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Henry S. Baird



Ph.D., Princeton University, 1984,
           Electrical Engineering & Computer Science,
           Model-based Image Matching using Location
           Supervisor:  Prof. Kenneth Steiglitz
              Won an ACM Distinguished Dissertation Award;
              published in book form by the MIT Press.

M.S., Rutgers University, 1976,
          Computer Science
          Design of a Family of Algorithms
            for LSI Mask Artwork Analysis
 Supervisor:  Prof. William Easton
            Contains the earliest description of the sweep-line
            algorithm, which is a fundamental technique in
            computational geometry and an essential
            engineering component of the computer-aided
            analysis of VLSI layout geometry.

B.A., Harvard College, 1966,
         Mathematics (cum laude, General Studies).

Employment History

Dr. Baird joined Lehigh University in January 2004 as a Full Professor in the Computer Science & Engineering Department. He is co-Director (w/ Prof. Daniel Lopresti) of the Lehigh Pattern Recognition Research laboratory.  Dr. Baird was tenured June 6, 2005.

Dr. Baird joined the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) in 1998 as Principal Scientist and member of the Document Image Decoding (DID) area alongside colleagues Gary Kopec, Dan Bloomberg, Les Niles, Kris Popat, and Jeanette Figueroa. In February 1999 he was promoted to Manager of the DID area (later renamed the SPIA area). PARC became a wholly owned subsidiary of Xerox in January 2002.

He joined AT&T Bell Laboratories (BL) in 1984 as Member of Technical Staff. He was in the Computing Science Research Center
at Murray Hill, NJ for twelve years, under department heads Doug McIlroy, Peter Weinberger, Dennis Ritchie, and Margaret Wright. For two years (1996-1998), he headed a multidisciplinary BL research department focused in large part on algorithms and systems for the analysis, recognition, and retrieval of multimedia documents---voice mail, FAX, E-mail, and handwritten messages---using pattern recognition, information retrieval, and image analysis methods.

He was a Member, Technical Staff at RCA Laboratories, Princeton, New Jersey for the decade 1973-84, carrying out R&D in industrial robot vision, real-time factory information systems, design verification of VLSI circuits, and CAD data bases.

He served a software-engineering apprenticeship under David Waks at Applied Data Research, Princeton, NJ during 1970-1973, designing and writing software for minicomputer real-time telephone traffic monitoring systems.

He has collaborated in published research with BL colleagues Oscar Agazzi, Steve Fortune, Tin Kam Ho, John Hobby, Jianying Hu, David Ittner, Larry Jackel, Yann LeCun, Colin Mallows, Craig Nohl, Theo Pavlidis, and Ken Thompson, among others. At PARC he collaborated with Francine Chen, Tom Breuel, Kris Popat, Prateek Sarkar, and Bill Janssen, among others. At Sarnoff labs he collaborated with Allen Korenjak, Larry Rosenberg, Eric Cho, and others. His frequent collaborations with researchers outside BL, PARC, and Sarnoff are evident in his publications list.

Products and Service

  • With Prateek Sarkar, Dr. Baird developed `triage' quality control tools for legacy-conversion service bureaus which saved Xerox $150k on a single contract.
Cf. "Triage of OCR Results using 'Confidence' Scores,'' (with P. Sarkar & J. Henderson) Proc., IS&T/SPIE Document Recognition & Retrieval IX Conf. (SPIE Vol. 4670), San Jose, CA, pp. 216-222, 21-22 January, 2002. [PDF]
  • Lucent offered a product based on his research that was able to read machine-printed documents in a wide variety of predefined tabular-data layout styles. In tables, textual data are presented in record lines made up of fixed-width fields. Tables don't use line-art (ruled lines) to delimit fields, and in this way differ from fixed forms.

    The Lucent Table Reader System was able to: cope with multiple tables per page; identify records within tables; segment records into fields; and recognize characters within fields, constrained by field-specific contextual knowledge. Obstacles to good performance on tables include small print, tight line-spacing, poor-quality text (such as photocopies), and line-art or background patterns that touch the text. Precise skew-correction and pitch-estimation, and high-performance OCR using neural nets proved crucial in overcoming these obstacles.

    The most significant technical advances were algorithms for identifying and segmenting records with known layout, and integration of these algorithms with a graphical user interface (GUI) for defining new layouts. This GUI has been ergonomically designed to make efficient and intuitive use of exemplary images, so that the skill and manual effort required to retarget the system to new table layouts are held to a minimum.

    The system was applied in this way to more than 400 distinct tabular layouts. Over a period of three years the system read over fifty million records with high accuracy.

    Cf. "A Retargetable Table Reader,'' (with J. Shamilian & T. Wood) Proc., IAPR 1997 Int'l Conf. on Document Analysis and Recognition, Ulm, Germany, August 18-20, 1997.

  • He invented fast algorithms for VLSI design-rule verification, which saved the RCA Solid State Division several million dollars in computing, redesign, and refabrication costs.  My algorithms were widely adopted in the VLSI CAD community.

Cf. "Fast Algorithms for LSI Artwork Analysis,'' in 25 Years of Electronic Design Automation -- A Compendium of Papers from the Design Automation Conf., ACM, June 1988. (Reprinted by invitation from Journal of Design Automation & Fault-tolerant Computing, Computer Science Press, pp. 179-209, April 1978.)

  • He helped develop factory data analysis software, used heavily in production in a RCA Color TV factory.

Cf. ``Quick Analysis of TV Factory Tests and Repairs -- the DARTS system,'' (with T.M. Stiller) RCA Engineer, 25-4, pp. 7-10, December 1979 / Jan 1980.


Dr. Baird is a faculty member of the Steering Committee for SPECTRUM, the LGBTQetc student-led group at Lehigh University.

He has mentored eight minority and women students in the AT&T/Lucent Summer Research Program (SRP), AT&T/Lucent Graduate Research Program for Women (GRPW), the PARC summer intern program, and in graduate programs at Lehigh University.

By all accounts he was the first openly gay person promoted to department head in the history of Bell Labs (BL).

In 1989-1990, he served on the BL 'Area 11 AA committee,' a group of researchers reporting directly to the Vice President of Research, Nobel laureate Arno Penzias, on issues relating to affirmative action, equal employment opportunity, and diversity. He drafted that committee's memo "Voices of an Emerging Minority'' (June 21, 1989) reporting the aspiration of lesbian and gay employees to form an officially recognized 'employee resource group' (ERG). In response to this, Penzias met with openly gay employees in Research---in an unprecedented gesture of support---and advised them how to proceed. Shortly afterwards, the first (North Jersey) chapter was founded of LEAGUE (Lesbian, Bisexual, and Gay United Employees), a company-wide wide ERG that has since expanded to two dozen chapters and over one thousand members (continuing in Lucent under the name 'EQUAL!').

Dr. Baird and four BL employees were the first to make personal presentations in favor of `domestic partnership' benefits to the President of Bell Laboratories, in 1993.

He founded and administered LEAGUE's company-wide E-mail services, 1988-1996, in recognition for which he was presented with the 1996 LEAGUE Exceptional Service Award.

Military Service

Drafted July 1968. Served US Army, July 1968 - April 1970. Vietnam: July 1969 - April 1970, USARV Data Services Center, Long Binh Post, as Senior Data Analyst Specialist (Spec 5).


© 2003 P.C. Rossin College of Engineering & Applied Science
Computer Science & Engineering, Packard Laboratory, Lehigh University, Bethlehem PA 18015