ECRM Founder William Schreiber Dies at 84

By: E&P Staff Newspaper imaging systems supplier ECRM in Tewsbury, Mass., announced that its founder, William F. Schreiber, a professor emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, died suddenly at his home on Sept. 21 at the age of 84.

With Melvin J. Fennell from The Associated Press and fellow M.I.T. professors Samuel J. Mason and Donald E. Troxel, Schreiber developed one of the first commercially successful optical character recognition machines in 1969, the year he founded ECRM (Electronic Character Recognition Machinery).

A private funeral was held for Schreiber, who is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter. He will be commemorated at the M.I.T. Faculty Club on Nov. 21.

An electrical engineer raised and schooled in New York City, Schreiber received a Ph.D in applied physics at Harvard University, where he was a Gordon McKay and Charles Coffin fellow. Before joining the M.I.T. faculty (from which he retired in 1990), Schreiber worked at Sylvania and Technicolor Corp. He also worked as a consultant and served as an expert witness in patent cases.

The company says Schreiber's main professional interest was image processing, including printing, facsimile, and television -- both theory and practical applications that led to several successful products. He worked in graphic arts, including color correction, color printing, and laser scanner and recorder design, in facsimile, and in television (where his work covered digital and high-definition technologies).

Schreiber received the Honors Award from the Technical Association for the Graphic Arts, the David Sarnoff Gold Medal from the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, and the Gold Medal of the International Society for Optical Engineering.

ECRM President and CEO Rick Black said his company's 40 years of service would not "have become possible without the direct involvement of Dr. Schreiber. His passion and tireless dedication to electrical engineering and digital communications have elevated theories to concepts, and concepts to realities. We will never fully appreciate the impact Dr. Schreiber has had on the technological advancements realized in the last 50 years."


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