LOS ALAMITOS, Calif., 15 March, 2011 – IEEE Computer Society President Sorel Reisman, who was visiting Japan when the earthquake struck, has expressed his deep condolences to the Japanese people and is urging members to assist in any way they can. In addition, Computer Society conference staff is reaching out to assist organizers of upcoming sponsored conferences in Japan. Already, the earthquake and resulting devastation has caused one conference to be postponed.
When the earthquake struck, Reisman was at the Narita International Airport after wrapping up an eight-day visit to Japan that included meetings with Japanese colleagues and a speaking engagement at the annual meeting of the Information Processing Society of Japan. His monthly video blog was shot in the outdoor gardens of the Tokyo Sheraton Hotel on 11 March, just hours before the temblor struck.
"Those events caused me some personal discomfort and inconvenience, but those were inconsequential compared to the devastation that took place," wrote Reisman in an email, adding that "we should be mindful of the horrible catastrophe that has befallen our Japanese friends and their families." Reisman, who is now en route back to the United States, urged Computer Society members to consider ways to assist the Japanese people during this time of intense hardship.
The Computer Society's conference staff is reaching out to assist upcoming conferences scheduled to be held in Japan. The 10th International Symposium on Autonomous Decentralized Systems (ISADS 2011), scheduled for 23-27 March in Tokyo and Hiroshima, Japan, has decided to postpone the event. The conferences staff is monitoring other scheduled events in Japan and will provide updates as warranted.
Moshe Kam, president and CEO of IEEE, the Computer Society's parent, also expressed his deep concern for the disaster victims and the 13,000 IEEE volunteers and members in the IEEE's nine Sections in Japan. "We send condolences to the families and friends of those who died in the earthquake and its aftermath, and wish a quick recovery to the many who have been injured or displaced by this disaster," Kam wrote in a letter to members.
Kam said IEEE is committed to assisting volunteer leaders in Japan when they are ready to work on restoring IEEE organizational units that were damaged during the recent events. "IEEE in Japan has been a source of intellectual and administrative leadership for IEEE for many years, and we expect that our members in Japan will continue to be a strong and central force as IEEE charts its future," he said.
Kam urged members worldwide to take part in campaigns that support recovery efforts in Japan. In addition, IEEE is working with volunteer leaders in Japan to help assess specific actions that IEEE should consider in order to help members get through this difficult period.