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The ExCo met on June 5-6, 2005, in Estoril, Portugal, before the 2nd Iberian Conference on Pattern Recognition and Image Analysis. Many topics were on the agenda, and a brief overview of the issues that were discussed is given in this column.
The question of membership lists, which had been raised at the last GB meeting in Cambridge, was discussed. It is important to point out that the membership lists are used by the IAPR Secretariat to estimate the annual dues that member societies must pay to the IAPR. The number of votes of a member society on the GB also depends on the number of members on the lists. As reported later in this column, membership lists will become even more important, since it is planned to provide more e-services to IAPR members in the future, and the access to the IAPR web site will need to be controlled in some way through membership lists. Although a final solution was not found during the ExCo meeting, a few potential solutions were proposed and will be refined in the coming months.
The Treasurer, Maria Petrou, informed the ExCo that the financial status of the IAPR is even better than what was reported at the last GB meeting in Cambridge. The issues related to transfer of bank accounts and tax reports have been resolved. This should facilitate the management of IAPR’s finances in the future since most operations will be done electronically.
TC Chairs and Standing Committee Chairs were asked to submit an intermediate report to the ExCo with respect to the activities that have taken place since the last GB meeting and the plans for the next year. A majority of TCs have been active and many are planning to maintain this level of activity in the year to come. It is relevant to note that many TCs have started or plan to start offering more web-based services to their members. In addition, many TCs also plan to add educational material to their respective websites. Since a significant amount of educational material that is relevant to the TCs can be of interest to the IAPR community at large, the First Vice-President, Karl Tombre, has contacted TC chairs and has advised them to coordinate the publication of this material with the Chair of the Education Committee, A. Antonocopoulos, and the Chair of the Publications and Publicity (P&P) Committee, S. Srihari (see related article in this issue).
In this context, the Chair of the P&P Committee has contacted providers of professional web services in order to estimate the cost of offering more services to IAPR members through the IAPR website. The IAPR community will be informed of the developments on this topic in the coming issues of the Newsletter. Speaking of web services, the P&P Committee has reported that the transition from paper format to e-format of the newsletter was smooth, with only minor problems encountered during the transition phase. During his tenure, the Editor of the Newsletter, Larry O’Gorman, has expanded the Newsletter by including a regular book review section, a column called “Inside the IAPR”, feature articles on pattern recognition, TC articles, etc. Larry counts on the participation of IAPR members to contribute actively to the Newsletter by submitting articles, short reports, and any information that is of interest for IAPR members (see Feature Article in this issue).
The President, Walter Kropatsch, has been discussing the renewal of the agreement with Elsevier, and the discussion will continue through e-mail in the coming weeks. The agreement, in addition to maintaining current services that are of interest to the IAPR community, will take into account the objective of offering more web-based services to IAPR members.
The K.S. Fu Committee has prepared the nomination and endorsement forms for the 2006 Prize. The forms are available on the IAPR website www.iapr.org/awards/kingsunfu.php). Please note that the completed forms must be received by the Chair of the K.S. Fu Committee, Prof. J.K. Aggarwal, no later than January 15, 2006.
The Conferences and Meetings (C&M) Committee reports that a significant number of applications have been submitted to the Chair of the Committee, Larry Spitz, since the last GB meeting in Cambridge. In addition to reviewing the applications, the C&M Committee, along with the IAPR Task Force on ICPR, has continued monitoring the progress that has been made in the preparation of ICPR 2006 in Hong Kong. With respect to ICPR 2006, the ExCo recommends that the number of travel stipends be increased and that the value of the stipends be increased from $500 US to $700 US. The ExCo also recommends that a prize for best paper be awarded for each track of ICPR 2006. Finally, The new sponsorship categories for conferences and meetings, which were approved by a GB ballot, were briefly discussed at the meeting in Estoril, and the C&M Committee was informed that the new categories should be enforced. The web page will be updated to reflect these changes.
Speaking of ICPR, the General Chair of ICPR 2008, Rangachar Kasturi, presented a progress report on the organization of the conference. Overall, the organization of the conference is going very well, and agreements have been signed with the Convention Center and several hotels. Future actions will concentrate on planning pre/post-conference activities, entertainment, network connectivity, sponsorship/exhibits and other budgetary issues such as cost of poster boards, catering, etc.
With respect to the activities of the Fellow Committee, the nomination forms for IAPR Fellows to be nominated in 2006 have been posted on the web site (www.iapr.org/fellows/cfn.php). Nominations must be received in hardcopy form before the deadline of February 1, 2006 by the Chairperson of the Fellow Committee, Dr. Gabriella Sanniti di Baja.
The President, Walter Kropatsch, has recommended that the GB be asked to approve the creation of a permanent Advisory Committee to be composed of senior IAPR members who demonstrate interest in being involved in IAPR matters. The guidelines for nominating committee members will be prepared and submitted to the GB for discussion.
Let me end this column on a very positive note. A few weeks before the Estoril meeting, the President, Walter Kropatsch, was approached by Professor Anil Jain to set up a new prize acknowledging the work of young scientists. The ExCo considered this proposal and agreed to explore this idea further. Professor Jain informed the ExCo that the students, friends and family of Professor J.K. Aggarwal, in recognition of his long standing contributions to our profession as well as to IAPR, propose to set up this new IAPR prize to recognize outstanding young researchers (under the age of 40) in the IAPR community. It was recommended that the prize be called the "J.K. Aggarwal Prize" and that the first prize be awarded at the next ICPR in Hong Kong in 2006. The group of donators is willing to commit $50,000 US to set up the prize. The ExCo, after discussing the opportunity of creating the new prize, has agreed to submit the proposal to the GB and a GB ballot has been initiated on this topic. The result of the vote will be known by October 15, 2005.