Adobe Principal Scientist Dov Isaacs Named Research Professor at Cal Poly

SAN LUIS OBISPO—Dec. 20, 2012—Dov Isaacs, principal scientist at Adobe Systems, has been named the Cal Poly Graphic Communication Department’s Research Professor from Industry for the winter and spring quarters 2013. Through this program, distinguished scholars, leaders and specialists from the industry volunteer to teach and work with students and faculty on unique, cutting-edge projects defining industry applications today and in the future.

A 22-year veteran of Adobe, Isaacs is responsible for workflow and product interoperability issues associated with publishing workflow products. He provided the initial vision and strategy for the development of the Adobe PDF Print Engine technology and product. Isaacs also serves as Adobe’s representative to the Ghent PDF Workgroup, the RIT Printing Industry Center, CIP4, and several ISO committees associated with print industry standards including PDF/X and PDF/VT, for which he serves as chairperson and co-chairperson respectively.

Additionally, Isaacs monitors numerous InDesign, PDF, prepress and printing email lists and user forums, contributing advice and solutions, especially in the area of printing and PDF workflow.

At Cal Poly, Isaacs will teach the upper-level “Emerging Technologies” course, focusing on variable-data publishing—design, production and analysis. The course recognizes that personalized communication is a significant development in digital printing and imaging and will cover the proper design of, and workflow for, variable-data publications using the ISO PDF/VT variable data publishing standard file format.

In addition, the Adobe scientist will lead a research project involving a team of students and faculty. The research entails participating with Adobe in testing its PDF/VT format and creating text, images, design, databases and the use of advanced software. The “test files” will be used for testing raw RIP and engine performance and quality and will also be used as demonstration assets.

Isaacs founded Adobe’s corporate product interoperability group and served in other engineering and marketing management positions within Adobe, including serving seven years as director of quality assurance for Adobe’s PostScript printing and driver products.

“We would expect to develop a number of different test files reflecting common scenarios for which variable data publishing is utilized,” he said. “For example, one such file might be one-page-per-data custom packaging. Another file might be a four-page, highly customized, travel pamphlet or a sales brochure for a new car. Yet another might be a customized financial portfolio analysis with variable number of pages per set.”

Adobe is providing copies of the necessary Creative Suite and Acrobat Pro software to create and test the files. XMPie (a Xerox company) is providing the necessary software to use in conjunction with the Adobe Creative Suite for VDP personalization and PDF/VT generation.

Graphic communication Professor Howard Vogl is the faculty liaison working with Isaacs and overseeing the administration of the course and research project. “Data is being incorporated into every facet of communication,” Vogl said. “This project gives Cal Poly students the opportunity to develop new parameters for the design of variable data publications and to test those parameters using the ISO PDF/VT file format.”

The project could be expanded in the future to use the data developed to explore variable data email and PURL assets, completing a true cross-media workflow experience, according to Isaacs. “The 16 students and faculty who will participate in this project will get a tremendous amount of hands-on experience and knowledge that they might not otherwise be able to obtain, including under-the-cover views of what is actually involved in complex data-driven workflows as well as the internals of PDF and their real-world ramifications.”

Harvey Levenson, head of Cal Poly’s Graphic Communication Department, noted, “Adobe typically works with the likes of MIT and Stanford for research at this level. However, they have come to Cal Poly’s Graphic Communication Department because we have the faculty, staff, knowledge and laboratories to successfully complete this applied research.”

Isaacs earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an MBA in management systems from Cornell University, and a doctorate in computer science from The Ohio State University.

About Cal Poly
Cal Poly’s Graphic Communication Department was founded in 1946 and is one of the largest and best-known programs of its kind in the United States. It includes concentrations in graphic communication management, web and digital media, design reproduction technology, graphics for packaging, and individualized study. The program is strongly supported by industry with grants and endowments and equipment, supplies and software for the department’s more than 33,000 square feet of modern laboratories. The department is nationally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Collegiate Graphic Communications.

Source: Cal Poly.

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