ICDAR'2003 Award

The ICDAR'2003 Award for Outstanding Contributions was presented to Dr. Henry Baird during the banquet of the ICDAR'2003 conference in Edinburgh. Here is the approximate log of the event, written by Prof. Lambert Schomaker (The TC11 chair).


[Banquet of the ICDAR'2003 conference, Tuesday 5th of August, 2003]

Ladies and gentlemen, the ICDAR award committee has decided to grant the ICDAR'2003 Award for Outstanding Contributions to a renowned researcher from our midst.

This candidate played a central role in the 1990's renaissance of basic research in document-image analysis.

He was the principal organizer of the first pivotal workshop on Statistical and Structural Pattern Recognition in 1990, the success of which triggered the founding of the IAPR/ICDAR series.

He has served as the second vice president of the International Association for Pattern Recognition, IAPR.

He is a founding member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal on Document Analysis and Recognition.

His Princeton PhD thesis won an ACM Award in 1984. He has written and co-edited numerous books, chapters, and journal special issues.

He has been Associate Editor for both the Pattern Recognition journal and IEEE PAMI. Together with Larry Spitz, he initiated the DAS workshop series.

I could go on much longer, his technical and methodological contributions to OCR research are countless.

By now, many of you may already know that I am speaking of

Dr Henry Baird, Principal Scientist at the Palo Alto Research Center, PARC.

[Henry rises, Applause & Photos & Handshaking]

Dear Henry,

the TC-10 and 11 chairs are aware we are dealing with a person who has Scottish roots. So Josep and I went to the Royal Mile, downtown Edinburgh, to collect some typical Scottish items. We saw a lot of weaponry, big swords and the like, and wondered how you would pass Security on the airports with those. [laughter]
Fortunately, we have found a few items which might be more appropriate.

The first one is this Scottish flag, which we would like you to display at a prominent place in you U.S. front garden. [Henry waves with flag]

Your name, Baird, concerns one of the clans, such that a quilt pattern exists. Rather than buying you a skirt, we deemed it more appropriate to give you this tie.

The label of this tie contains interesting information on your ancestry. The Bairds were known as Sherifs of Aberdeen and have done interesting things in India. I will not go into the details, it may be embarassing.

[Henry puts on the tie]

Finally, I would like to mention what the word "Baird" actually means. It is Gaelic "Bard", for "he who makes the music". [Lambert hands over the harp with Celtic engravings, laughter+applause].

[Henry sings and plays on harp, laughter]

And of course we would like to show the musician a sign of gratitude [Envelope]