Dirk Bartz in memoriam.

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.

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26 Responses to Dirk Bartz in memoriam.

  1. It really was (and still is) shocking to hear and read that Dirk had died and I could not (and still can’t) believe it, really. So young he was, so central he still was to our community, contributing to our research field for about 15 years, or so, and being around with us at so many events. With his friendly and humorous nature, Dirk will be missed in the years to come — it’s really sad that we have lost him. Thanks for lots of good time, Dirk!

  2. Nigel John says:

    I would like to pay tribute to Dirk. He was a respected colleague and friend. I am grateful to him for taking on responsibility for the Eurographics Medical Prize, and he was a keen volunteer to help organise Eurographics 2011. We were pursuing EU funding, I am so sad that we will not have future collaboration.

  3. Jan Fischer says:

    I, too, am still in a state of shock and disbelief after learning today that Dirk has passed away. My Ph.D. advisor at the University of Tübingen and long-time mentor since 2002, I knew Dirk not only as a very helpful, reliable, and professional colleague, but also as a friendly and very open person. Long after I had completed my Ph.D. and our professional ways had parted, he actively stayed in touch and offered to open doors for me whenever possible. His untimely death is all the more tragic as it happened so shortly after he attained a full university professorship, a goal towards which he had worked very hard for many years. His contributions to a broad spectrum of topics in visualization, computer graphics, and virtual reality, will not be forgotten, as will his likeable personality. My condolences go to his family.

  4. Stefan Guthe says:

    I am shocked to hear that Dirk passed away. What a great loss for his family, friends and the entire research community. I first met Dirk when I was still a Student in Tuebingen and we later became colleagues. He was always a fun person to be around, specially at the conferences we went to together. My condolences to his family and espacially his wife and kids.

  5. Karel Zuiderveld says:

    I am so sorry to hear about Dirk’s much too early passing. I really admired his passion for medical imaging and enjoyed our (alas too infrequent) conversations when we met at the various conferences we both visited. He really will be missed. My heartfelt condolences to his wife, kids and family.

  6. Cory Quammen says:

    I met Dirk at the first VCBM in Delft and had just one opportunity to have a nice conversation with him over dinner. Even with just our one meeting, he made his enthusiasm for his work and his good humor quite evident. I am very sad to hear this terrible news.

  7. Wolfgang Leister says:

    I am sad to learn that Dirk has passed away. I respected him very much, and I will miss the discussions full of enthusiasm we had at various conferences and other occasions.

  8. I am very sad to hear that Dirk passed away. I met him at conference, read (and reviewed…) many of his contributions. I respected him very much. Heartfelt condolences to his family from myself and the CRS4 Visual Computing group…

  9. Alan Chalmers says:

    I am so very sad to hear of Dirk’s passing. He was always a very friendly face at all the conferences we attended together. He did a terrific job in growing and strengthening the Eurographics Parallel Graphics and Visualisation Syposia series when he took over from me. He will be very, very missed. My heartfelt condolences to his wife and children.

  10. Jinah Park says:

    I cannot believe what I just read about Dirk’s sudden … … Dirk was such a fun person to be around and his passion for medical visualization has inspired many of us. I was looking forward to meeting him at VCBM where he invited me to participate as a program committee. Dirk, we will certainly miss your warm smile and friendly comments.

  11. Stefan says:

    Lieber Dirk, ich hoffe Du hattest Deinen letzten Lauf genossen, so wie die vielen anderen Läufe zuvor. Ich bin traurig, Dich nicht mehr auf unseren Konferenzen zu treffen und werde beim Lauftraining oft an unsere letzten gemeinsamen Läufe zum Sonnenaufgang auf dem Boardwalk in Atlantic City denken.
    Du warst immer so ein stolzer Vater! Deiner Heidi wünsche ich viel Kraft, diese neue Situation zu meistern und euren Kindern alles Gute für ihren weiteren Lebensweg.

  12. Bill Lorensen says:

    I found out about Dirk’s passing today. I met Dirk early in his career at the Vis conferences. He impressed me with his enthusiasm and knowledge about our field. But more important than that, Dirk was an engaging, unselfish and enjoyable young man. We exchanged lots of emails over the years (I always enjoyed his Christmas greeting). When we talked, the subject shifted quickly from the technical to the personal. He enjoyed life. I’ll miss Dirk and I’m sure his technical and personal legacy will stay with us for years.

  13. Dani Tost says:

    I’m very sorry for Dirk and his family. I met him in Volume Graphics in 1991 and, since then, in various conferences. He came two times at Barcelona as a member of PhD committees. I enjoyed talking with him. He was a great scientist and a very kind open-minded person. My heartfelt condolences to his wife and children.

  14. Frank Duffner says:

    Dear Dirk, after more than ten years of collaboration it is incredible to notice your destiny. I am sad and empty.
    I give my deep felt condolences to your wife and beloved children.

  15. Penny Rheingans says:

    Wow. What sad and shocking news. Dirk was always one of my favorite people to run into at conferences — both for his good ideas and his clear grasp of what was important in life. His care for people, and in particular his family, shone from him. His humor was a bright spot where ever he was. I will miss him greatly.

  16. Steve Talent says:

    Sad news, indeed. I just read of his passing on the SIGGRAPH home page. I got to know Dirk, working with him on Vis conferences in the late 90’s. It was my pleasure to get to know him. A friendly man with a great sense of humor… it was a pleasure. My condolences to his family and all his friends.

  17. Zein Salah says:

    I was terribly shocked from the news about Dirk’s passing away. Dirk had a wonderful personality. He strongly supported me during my PhD study in Tübingen. He was the person who pulled me to the realm of medical visual computing and then we worked together for many years. We had many social activities together and I still remember our jogging time in the forest.

  18. Donald House says:

    This is terrible and sad news for all of us, and especially for Dirk’s family. He was a dear man, deeply knowledgeable, but humble and caring. I know that his family was very important to him, and gave him great pleasure. On the last day of Vis 2009 we saw each other and decided to go for lunch. I am so, so glad that we had this time together, a sweet memory of a sweet man. Our community will miss him greatly. I can’t imagine Vis without running into him and catching up on the year gone by.

  19. Baoquan Chen says:

    What a shocking news! Sunshine like Dirk is too young to turn off his light on us. Dirk liked running – we ran together in a park at Kanstance (EGSR’05 or EuroVis’05?) and surely he could run! Dirk cooked well – I enjoyed his delicious dinner treatment at his new apartment in Tubingen with Heidi; Dirk sent seasons greetings like Old Faithful – I’ll be expecting his email at that same time of the year this year, and the years after. From Stony Brook to Tubingen to numerous conference sites, from beer garden to seminar room, from “hot” debates to cold jokes (always with a chuckle), Dirk was remembered, and will be remembered. My thoughts go out to Heidi, Robert and Erik.

  20. Matthias Raspe says:

    This has been really shocking news and I am still trembled when thinking about Dirk passing away that young and right within life. When I read about it the first time I had no idea that it happened at the half-marathon in Berlin – the very one we had come to see and cheer my friend’s aunt who also participated in the run. So it troubles me even more that the collapsed runner we have heard of in the afternoon was Dirk – this very person I experienced as inspiring expert and lively man during the few occasions I had since our first meeting at CURAC 2007…

    Our deep condolences and thoughts are with his family. May they have all the strength they need in this very sad situation.

  21. Jihad El-Sana says:

    What shocking and unexpected bad news. I send my deep condolences to his wife and his family.

  22. Ingo Wald says:

    I knew Dirk but casually from running into him at various conferences, yet hearing about his death just shocked me more than if he had been a relative. Dirk had a way of making one feel like one had been close friends for ages, and from the other comments I just read I seem to not be the only one who felt that way. My deepest condolences to all the friends and family he left behind.

  23. Dear Dirk,
    we have met once at Tuebingen and several times at Dagstuhl and IEEE Visualization.
    After I learned what happened to you, I regret that we never have been running together.
    However, sharing your passion for long distance running, I know what it meant to you.
    Since I value you as a responsible scientist and fellow, I can assure to your family
    that you never have put your health at risk. I believe that it was an inevitable fate
    and not your running that caused this tragedy. Like the first Marathon athlete, you
    are a hero, now. I wish that your wife and your children will have the strength to
    cope with this situation and I will remember you whenever passing the 21.1 km line.

  24. I am shocked. I knew Dirk since studying computer science in Erlangen in 1990. I vividly remember those days. Me Dirk Andre and Konstanze and a couple of other students regularly met to learn for the exams. Dirk always was the one to bring a Pinot Grigio with him to enjoy after self-made pizza. After the studies, I went to the VIS computer graphics lab in Stuttgart, while he went to GRIS in Tuebingen a year earlier. While our paths departed due to changed location, Dirk was a regular participant at various CG conferences, so we met there for many years while being post-docs. It is saddening to hear that Dirk, an always fun person, passionate friend and colleague unexpectedly passed away. My thoughts are with his family and especially his kids. Condolences to everyone who knew him. The loss is deeply felt.

  25. Ed Swan says:

    I found out about Dirk’s passing today, from colleagues who attended Viz last week. I’m very sorry to hear about it, especially considering his family and young children. I’ve seen him at Viz conferences since the mid-199’s; we always talked about the year past, and frequently shared meals together. The Viz community won’t be the same without him!

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