Society Spotlights: June 2011

Updates and news from seven IEEE societies

7 June 2011
society spotlights Image: James Provost

IEEE Communications Society
Membership topped 50 000 at the end of 2010, and the society added an elected position: a vice president of standards to coordinate the group's greatly expanding activities in that regard. The society is active in newly established IEEE-wide RFID and cloud computing committees, and it began planning virtual conferences such as the 2011 IEEE Online Conference on Green Communications, to be held from 26 to 29 September. Its Facebook page is a hit, with "likes" approaching 20 000 and about 14 000 users who regularly post items. The society offers custom versions of its website for smartphones and tablet computers, and 45 different websites promote its programs and conferences.

IEEE Control Systems Society
The society completely overhauled its website, which now includes an online library that features plenary lectures from its conferences. Lecture topics include computational issues in IC design, extremum-seeking controllers, and predicting extreme events in finance, Internet traffic, and weather. A new outreach fund supports projects that could benefit the society and the controls community, including activities for preuniversity students and their teachers, workshops on control-related topics, and membership drives. Two new technical committees were formed: one on power generation, the other on smart grids. The society is working to promote the history of advances in control systems and influence the future direction of the technology.

IEEE Electron Devices Society
In the past year, EDS initiated several projects to enhance the value of society membership. It redesigned its website, adding features and promoting easier navigation. It also led a multisociety effort to launch IEEE's first technical journal devoted exclusively to photovoltaics, the IEEE Journal on Photovoltaics, which is to debut this year. To attract and retain members, EDS offers products and services such as DVDs of selected short courses, a free copyediting service for accepted manuscripts in EDS's flagship publications, and QuestEDS, an online question-and-answer service. Working closely with IBM, the society launched the Snap Circuits program to help engage and educate high school students in electron device engineering.

IEEE Photonics Society
The society celebrated the 50th anniversary of the laser throughout 2010. One event recognized the first operating laser as an IEEE Milestone. Its invention was noted with a plaque in November at the site where the laser was developed: the building in Malibu, Calif., that housed the former Hughes Research Laboratories, now jointly owned by Boeing and General Motors. The society doubled the submissions to its new online-only IEEE Photonics Journal, which has achieved the fastest time to publication of any IEEE archival periodical: 5.3 weeks after an article is accepted.

IEEE Power Electronics Society
The society has revamped its website; established a presence on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn; and launched an electronic newsletter, IEEE PELS E-News. The society is gearing up for its IEEE International Future Energy Challenge, a student competition to demonstrate innovation, conservation, and effective use of electrical energy. The contest addresses two broad areas: power electronics, and motors and their drives. This year's finals focus on low-cost lithium-ion battery chargers for automotive and renewable energy applications, and low-power induction-motor drives supplied from a single photovoltaic panel in an emergency water treatment device maximizer. The finals for the first area are to be held in Dearborn, Mich., and the second-topic finals are scheduled to be held in Rio de Janeiro, both from 20 to 22 July.

IEEE Signal Processing Society
A new workshop was introduced last year: IEEE Thematic Meetings on Signal Processing (THEMES), which is to become an annual event. Its one-day program is devoted to a single topic; last year, the focus was on signal processing for social networks. The presentations on data gathered from social interaction, mobile phones, and peer-to-peer sharing networks were filmed by The focus of THEMES 2011, scheduled for 11 September in Brussels, is on video compression.

The society's IEEE Signal Processing Magazine ranked No. 1 among electrical and electronic engineering journals, according to the 2009 Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Report, released last year.

A new Leadership Visitors Program took society officers to Beijing, Guangzhou, Hefei, Shanghai, Xi'an, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Leaders spoke at chapter meetings, universities, and local conferences. They brought a 52-page publication of selected articles from IEEE Signal Processing Magazine that had been translated into Chinese. A second collection is slated to be published this year.

The visits resulted in the establishment of two new society chapters. Similar excursions were also made to cities in India last year. Visits are planned to Eastern Europe this year in conjunction with the International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing being held in Prague.

IEEE Solid-State Circuits Society
The society is offering more than a dozen free 90-minute online tutorials and short courses to members. Starting this year, graduate student members will be eligible for five predoctoral fellowship achievement awards and a dozen student travel grants to attend society-sponsored conferences. The society also celebrated the 40th anniversary of the development of SPICE, the ubiquitous software tool that simulates ICs to aid in design, with a panel of the creators discussing the achievement at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif. An IEEE Milestone plaque was also placed at the University of California, Berkeley. The online IEEE Global History Network is featuring 20 first-person histories, originally published in the society's magazines and newsletter.

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