The Community for Technology Leaders

Maintaining Technical Currency in Today's Technology Climate

Pages: pp. 10-11


Figure    Doris L. Carver, Editor in Chief, Computer

The need for information technology professionals to maintain technical currency has never been greater. The pace of technological and research advances, along with the rapid proliferation of information about the advances, presents an ever-increasing challenge for professionals who seek to stay well-informed.

To perform successfully in today's highly competitive workplace, information technology professionals are required not only to update existing skills but also to master new ones. In addition, educators are continually challenged to offer leading-edge content to both traditional and nontraditional students. Practically speaking, the information must be mined in some way to help professionals remain technically up to date.

As the flagship publication of the IEEE Computer Society, Computer serves to inform our readers about the latest research advances, technology, and applications, thus serving as a part of our readers' lifelong learning process. We also are committed to serving as a valuable source of timely information about professional issues, career trends, news, practices, and perspectives on computing-related topics. In response to a survey conducted during 2004, our readers indicated that they value Computer because it offers opportunities for learning about trends in the computing field, maintaining currency in the field, and finding technical information of general interest to computing professionals.

Our objective is that Computer will be a resource our readers can rely on to help mine the massive amount of information about the latest technological advances. In keeping with that objective, we are committed to providing coverage of a wide range of computing-related topics, with an emphasis on practice-oriented content.


An ongoing challenge is providing coverage of all aspects of computing that our readers find meaningful. Looking back over 2004, our technical coverage included ad hoc networks, hardware speculation, Web services, computers and the aging, Internet security, adaptive hardware and software, sensor networks, software architectures, Internet data centers, and next-generation personal computing.

In this January Outlook issue, we continue our tradition of featuring emerging technologies that promise to have a major impact on computing in both the near and more distant future. Our topics this year include DNA and quantum computing, nanotechnology, reactive animation, advanced graphics applications for home theaters and IT outsourcing.

Our plans for 2005 include special issues, theme issues, and research features on topics that are directly relevant to the computing field. We are planning special or theme issues on nanoscale design, smart places, beyond the Internet, virtualization, computing and education, software systems, intelligent searches, multimedia, real-time systems, power-aware computing, and information security.

Special issues are guest edited by experts in the specific area. Theme issues include multiple articles on the theme topic, but they are not the result of a specific call for papers. In both special and theme issues, we regularly include articles on other topics. I invite and encourage potential authors to submit manuscripts on all computing-related topics for peer review. We welcome research contributions, practice- oriented papers, and opinion articles.

A second important component of our mission as the Society's flagship publication is to inform our readers about Society initiatives, events, and opportunities that are designed to enrich their professional life, such as the Distance Learning Campus (; the Computer Society International Design Competition (; the distinguished recipients of Computer Society awards; an annual listing of new IEEE Fellows; computing-related curriculum updates; Society conferences and publications; and volunteer opportunities such as editor in chief positions for Society publications.


Computer is fortunate to have an exceptional Editorial Board. The Board members play a key role as they assess potential editorial content from numerous perspectives, including timeliness, breadth of coverage, and relevance to our readers.

I would like to express my special gratitude to the Board members whose terms of service ended in 2004. I thank Sumi Helal for his service as editor of the Web Technologies column and Upkar Varshney, who served as editor of the Communications column. Sumi and Upkar have provided valuable time, insights, vision, and guidance to the magazine.

We welcomed three new members to the Board during 2004: Jack Cole, Oliver Bimber, and Doug Burger.

Jack Cole, who joined the Board as editor for the Standards column, is a senior level analyst/systems engineer for the Army Research Laboratory Information Assurance Center and lead for IAC technology exchange. Jack is the liaison with outside information assurance activities establishing relationships enabling technology transfer for the ARL IAC. He also serves on the Computer Society Standards Activities Board.

Oliver Bimber joins the Board as an area editor for graphics and multimedia. He is a junior professor of augmented reality at the Bauhaus University, Weimar, Germany. Oliver's research interests focus on future display technology and multimedia presentation techniques. He has invented and developed display prototypes, commercial systems, and graphical visualization and real-time rendering methods that enable such technology.

Doug Burger joins the Board as area editor for architectures. An associate professor in the Department of Computer Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin, Doug's research interests include computer architectures, novel computing technologies, high-performance computing, compiling for novel architectures, low-power microarchitectures, embedded systems, and resource management for emerging computing systems.

In addition to welcoming these three board members in 2004, we initiated "32 & 16" as a bimonthly column edited by Neville Holmes. During 2004, the column provided a look back at events that happened in 1972 and 1988 during the month that the column appeared in Computer. Because Computer became a monthly publication in January 1973, this year the column will be published in each issue. I greatly appreciate Neville's willingness to take on this responsibility in addition to his ongoing contributions as editor of The Profession.

The partnership between the volunteer editorial board and the editorial staff provides a dynamic environment that drives Computer. The staff displays extraordinary commitment and dedication to achieving Computer's goals. Our model of publishing both solicited and unsolicited material would not be possible without the laudable talent and dedication of the staff who play a crucial role in making Computer happen.

To our authors, please accept my deepest gratitude for your contributions. Computer's value and success lie with authors who submit their work to us and to reviewers who help ensure that our standards are maintained. As a result of the efforts of our excellent reviewers, our acceptance rate for articles is approximately 25 percent.

Finally, thank you to our readers. We welcome your input and diligently strive to use it as part of our ongoing assessment process.


Computer relies on volunteer participation from the computing community. Opportunities for participation are numerous, and I encourage you to consider participating in one or more of the following ways:

  • Submit your manuscript for consideration for publication. Our Manuscript Central site at cs-ieee provides complete author information and submission details for using our totally electronic process for manuscript submission and processing.
  • Serve as a reviewer. Indicate your interest in serving as a reviewer by sending an e-mail message containing your vita to
  • Propose a special issue. Contact Bill Schilit, Special Issues Editor, at to offer your suggestion or to receive information about submitting a special issue proposal.
  • Provide feedback, including suggestions for topics. Send an e-mail message to
  • Visit our new Web site at View Computer's editorial content as well as value-added extensions to published material.


I hope you enjoy Computer's January Outlook issue as well as the other issues throughout the year.

About the Authors

Doris L. Carver is the associate vice chancellor of Research and Graduate Studies and a professor of computer science at Louisiana State University. Contact her at
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