Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
About us Practical matters How to find us prof. dr. L.R.B. (Lambert) Schomaker

prof. dr. L.R.B. (Lambert) Schomaker

Full Professor
Profile picture of prof. dr. L.R.B. (Lambert) Schomaker
Secretary (Elina Sietsema):

Lambert Schomaker (19-2-1957) received his M.Sc. degree in psychophysiological psychology in 1983 (cum laude), and his Ph.D. degree on "Simulation and Recognition of Handwriting Movements" in 1991 at Nijmegen University, The Netherlands. Since 1988, he has been working in several European Esprit projects concerning the recognition of on-line, connected cursive script on the basis of knowledge on the handwriting movement process. He was the project coordinator of a large European project on multimodality in multimedial interfaces (project MIAMI), and has enjoyed collaborative research projects with several industrial companies. Current projects are in the area of image-based retrieval, on-line and off-line handwriting recognition, forensic writer identification, and cognitive robot navigation models. Apart from research, his duties involve teaching courses in artificial intelligence and pattern classification. prof. Schomaker has been involved in the organization of several conferences on handwriting recognition and modeling. He has organized the Seventh International Workshop on Frontiers in Handwriting Recognition in the year 2000 in Amsterdam. He has been the chairman of TC-11/Reading Systems of the Int. Association for Pattern Recognition (IAPR), chairman of the Int. Unipen Foundation for benchmarking of on-line handwriting recognizers, member of the IAPR TC5 committee on Benchmarking and Software. He is member of the IEEE Computer Society, the IAPR and the BNVKI. Within the Netherlands he has been member of Advisory Board of the NICI institute Nijmegen, is member of the Advisory Boards of the J.F. Schouten School for User-System Interaction, Eindhoven, and the USI postgraduate school of the TU/e. He is member of the ToKeN2000 programme committee of the Netherlands Organization of Scientific Research (NWO). He has contributed to over 140 peer-reviewed publications in journals and books. Per 1/1/2001 he has accepted the position of full professor in AI at Groningen University, The Netherlands, as director Research & Education. As the ALICE department (Artificial Intelligence & Cognitive Engineering) grew from 5fte in 2001 to 35fte in 2009, he is now the scientific director of this research institute at the faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. The work of prof. Schomaker is cited in 13 US and 10 international patents. He was involved in several projects directed at the valorisation of research output, notably in a series of EU Esprit projects with Olivetti computers and the Active Book Company but also with dedicated grants from industry (Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and IBM). His work on neural networks for handwriting and gesture recognition is a precursor to modern handwriting and gesture-recognition methods on tablet computers such as the iPad. He is currently active in a 30 MEuro multidisciplinary research-valorisation project ('Target') in mass-storage, high-performance computing and datamining, in order to implement the Monk generic search engine for handwritten historical archives. The Monk system is unique, world wide, due to its huge scale, genericity and its use of live ('24/7') machine learning. In 2012, the Monk system contained 130 million image of handwritten words, from over twenty historical collections, and 22 thousand trained word classes, continuously refined by new dedicated recognition and retrieval schemes using dedicated shape features for handwriting and user labeling. The availability of thousands of example images for single classes of complex patterns has brought pattern recognition and machine learning into a new ballpark.

Current Interests

  • pattern recognition
  • neural-network modeling (robotics, perception)
  • visual perception/image processing
  • autonomous systems / embodied cognition

PhD students

Axel Brink (2011) Robust and applicable handwriting biometrics University of Groningen/ALICE, role: promotor

Hado van Hasselt (2011) Insights in reinforcement learning University of Utrecht / University of Groningen, role: promotor, with John-Jules Meyer and copromotor Marco Wiering

Dirkjan Krijnders (2010) Signal-driven sound processing for uncontrolled environments University of Groningen/ALICE, role: promotor, copromotor Tjeerd Andringa

Maria Niessen (2010) Context-based sound event recognition University of Groningen/ALICE, role: promotor, copromotor Tjeerd Andringa

Ralph Niels (2010) Allograph-based writer identification, handwriting analysis and character recognition University of Nijmegen, role: promotor, with Louis Vuurpijl and Peter Desain

Tijn van der Zant (2010) Generative Artificial Intelligence: A neo-cybernetic analysis University of Groningen/ALICE, role: promotor

Gert Kootstra (2010) Visual attention and Active Vision University of Groningen/ALICE, role: promotor, with copromotor Bart de Boer

Leendert van Maanen (2009) Context effects on memory retrieval: Theory and applications University of Groningen/ALICE, role: promotor, with copromotors Hedderik van Rijn & Niels Taatgen

Wouter Teepe (2007) Reconciling information exchange and confidentiality: A formal approach University of Groningen/ALICE, role: promotor, with copromotor Rineke Verbrugge

Marius Bulacu (2007) Statistical pattern recognition for automatic writer identification and verification University of Groningen/ALICE, role: promotor

Katrin Franke (2005) The influence of physical and biomechanical processes on the ink trace University of Groningen/ALICE, role: promotor

Scientific visibility (October 2012)



No patents proper, but my publications are cited in the following patents, by a number of companies: IBM Corp., Microsoft Corp., Sony UK Ltd, Motorola Inc.,
Palm Inc., Hewlett-Packard, Qualcomm Inc., Motion Touch Ltd, GE Healthcare Finland Oy, Silverbrook Research Pty Ltd,

  1. US6970599
  2. US7137076
  3. GB2393838
  4. US6986106
  5. EP944020
  6. US6813624
  7. WO05017767
  8. WO03065246
  9. US6661920
  10. US6453070
  11. US20050154707
  12. WO05017768
  13. US6285785
  14. WO04032029
  15. WO03034317
  16. US20050018906
  17. US20050038644
  18. EP1083515
  19. US6785418
  20. US7199804
  21. GB2354100
  22. GB2354099
  23. US6744915


  • IBM Faculty Award, 2011
  • IAPR Best Paper Award at ICFHR 2012, (van Oosten & Schomaker, Separability and Prototypicality)
  • Ching Yee Suen Special Award 2012 for achievements in handwriting recognition
  • IBM Faculty Award, 2012


- NWO/middelgroot - MPS medieval paleographic scale - coapplicant with Jan Burgers - 326 kEuro
- Target project - Monk: word retrieval in handwritten collections - coapplicant, overall project size 30MEuro, of which 300 kEuro
- NWO/OC EW - Morph (Learning to Learn) - main applicant - 272 kEuro
- NWO/ToKen TriGraph - Trimodal writer identification - main applicant - 370 kEuro
- NWO/Catch - Scratch - Script retrieval - main applicant - 537 kEuro
- Wanda (Fish2) - coapplicant with Katrin Franke - 187kEuro
- NWO/ToKeN I2RP - intelligent information retrieval and presentation - main applicant - 681 kEuro
- Vergelijk - NFI forensic writer identification - main applicant - 41kEuro
- Esprit project MIAMI (multimodality & multimedia) - main applicant/coordinator - 1.4MEuro
- HP/Bristol and NICI/Nijmegen - Writer variation in handwriting recognition - 100kEuro
- Esprit Papyrus - coapplicant with Hans-Leo Teulings - 757kEuro


Ph.D. on simulation and recognition of handwriting movements
M.Sc., cum laude, Physiological Psychology
Psychology, specialism Physiological Psychology
Gymnasium B, St. Odulphuslyceum, Tilburg
primary school, Albertus Magnus school, Goirle


Full professor Artificial Intelligence, scientific director of the Artificial Intelligence Institute (ALICE) at Groningen University, The Netherlands
Research Coordinator Cognitive Engineering/NICI
Assistant Professor Cognitive Science/Nijmegen University
Researcher and local coordinator of AIM project Camarc, Biomedical diagnostics (NICI)
Researcher Esprit P5204 "Papyrus": Handwriting Recognition (NICI)
Researcher/Scientific programmer Esprit P419 "Image and Movement Understanding" (NICI)
ZWO researcher (project "Een model van de schrijfbeweging") at NICI
Research Assistent Physiological Psychology, Tilburg University

Last modified:11 June 2023 11.19 a.m.