Computers and Challenges of Writing in Persian

Bilingual Lecture Series

Computers and Challenges of Writing in Persian

A lecture in English by Behrooz Parhami (UCSB)

Monday, November 20, 2017
2:00 PM
Humanities Room 365
UCLA

The Persian script has presented some difficulties, ever since printing presses were introduced in Iran in the 1600s. The appearance of typewriters created additional problems and the introduction of digital computers added to the design challenges. These difficulties persisted, until high-resolution dot-matrix printing offered greater flexibility to font designers and the expansion of the computer market in the Middle East attracted investments on improving the Persian script for computers. Nevertheless, certain peculiarities of the Persian script have led to legibility and aesthetic issues to persist in many cases. In this talk, I will enumerate some of the features of the modern Persian script that made it a poor match to implementation on modern technologies and review the challenges presented by, and some of the solutions proposed for, each new generation of computer printers. Interestingly, the same features that make legible and pleasant printing and displaying difficult also lead to challenges in automatic text recognition. I will conclude with an overview of current state of the art and areas that still need further work.

Cost : Free and open to the public

Sponsor(s): Center for Near Eastern Studies, Iranian Studies, The Amuzegar Chair in Iranian Studies and the Musa Sabi Term Chair of Iranian Studies and the generous support of The Farhang Foundation.