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Oct. 18, 2011
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab



SVG expertise takes SRU’s David Dailey around the world


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Become an expert and the computer industry will beat a path to your door is certainly proving to be the case for Slippery Rock University’s David Dailey, professor of computer science.

Dailey, a world-recognized expert in scalable vector graphics – SVG – has already traveled to the Microsoft and Google-sponsored SVG Open in Paris; the HTML5 Developers and Designers Conference hosted at New York University’s Kimmel Center, New York City; the SVG Open at Google headquarters, and elsewhere. He has also presented his SVG work to the SRU Council of Trustees. His SVG expertise is now taking him to Boston, Santa Clara and India.

           “I’m most excited to be going to India in February,” Dailey said. The ‘Kurukshetra’ is known as the ‘battle of brains’ and is an international techno-management festival sponsored annually by the College of Engineering at India’s Anna University. This event showcases students from around the world. I will be conducting a two-day workshop on scalable vector graphics, and they tell me there will be as many as 600 students in my class.”

“This is one of the best engineering schools in India. The fact they are calling me seems to indicate a strong interest in the technology. SVG appeals to developing nations like India and China, not only because it is in many cases the most appropriate technology for scientific geographic, social science and artistic imaging on the web, but also because you don’t have to pay to use the computer scripting language,” he said.

The engineering school dates to 1794, making it one of the oldest technical institutes in the world.

            The four-day conference is in Chennai, India (formerly known as Madras), and offers a 1 million Indian rupees ($2,000 U.S.) prize to students.

           “This is a student-run conference for graduate programmers in computers and engineering. They have had some Nobel laureates and other important computer engineers, including the inventor of the Unix Operating System, as speakers, so it quite an honor to get invited,” Dailey said.

           “I hope to spend some time in the city, the fourth largest in India with a population of four million,” he said. “My daughter, Krystal, lived in India while working with the humanitarian NGO [non-governmental organization] MercyCorps. She spent several years in Darjeeling.”

Dailey recently completed a lecture series organized by the ERCIM (European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics) dealing with SVG applications.

Dailey, the author of the original how-to guide “SVG Primer for Today’s Browsers” that is utilized worldwide by the Worldwide Web Consortium, was awarded SRU’s President’s Award for Scholarly and Creative Achievement for his work.

SVG is a computer language used to transform how spatial data is developed, analyzed and disseminated through the World Wide Web and through a range of hand-held devices almost all using W3C protocols.

Dailey has said the biggest benefit of SVG is that it allows graphics – charts, photographs, graphic art – to appear correctly and in direct proportion on a viewer’s screen without distortion no matter the screen size – small cell phone to billboard or larger. Previous methods of showing such scalable graphics were not mathematically scaled and resulted in distortion or pixilation and increase in size that often made them unusable in large formats.

SVG is an open standard that allows for creation of Web graphic content. The SVG language uses of high-quality, interactive, animated and stylable graphics on the Web by using human-readable XML coding, which is employed in conjunction with in the new HTML5 standard, Dailey said.

Last year, Microsoft announced its Internet Explorer software would support SVG options.

           Dailey participated last week in the SVG Open in Cambridge, Mass., delivering a shorter version of the SVG workshop he’ll present at the Kurukshetra.

           Deborah Whitfield, SRU professor of computer science, and George Shirk, a computer science major from Zelienople, joined him at the Boston conference, which was hosted at Microsoft’s New England Research and Development Center. Dailey offered a workshop lecture about animation at the conference with Yan Li of South China Normal University.

           The SVG Open, hosted by Microsoft, provides opportunities for participants to create effective web content while learning techniques for developing SVG software solutions and see the latest developments from the World Wide Web Consortium. The event attracts software developers, web designers, web application developers, graphics artists, database creators and mobile computing solutions creators, among others.

           Slippery Rock University is a “Gold Sponsor” of the SVG Open. The other sponsors included Google, Adobe, IBM, Harvard’s new Institute for Applied Computational Science and the Rochester Institute of Technology. SRU co-planned the conference, and Whitfield served as treasurer.

           Dailey will travel to Santa Clara, Calif., in December to present at the DevCon5, HTML5 Developers and Designers Conference.

           “I plan to present a similar workshop to my India presentation on SVG development as a half-day presentation,” Dailey said.

           “The Santa Clara conference focuses on new developments in web technology, including web graphics, media and 3D,” he said. My presentation there will be limited to SVG. There is magic in the simple scaling on the screen of images and guidelines. SVG allows the drawing of shapes proportional to the screen regardless of their size.”

Dailey earned his doctorate from the University of Colorado. He joined the SRU faculty in 1999. In addition to computer science classes, he has taught mathematics and psychology at universities in Wyoming, Oklahoma and Alaska as well as at Vassar, Williams and Bay Path College.

His research has been in many areas of mathematics and computing with much of his recent work focusing on computational graphics.