The Computer Society has established long-term commitments, in the form of Boards that support the areas of Chapters Activities, Educational Activities, Professional Activities, Publications, Standardization, and Technical & Conference Activities. I wanted to provide an overview of each of these major volunteer governance activities this month.
Local Chapter and Regional activities offer the opportunity for Computer Society professionals to network locally with colleagues. The Chapters Activities Board (CAB) develops activities for professional development and supports these opportunities for members to share their expertise through technical exchange. The Computer Society supports over 200 professional and student chapters, both nationally and internationally. The Computer Society was the first IEEE society to establish student branch chapters. This activity began in 1974 as an experiment and was subsequently adopted by the IEEE. This Board will expand it charter in 2010 to include membership activities.
The mission of the Educational Activities Board (EAB) is to develop, implement and evaluate all educational activities in the computer fields at all levels. This Board focuses on curriculum accreditation, which requires the monitoring and evaluation of current curriculum accreditation guidelines in the field of computing and the recommendation of changes as needed. The Educational Activities Board also supports the development and implementation of various continuing education programs in the areas of computer science and engineering including the development and offering of continuing education courses, professional development seminars, and tutorials. For example, the Computer Society offers its members 100 online training courses through its Distance Learning Campus.
The Professional Activities Board (PAB) has the mission of coordinating, in collaboration with relevant IEEE Computer Society boards, the society’s participation in the development and maintenance of professional disciplines such as computer engineering, computer science, information technology, and software engineering. This includes the development of body of knowledge identification, curriculum, ethics, performance norms, and terminology. Currently, the PPC is focused on the profession of software engineering. The PAB supports the development of The Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP) and Certified Software Development Associate (CSDA) Programs. For many, a product-specific certification, such as Novell, Microsoft or Linux certifications addresses the need for very specific knowledge and job requirements. But the Computer Society saw the need to cut across all products and drill down to the body of knowledge that would provide definition to the constellation of computer-related certifications as provided by the CSDA and CSDP.
The goal of the IEEE Computer Society’s Publications Board (Pubs) is to provide practitioners, researchers, and managers with readily available, accurate, peer-reviewed, and affordable, resources that they can rely on. A resource that can provide them with timely information about current research developments, trends, best practices, and changes in the profession. The Publications Board currently provides oversight for 25 periodicals, operates a technical book publications series, supports conference publications, a digital library, and a new electronic delivery Ready Notes series. Annually more than 150,000 pages are published and more than 10 million Computer Society articles are delivered electronically to members though the Computer Society ‘s Digital Library platform and the IEEE’s Xplore® platform. Computer is the flagship publication if the Computer Society and is a practitioner-oriented magazine. This magazine is sent to all members of the society and contains peer-reviewed articles, regular columns, and interviews that cover all aspects of computer science, computer engineering, technology, and applications.
Standards development and the Computer Society have been widely associated for many years through the application of the local area network (802) standards series, although many do not readily know the full extent of the Computer Society as a standards-developing organization. The Computer Society also sponsors the development more than 700 active industry standards. The Standards Activities Board (SAB) sponsors 11 standards committees, which develop standards in support of: design automation, intelligent physical agents, information assurance, learning technology, local and metropolitan area networks (802), microprocessors and microcomputers, portable applications, simulation interoperability, software & system engineering, storage systems, test technology, and environmental protection. In addition, the Computer Society Standards Activities Board was the first among peer professional organizations to define the body of knowledge of software engineering (www.computer.org/swebok ).
Technical Committees and Technical Councils (collectively called TCs) are encouraged to sponsor conferences and workshops. The TC acts as the sponsor, but it is the mission of the Technical and Conferences Activities Board (T&C) to oversee the growth and maintenance of all conferences and workshops and to provide high-quality technical intellectual property of value to the computing profession, and to service this community’s needs for information sharing. T&C supports over 175 international conferences and workshops, and last year over 30,000 individuals participated in technology exchanges at these events where they received the latest information from leaders in their fields. To show the broad range, here are just a few of the Technical Committees, Councils, and Task Forces available to individuals: Software Engineering, Test Technology, Bioinformatics, Computational Medicine, Electronic Commerce, Learning Technology, Information Assurance , Nanoelectronics, Nanoarchitecture, and Nanocomputing, Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, Real-Time Systems, and Wearable Information Systems (Click to visit a complete listing.)
Each of these Boards serves as the governance focal point for the Society’s activities within a given domain. The ensure that emerging technologies are identified and shepherded, that adequate resources and expertise are provided, and that continued growth and vitality is assured for future generations of technology professionals.