by UBNOW Staff
Published May 9, 2022
The UB President's Medal will be presented to Sargur Srihari posthumously at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences graduate commencement ceremony on May 20. Srihari’s wife, Rohini Srihari, professor and associate chair of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, will accept the award.
The UB President’s Medal, first presented in 1990, recognizes “outstanding scholarly or artistic achievements, humanitarian acts, contributions of time or treasure, exemplary leadership or any other major contribution to the development of the University at Buffalo and the quality of life in the UB community.”
Srihari died March 8 due to complications from a glioblastoma. He was 72.
A pioneer in the field of computer science, he taught computers to read handwriting and significantly advanced the fields of pattern recognition, computational forensics and machine learning.
A UB faculty member in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences for more than 40 years, Srihari established the university as a leading center for pattern recognition and machine learning. He founded the Center of Excellence for Document Analysis and Recognition (CEDAR), which conducted groundbreaking research for the U.S. Postal Service in the 1990s, ultimately teaching machines how to read handwritten envelopes.
Srihari’s research advances, which have received seven U.S. patents, paved the way for the handwriting-recognition technology that is used in modern systems ranging from tablets to scanners. His early research on 3D imaging also remains influential in fields such as 3D printing. Srihari would later become a pioneer in the field of computational forensics. In 2002, he conducted the first computationally based research to establish the individuality of handwriting, with important implications for the criminal justice community.
Srihari held fellowships in the International Association for Pattern Recognition (IAPR) and the Institute of Electronics and Telecommunications Engineers (IETE, India), and he was a life fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The recipient of numerous honors, Srihari received the IAPR/ICDAR Outstanding Achievements Award in 2011 for his outstanding and continued contributions to research and education in handwriting recognition and document analysis, and for his service to the community.