It deeply saddens us that our friend, colleague and chair of VCBM 2010, Dirk Bartz, passed away very unexpectedly this past weekend.
After some deliberation, we have decided that VCBM 2010 in Leipzig must continue, and will be held in his honour. A number of people have offered to assist in the organization of the conference. They have our heartfelt gratitude.
Bernhard Preim wrote the following dedication, also to appear in the Visualization proceedings:
I got to know Dirk at my first Vis. Conference in 2001 in San Diego. For Dirk, it was already his 6th visualization conference. Dirk had a broad interest and substantial experience in medical visualization, exactly the same speciality I was interested in. Besides having similar interests, I was fascinated by the kind and friendly personality of Dirk. I was at that time at MEVIS in Bremen. Soon thereafter, Dirk visited us and presented the work done in Tübingen at that time and I was given the oppurtunity to present in the famous “Friday”-colloquium in Tübingen. One thing, I noticed through the whole time since then, is that Dirk took great care of his students , he let them present their results, he did not interrupt them, he was interested in them as personalities even long after they left.
Since then Dirk and I collaborated at various occasions. Dirk strongly supported the idea of building a German Interest Group on Medical Visualization and took actively part in the whole time giving advice to many Phd students, among them, the Phd students of our group. Dirk organized many tutorials at Vis., Eurographics, and CARS. For me, being not that strongly involved in the Vis. Community he opened many doors and provided oppurtunities to contribute. In 2005, I was very glad that Dirk joined the effort of writing a textbook on “Visualization in Medicine”. For an 18 month period, we communicated daily on the various aspects of the book. It was enlightening and a pleasure to discuss with Dirk all the time. He was always perfectly reliable and good-humored even in situations where he had a very high workload.
In the end of 2006, Dirk became appointed as Professor for Computer-Assisted Surgery at the International Center for Computer-Assisted Surgery (ICCAS) Leipzig and started to build a new research group. In continuation of his work in Tübingen, he focused on visualization techniques, such as illustrative rendering, perceptual studies (from Dirk I learned the term “psychophysical studies) and applications in neurosurgery and ENT surgery. His group consisted of two female and one male Phd students which was typical for Dirk – to support female researchers was an important issue for him.
Dirk belonged to the core team which tried to establish a new workshop series “Visual Computing in Biology and Medicine”. It was quite natural that Dirk would host the 2nd event, scheduled to take place in July in Leipzig. Until the very last days of his life, he discussed strategies for this workshop.
At conferences, Dirk impressed me by always having his sneakers with him and taking oppurtunities. A second routine for Dirk was to establish Skype meeting with his dear wife Heidi and his children, in particular with Robert, who became 3 years last winter. It was extremely important for Dirk to always keep in close contact with his family.
During one his favorite activities, running half-marathon in Berlin, what he did several times before, he collapsed and passed away on March 28. Dirk was only 42 years old, leaving behind Heidi, his wife and his two little sons.