Computers and Challenges of Writing in Persian

Free Public Lecture is in Persian and English by Dr.
Behrooz Parhami (UCSB)

Seating is first come first served.

The Persian script has presented some difficulties,
ever since printing presses were introduced in Iran
in the 1600s. The appearance of typewriters created
additional problems and the introduction of digital
computers added to the design challenges. These
difficulties persisted, until high-resolution dot-
matrix printing offered greater flexibility to font
designers and the expansion of the computer
market in the Middle East attracted investments on
improving the Persian script for computers.
Nevertheless, certain peculiarities of the Persian
script have led to legibility and aesthetic issues to
persist in many cases. In this talk, I will enumerate
some of the features of the modern Persian script
that made it a poor match to implementation on
modern technologies and review the challenges
presented by, and some of the solutions proposed
for, each new generation of computer printers.
Interestingly, the same features that make legible
and pleasant printing and displaying difficult also
lead to challenges in automatic text recognition. I
will conclude with an overview of current state of
the art and areas that still need further work.

Bio: Behrooz Parhami (PhD)
Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering,
and former Associate Dean for Academic Personnel,
College of Engineering, at University of California,
Santa Barbara, where he teaches and does research
in computer hardware architecture. A Life Fellow of
IEEE, a Fellow of IET and British Computer Society,
and recipient of several other awards (including a
most-cited paper award from J. Parallel &
Distributed Computing), he has written six
textbooks and more than 300 peer-reviewed
technical papers. Professionally, he serves on
journal editorial boards and conference program
committees and is also active in technical
consulting. Most relevant to this talk is his 12 years
of experience in Iran, spanning 1974 to 1986,
where he studied the Persian language in
connection with computers and their applications,
participated in technology transfer and
standardization projects, helped establish the
Informatics Society of Iran (and its technical
journal, “Gozaresh-e Computer”), and was a leader
in developing computer engineering educational
programs and associated curricula.