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George R. Thoma received a BS from Swarthmore College, and his MS and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, all in electrical engineering. As the senior electronics engineer and Chief of the Communications Engineering Branch of the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications, a research and development division of the National Library of Medicine, he directs R&D programs in image processing, document image storage on digital optical disks, automated document image delivery, digital x-ray archiving, and high speed image transmission. He has also conducted research in analog videodiscs, satellite communications and video teleconferencing. Dr. Thoma's previous experience at the General Electric Company, AII Systems, and the University of Pennsylvania had been in developing concepts and systems involving the application of satellites in voice and data communications, video distribution, navigation and surveillance. He has lectured extensively on these topics at various conferences, seminars and workshops at institutions in this country as well as in Japan, Holland, Switzerland, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, United Arab Emirates and India, frequently as an invited speaker. In March 2001, he was invited to organize a workshop in image analysis at a conference in Dubai, UAE. In January 1993 he was invited by the IEEE (Kerala section) to speak on imaging in Trivandrum, India. In October 1992 he was sponsored by the U.S. Information Agency to provide technical consultation to Brazilian information organizations, present a talk on Automated Document Delivery and to participate in a panel on Technologies for Developing Countries at an international conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In February 1992 he was invited by the National Science Foundation to participate in a Workshop on Visual Information Management Systems held in San Jose, CA. In December 1989 he was invited by the United Nations Development Programme to present a series of workshops and seminars at the National Informatics Centre and the Indian Space Research Organization in India.
He publishes widely in the technical literature and serves regularly as an invited speaker and session chairman at various imaging conferences. In July 2001 he was the co-General Chair of the 14th IEEE Symposium for Computer-Based Medical Systems (CBMS 2001) held at NIH. He serves as a reviewer for the IEEE Computer Journal, IEEE Parallel and Distributed Technology Journal, and the IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications. He serves on the editorial review board of the Information Processing and Management Journal and Journal of Clinical Engineering. He serves as a proposal reviewer for the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, National Endowment for the Humanities and other organizations. In 1994, he served on a Blue Ribbon panel for electronic document standards at the National Institute for Standards and Technology. He served two consecutive terms on the National Standards Board of the Association for Information and Image Management. Since 1999 he has served on the Maryland Governor's Task Force on High Speed Networks. Dr. Thoma is a Fellow of the SPIE, the International Society for Optical Engineering. He is listed in American Men and Women of Science, Who's Who in Technology Today and similar publications.