS&T conferences and publish in IS&T’s flagship journal, JIST (more on that below) for the in-depth and cutting-edge research. Perhaps more importantly, my teams could talk directly to the actual inventors and business creators themselves. This value has continued with my move to academia after a more than 20-year career in industry, and my first two PhD students have already attended IS&T conferences. I could rhapsodize further, but instead I’ll just quote one of my students: “I'm really excited about the place that my research will have in a community like this…I really appreciate the suggestion to attend and I'm excited to get more involved in this community”.

What I will say is that I am part of several ACM, IEEE, and other conference program and steering committees, and each of them adds significant value; however, I still feel IS&T provides the most comprehensive view of technology—in so many salient areas—of any professional organization and of any set of conferences. From additive manufacturing to autonomous vehicles to advanced 2D and 3D imaging to big data and color—IS&T really does give me a refresh every time I attend a conference or read JIST.

Let me talk about a few more specific items. IS&T continues to provide a strong, world-wide presence. The current IS&T Board comprises membership from four continents (Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America), and of course IS&T members hail from all six human-inhabited continents (sorry, penguins, no one from Antarctica). The international scope of IS&T is reflected in its conferences and authorship. In my first year as President, three of the four conferences (P4F, EI, and Archiving) were in North America, and the fourth (CIC) in Europe. But P4F was between European venues (Manchester and Dresden); Archiving was just back from Riga, Latvia; and CIC was en route to Vancouver, British Columbia. Stay tuned here, but expect to see an expanded international flair to the conferences in the near future as IS&T continues to address the needs and wishes of its very international membership. As one example, the well-managed and deeply technical Imaging Society of Japan continues to advance the mission of IS&T in East Asia.

Switching topics, I’d like to thank the IS&T Board, the conference chairs and leaders, the chapter directors, and all the participants in IS&T’s conferences for making them what is, in my opinion, the best investment in learning to time-spent ratio of any on the planet. The short courses; the industry demonstrations; the special events; and the presentations, keynotes, demonstrations, poster sessions, and breaking news events of the conferences provide a dizzying but digestible influx of learning for me, my direct reports, and now my students, each year.

Thanks to the hard-working editors, associate editors, and numerous reviewers. IS&T’s journals – JIST (Journal of Imaging Science and Technology); JPI (Journal of Perceptual Imaging); and JEI (Journal of Electronic Imaging, in cooperation with SPIE)—provide an eclectic and comprehensive sampling of to-the-moment research in the technologies of interest to our members. Because of the thorough peer-review process, and the strong community of engaged reviewers, these journals have continued to improve in impact and in saliency. Special thanks to Susan Farnard for stepping in to help put a sustainable plan for these publications together, and to Chunghui Kuo (CK), Karen Egiazarian, Bernice Rogowitz, and Thrasyvoulos Pappas for steering these important journals.

I’d also like to call out the IS&T staff, and in particular Marion Zoretich and Katrina Bird, for their great work on the conference proceedings, which are such an important part of IS&T’s publication repertoire. The EI full online access offering has been a huge success, with tens of thousands of downloads in its first full year of adoption. The JIST-first option for conference papers (in which a paper is submitted to the journal and if accepted, published in the journal, presented at the conference, and reprinted in the conference proceedings) has continued to increase in popularity.

What about the conferences? One way of reflecting their value is to highlight the keynotes from them. The first conference was the Color and Imaging Conference (CIC), held in Lillehammer, Norway, September 11-15, 2017. The CIE Technical Committee on “Consistent Colour Appearance” met as part of the conference agenda, and what could be more relevant as the color science field addresses fundamental changes in how color is represented with the increasing move to additive and custom manufacturing of 3D goods, and the increasing use of 3D imaging? The keynotes were on “Computational Photography and the Rise of Mobile Imaging” by Paul Hubel; “Twenty-five Years of Colour Constancy” by Anya Hurlbert, and “True Colours: Exploration in Art, Design, and Research” by Malcolm Innes. These highlight both the long-term science and the adaptation of this science to new on-ramps for color, including mobile devices. The eclectic and broad value of color science was exemplified by the workshops on medical applications, visual perception, and cultural heritage digitization. As our culture becomes ever more an on-line culture, color representation and most importantly the ability to recreate the color experience of real objects from their digital representation is paramount. CIC will continue to remain on the forefront of this societally important area.

The 2017 Printing for Fabrication (P4F) conference (known by many as the 33rd International Conference on Digital Printing Technologies, or even NIP) was held in my neighborhood in Denver, Colorado, USA, November 5-9, 2017. With a theme of “Materials, Applications, and Processes,” P4F featured keynotes on “Reactive Inkjet Printing in Nanoparticle Manufacturing and Device Applications” by Ghassan Jabbour, “From Gutenberg Bible to 4D Printing” by Shlomo Magdassi, “Attractive and Innovative Solutions for Highly Qualified 3D Printing Process Development in Next Generation” by Takashi Fukue, “From Prototyping to Production: Rethinking Materials for Additive Manufacturing” by Jason Rolland, and “Evolution Theory of Ink Jet Technologies—Progress by Component or Architectural Knowledge” by Masahiko Fujii. Once again, these talks emphasized the continuity and creativity of research in this space. IS&T researchers understand and build on previous research, but also lead the way into new application spaces that help improve our world.

The 2018 Electronic Imaging (IS&T International Symposium on Electronic Imaging, or “EI”) symposium followed from January 28-February 2 in Burlingame, California, USA. This sprawling symposium includes a conference on almost every relevant area of imaging, as exemplified by the three excellent keynotes on machine learning and deep neural networks for imaging and computer vision; fast, automated 3D modeling of buildings and other GPS denied environments; and a vision for achieving ubiquitous AR (augmented reality). Everything that can go 3D will go 3D, and in most cases already is going 3D, including manufacturing, computer vision, and machine-human interaction. EI 2018 was a great way to catch up on this changing environment.

The last major IT&T conference for the year was Archiving 2018, held April 17-20, 2018, at the National Archives in Washington, DC. The keynotes for this conference were on the Montreux Jazz Digital Project (Alain Dufaux), 30 Years of 3D (Alonzo Addison), Enhancing the value of the collection at the National Museum of African American History and Culture (Doretha Williams), and Sound Preservation (Sam Brylawski). Each of these speakers emphasized, through their materials and their concerns, how quickly our entire culture is moving on-line, and the incredibly important role archiving has on preserving both our society’s history and its future.

None of this society’s high value could be delivered without the time, talent, and tenacity of IS&T Executive Director Suzanne Grinnan and the IS&T staff. Without them, instead of an organization dedicated to, and successful at, your ongoing professional development, well, you wouldn’t be reading this. In addition to my great admiration for Suzanne, let me point out Jennifer O'Brien’s professionalism and breadth of talents; Marion Zoretich’s ability to bring out the best in our volunteer conference committees; Katrina Bird’s skills in making technical publications brilliantly represent the output of the authors; Ann McCarthy’s ability in performing highly detailed work; Roberta Morehouse’s eye of an aesthete, mind of a poet, and hand of a sculptor; and Donna Smith’s encyclopedic knowledge of IS&T legend, lore, and literature. I’ve left out other talents, but the point is well made: IS&T is fortunate indeed to have such talent on-board.

Finally, thanks to you, the members, who find so many ways of contributing—as volunteers, as advocates to your organizations and networks, and as organizers for our publications, conferences, short courses, trade shows, and other events. I encourage you to recruit friends and colleagues who will benefit from the breadth of IS&T’s services to give IS&T a try in the coming year! Thank you all!

Respectfully submitted,
Steven J. Simske
IS&T President