Howard Besser is Professor of Cinema Studies at NYU, Founding Director of NYU's Moving Image Archiving & Preservation MA Program, and Senior Scientist for Digital Initiatives for NYU's Library. Prior jobs include: Professor at UCLA's School of Education & Information, CIO for 2 art museums, and Image DB Specialist for UC Berkeley's Academic Computing.
Besser developed the earliest client-server image database system (ImageQuery at UCB), helped found and lead the first system for deployment of museum images and rich metadata on university campuses (the Museum Educational Site Licensing Project), helped initiate and lead the Preserving Digital Public Television project (part of the National Digital Infrastructure Preservation Program), led the Video At Risk project, and helped lead a project to re-architect web crawling to accomodate streaming media (the Mellon Composers project).
Besser has been involved in the early stages of many metadata projects including the Dublin Core, Technical Metadata for Digital Still Images (Z39.87), the Metadata Coding and Transmission Standard (METS), and preservation metadata (PREMIS)
For many years Dr. Besser was actively involved in developing and testing new methods for using technology to teach. He has worked with and written extensively on Distance Learning and on using the Web to deliver instructional material, and in the 1990s taught Distance Learning courses between UC Berkeley and both University of Michigan and UCLA. Dr. Besser is also very involved in intellectual property issues, particularly as they pertain to information in digital form. He was a member of a National Academy of Science panel writing a position paper on intellectual property and digital information, and he has written several articles and participated in numerous debates on intellectual property.