Meet Fred Mintzer – Finance Chair for the LMC

Mintzer LMC portraitWithin the IEEE and the IEEE Foundation, IEEE Life Fellow Fred Mintzer has served in many high-level volunteer positions, including President of the IEEE Signal Processing Society (SPS), IEEE Division IX Director,  and Vice President of Finance of the IEEE Foundation.

Fred received a BSEE degree from Rutgers University and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Princeton University. From 1978 until retiring in 2014, he was employed at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center, where he led research on an interesting collection of computing problems.

Early in his IBM career, Fred researched digital signal processing algorithms, applications, and architectures. During this era, he wrote a foundational paper on wavelets and some early papers on signal-processing architecture.

New Technologies for Image Library Applications

Around 1980, he turned his attention to color printing and worked on digital halftoning and accurate color reproduction to support that application. This work laid the foundation for an image capture and cataloging project with the staff of painter Andrew Wyeth that began in the late 1980s. The key challenges of that project were image quality and system performance. The system developed included a number of innovations—including a high-resolution scanner, color calibration, a color management system, and color restoration of degraded transparencies.

Over fifteen years, his team developed new technologies for image library applications, validating them in projects with cultural institutions that pioneered online access to their collections, including the National Gallery of Art (USA), the Vatican Library, Russia’s Hermitage Museum, and the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Technologies developed included watermarking for digital rights management, color-preserving image processing, image enhancement, and the adaptation of images to new viewing conditions. These projects were often featured in the popular press and won numerous awards.

In 2005, he became the Program Director for IBM’s Blue Gene Watson facility, which then featured the world’s second-fastest computer and the Associate Director of IBM’s Deep Computing Institute. There, he guided the research program undertaken on IBM’s Blue Gene supercomputers, including pioneering projects in biological, new materials, and large system simulation.

A Substantial Career

During his technical career, Fred authored over 25 patents and over 50 technical publications. At IBM, he received eight IBM Invention Achievement Awards, two Outstanding Technical Achievement Awards, and an Outstanding Innovation Award. He was twice named an IBM Master Inventor and was elected to the IBM Academy of Technology.

He is a member of IEEE Eta Kappa Nu, an IEEE Life Fellow, a recipient of an IEEE Third Millennium Award and IEEE Signal Processing Society’s Meritorious Service Award, and a member of the IEEE TAB Hall of Honor. In 2022, he received the IEEE Richard M. Emberson Award.

Although retired from paid employment, he remains an active member of the Life Fellow Committee, the IEEE Collabratec Steering Committee, and the IEEE Collabratec AI Community, to which he frequently posts.