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A Message from the

IAPR President

Karl Tombre

It is a great honor for me to have been elected as the president of the IAPR for the term 2006-2008. I have had the pleasure of serving the IAPR in different positions for more than 10 years now—as chair of TC10, as Secretary, and last term as First Vice-President in charge of the Technical Committees. These different experiences have convinced me that it is a challenging but enriching task to bring together good scientists and their competencies in a structured and efficient way. This is really what the IAPR is about, and we must continue to build on our successes and on making quality visible, as Walter Kropatsch, President during the previous term, expressed it. But, there are also several items on which there is certainly room for improvement, and this sets the context of my priorities for the IAPR in the next two years.


One of them is education. Whereas there is much expertise in the IAPR technical committees, we have still not been able to capitalize upon this expertise in terms of a consistent “knowledge base” of educational material. I want to give sharp focus to the work of the Education Committee under the leadership of Prof. Bob Fisher, and I have asked the committee to build up a strong network of connections with the member societies and the technical committees. The pathways to explore include putting together a reference curriculum for a graduate program in pattern recognition, bringing together educational material on the web in a structured way, and organizing the publication of a series of tutorials or textbooks in association with a publisher.


This brings me very naturally to our cooperation with publishers. In the last term, the Executive Committee initiated a number of contacts with publishers to go beyond the relationships we have had in the past, which were mainly based on associating the IAPR’s name with journals. We have just signed a renewed memorandum of understanding with Elsevier, and discussions are under way with a couple of other publishers. This is one of the tasks where the Publications and Publicity Committee under the chairmanship of Prof. Sargur Srihari will play an active role. This is in addition to its responsibility for continuing to improve our web services.


Another priority I have set for this term is to completely redefine the IAPR’s industrial affiliates program. My feeling is that there are a number of industrial partners who would be eager to build up lasting, strong, and bilaterally fruitful ties with our association, going past “one-shot” sponsorships of a conference or workshop. I have set as a challenge to the Industrial Liaison Committee under the chairmanship of Dr. Josep Lladós to work out a list of propositions for the industrial affiliate program, which will then be submitted to the Governing Board for approval as soon as possible.


The fact that I have singled out these priorities does in no way mean that our other activities are not important. At the IAPR website, you will find the list of technical committees and standing committees, which reflects the diversity of tasks and of scientific interests within our association. I thank all the chairs and members of these committees for the time and effort they dedicate to making the IAPR a living and thriving community. To cite a couple of other actions, the newly created Advisory Committee is currently working on a code of ethics to be proposed for our association, and the Membership Committee is already working on the first application from a new society wanting to become a member of the IAPR.


Let me also use this opportunity to thank Larry O’Gorman for having accepted to serve another term as our Newsletter editor. I think we can be very grateful for Larry’s quality work in making the IAPR Newsletter enjoyable and enriching to read.


I wish all the members of all our member societies a fruitful and rich time; the IAPR is also your association and you are welcome to contribute to the work of our technical committees, to participate in the conferences and events held under the auspices of the IAPR, and more generally to play an active role in the pattern recognition community at large.


At the dawn of a new year, let me also extend to all members of our member societies my warmest wishes for 2007. May it be a year of professional success and of personal happiness!