Dov Isaacs, principal scientist at Adobe Systems Inc., has been named the Cal Poly Graphic Communication Department’s Research Professor From Industry for winter and spring quarters 2013.
In the Research Professor From Industry program, distinguished scholars, leaders and specialists from 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 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, and issues and problems identified as feedback for Adobe development.
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, Isaacs will lead a research project involving a team of students and faculty. The research entailsparticipating 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,” Isaacs 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, said, “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.