, StoneSoup Consulting
, Brown University
Pages: pp. 6-7
It is with great pleasure that I introduce Gabriel Taubin, the new editor in chief (EIC) of CG&A. Gabriel brings a wealth of industrial, academic, and organizational experience to this job. Before becoming a professor of engineering at Brown University in 2003, Gabriel spent 13 years at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, both as an individual research contributor and as a research manager. He regularly serves the community as a member of academic publishing boards, conference committees, and standards committees. Among his many contributions, he is on the editorial board of IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics and was guest editor (with Rémi Ronfard) of CG&A's May/June 2007 special issue on 3D cinematography.
Gabriel's research is both intellectual and practical. He is best known for his contributions to geometry processing and particularly for his research in 3D geometry compression technology and multimedia standards, for which he was made an IEEE Fellow in 2001. His geometric mesh compression algorithms are part of the MPEG-4 standard. More recently, he has been working on accurately and efficiently capturing 3D geometry using camera arrays, both specialized and distributed. This work has wide application in geometric modeling, human-computer interaction, surveillance and security, tele-immersion, and digital archeology. Although he is new to CG&A, Gabriel brings a wide experience and a practical attitude toward "getting things done" that make him the ideal person to lead the magazine at this time.
One of the joys of being CG&A's EIC is the opportunity to work with its outstanding editorial board, which does the real work of making CG&A an excellent publication. The past three years have seen some long-term members retire (Frank Bliss, Markus Gross, and John Dill) and new ones arrive (Tony DeRose, Baining Guo, Kwan-Liu Ma, and Carol O'Sullivan). Dave Ebert left the board to join the IEEE Board of Governors. Holly Rushmeier and Miguel Encarnação took on new roles as associate editors in chief (AEICs) of theme issues and general submissions, respectively. Anselmo Lastra took over the management of tutorials, and Dave Kasik has started expanding the Tools and Products department to include state-of-the-art research projects. Jim Blinn has retired as a columnist, but we are exploring adding a new department on education and training.
Major changes have taken place in IEEE Computer Society publications while I have been EIC. There have been several major restructurings to create an organization that is more efficient and more focused toward the future of academic publishing. As a result, CG&A's long-established editorial and administrative contacts, Robin Baldwin and Alkenia Winston, have both moved on to new jobs in the organization. Our current editorial team is Jennifer Stout, Jennifer Gardelle, and Dennis Taylor. Alkenia still provides limited administrative support.
In the three years I have been EIC, the iPhone (July 2007) and Kindle (November 2007) have provided significant new platforms for publishing. Social networks are commonly used to share both personal and professional information, and Twitter (2006) has moved from a novelty to an accepted information-sharing mechanism. For academic publishing, digital papers stored in digital libraries are the standard archive, supported by Web sites to access them and RSS feeds to distribute tables of contents and other updates. But clearly, much more can be done to integrate academic publishing with the new world of information distribution services.
The major Computer Society initiative in this area is Computing Now (CN)—a Web portal that debuted in May 2008. I am CG&A's representative on its board, and I will continue in this role through 2010. As well as its traditional presentation of linked Web pages, the CN portal provides a platform for experimenting with audio and video podcasts, blogs, RSS feeds, and even a soon-to-be-developed iPhone application for accessing the site. CN has also established pages on the social networking sites Facebook and LinkedIn. All this helps bring readers to the magazines, but it has not yet changed the magazines themselves—references to magazine articles, such as those in CG&A, are linked to PDFs of the printed pages. I think the big question is "How should academic publishing evolve to fully take advantage of this new, rapidly changing information architecture?" At a recent meeting, Gabriel and I found ourselves discussing what a CG&A article formatted for an iPhone could be like and how we could find a way to experiment with it. I knew then that CG&A would be in good hands.
—Maureen C. Stone
It is with great pleasure that I take on my new role as EIC. However, it was with some trepidation that I accepted the invitation to join and lead CG&A because I have not yet served on its editorial board. Nevertheless, I really appreciate the trust that the CG&A EIC Search Committee has given me. This assignment is a significant challenge but also an opportunity to help CG&A adapt to a constantly changing world.
On the basis of my experience as associate editor of other publications and of what I have learned so far, I can attest that the EIC plays a very different role in CG&A. This is because CG&A's editorial board, particularly the associate AEICs, take much more proactive roles, taking care of the most important day-to-day operations. The AEICs manage special issues, departments, and regular submissions. In the short term, my priority is to rely on and learn from this team to ensure continuity. In addition, Maureen has agreed to remain on the editorial board for one more year to ensure a smooth transition.
CG&A has always had a dual role as focusing on both research and applications. It also has an important educational purpose as a place where young researchers and practitioners entering the field can get exposure to a broad range of subjects. Given the abundance of information on computer graphics and applications from various sources, and the resulting competition for reader attention, reaching these people is one of our main challenges, which we will address in the near future.
The issues that Maureen pointed out in her introductory message three years ago are even more relevant today. 1 The rate of change in the publishing world, and especially in technical publishing, has accelerated, and concrete plans are in place for many technical publications to transition to distribution solely in electronic form in the very near future. These changes also imply new business models, which result in reduced resources allocated to the production processes. New devices such as smart phones and electronic readers present challenges to our editorial process, which produces pages formatted for printing. We will have to address these issues as well.
As I see it, the EIC has two main roles. On one hand, the EIC is a facilitator who ensures that fluid communication exists between the editorial board and the IEEE Computer Society staff and officers to ensure effective, timely execution. On the other hand, the EIC must look ahead and identify longer-term challenges and trends and ensure that the message that CG&A has been delivering so effectively for so many years continues to reach a broad audience, despite the changes. These are my challenges, and I look forward to meeting them with your support.