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Computer Society Connection

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Computer Society Awards Honor Top Achievers

The IEEE Computer Society presents several prestigious awards each year that recognize outstanding achievements in computer science and engineering as well as individual contributions to education, industry, and advanced research and design. At a recent gathering of Society members and officers in Long Beach, California, a cohort of honorees drawn from a wide variety of disciplines and industries received four individual awards: the first in recognition of service to the Society, another for contributions to computer development and engineering, and two for technical achievement in computing.

Nominations for Computer Society awards are accepted from all members of the computer science and engineering profession. In most cases, there are no eligibility restrictions on either the nominee or nominator.

Murali Varanasi Receives 2004 Richard E. Merwin Award

Graphic: IEEE Fellow Murali Varanasi is recognized for his contributions to education and to the Society.

Figure    IEEE Fellow Murali Varanasi is recognized for his contributions to education and to the Society.

University of North Texas professor Murali R. Varanasi has a long history of service to the Computer Society as well as involvement in computer engineering education. Varanasi, whose research interests include computer fault tolerance, wireless sensor networks, and digital communications and coding theory, accepted the IEEE Computer Society's Richard E. Merwin Distinguished Service Award at the Long Beach event.

His award citation reads, "For sustained contributions and leadership in computer science and computer engineering education and accreditation."

The current vice president of educational activities for the Computer Society, Varanasi has previously served as the Society's vice president of chapters activities. He is also a member of the ACM and the treasurer of the Computing Sciences Accreditation Board. Varanasi has received several Computer Society honors in the past, including the Outstanding Contribution Award and recognition as a Golden Core member.

The Richard E. Merwin Distinguished Service Award recognizes outstanding service to the profession at large as well as significant service to the Computer Society or to its predecessor organizations. Winners of the Merwin Award receive a bronze medal and a $5,000 honorarium.

Krishan Sabnani Wins 2005 W. Wallace-McDowell Award

Graphic: Krishan Sabnani has made strides in developing communication network protocols.

Figure    Krishan Sabnani has made strides in developing communication network protocols.

Bell Labs Fellow Krishan Sabnani's work has helped to shape modern communications networks, including the Internet and proprietary cellular networks.

In selecting Sabnani as the 2005 recipient of the IEEE Computer Society's W. Wallace-McDowell Award, the Computer Society Board of Governors cited him "for seminal contributions to networking protocols and to wireless data networks."

In addition to designing AirMail and the Reliable Multicast Transport Protocol, Sabnani was the first to develop a systematic approach to conformance testing, which helps communications systems from various companies work together. Under his direction, teams at Bell Labs are developing an IEEE 802.11-based cellular roaming strategy that allows wireless communication between homes and businesses; military users; and land, air, and marine transportation.

Sabnani, a holder of more than 30 patents, has also received the 2005 IEEE Eric E. Sumner Award, the IEEE Communications Society Leonard G. Abraham Prize in the Field of Communications Systems, and a Gold Medal from the president of India.

The W. Wallace-McDowell Award is endowed by IBM. Winners receive $2,000 and a bronze medallion.

Wesley Chu Earns 2003 Technical Achievement Award

Graphic: Wesley Chu pioneered new approaches to large-scale distributed data processing.

Figure    Wesley Chu pioneered new approaches to large-scale distributed data processing.

The IEEE Computer Society Board of Governors chose database pioneer Wesley Chu to receive the Society's 2003 Technical Achievement Award. Chu currently directs a research group at the University of California, Los Angeles, in distributed processing, knowledge-based distributed databases, and computer communications and networking. His research interests include distributed processing systems, knowledge acquisition and database systems, and intelligent information systems. Chu's award citation reads, "For contributions to intelligent information systems."

From 1991 to 1995, Chu headed a $1.6 million Advanced Research Projects Agency (now DARPA) project to research and develop CoBase, a cooperative database architecture. He also led an effort to develop KMed, a multimedia medical imaging system intended to reduce hospitals' and doctors' reliance on paper recordkeeping.

Chu is a Fellow of the IEEE and served as an associate editor for IEEE Transactions on Computers, covering computer networking and distributed processing systems. He has also received a Medical Digital Library Certificate of Merit, an IEEE Certificate of Appreciation, and an IEEE Meritorious Service Award.

The IEEE Computer Society Technical Achievement Award is presented each year for outstanding and innovative contributions to the fields of information science and engineering or computer technology, usually within the past 10, and not more than 15, years.

Hermann Kopetz Earns 2003 Technical Achievement Honors

Graphic: Hermann Kopetz is the chief architect of the Time-Triggered Protocol.

Figure    Hermann Kopetz is the chief architect of the Time-Triggered Protocol.

Since 1982, Hermann Kopetz has been a professor of real-time systems at the Vienna University of Technology. An IEEE Fellow since 1993, Kopetz holds more than 20 patents in the area of dependable real-time systems.

Kopetz's work on the Time-Triggered Protocol reflects his conviction that real time should be considered an essential element in the construction of dependable embedded systems. In contrast to common event-triggered communication systems, TTP involves continuous communication among all connected nodes.

His citation for the 2003 IEEE Computer Society Technical Achievement Award reads, "For outstanding contributions to the field of safety-critical real-time computing."

From 1996 to 1998, Kopetz chaired the IFIP 10.4 working group on dependable computing and fault tolerance. During the early 1990s, he served as chair of the IEEE Computer Society Technical Committee on Fault-Tolerant Computing.

Kopetz currently conducts research into fault-tolerant applications for the European Union's ESPRIT information technologies program, including safety-critical by-wire systems for the automotive, aerospace, and railway industries. He is also the author of Real-Time Systems: Design Principles for Distributed Embedded Applications (Kluwer, 1997), which addresses hard real-time systems—computing systems that must meet their specifications under all possible conditions.

Nominations for most IEEE Computer Society Awards are due by 31 October. For more information on IEEE Computer Society awards, including nomination forms and specific deadlines, visit

Society Bylaws Change to Reflect New Web Offerings

At a recent meeting in Long Beach, California, the IEEE Computer Society Board of Governors voted to clarify a passage in the Society's bylaws that specifies appointment procedures for a Computer Society Web editor in chief. The proposed changes will alter the Computer Society bylaws by refining the method of designating leaders for new and evolving online offerings. Society members are invited to comment before the next Board of Governors meeting, set for 4 November in Philadelphia. Deletions are marked in strikeout text, and insertions are underlined.

Article XIII - Electronic Products and Services Board

Section 3: Editor-in-Chief Appointment and Terms

3.1 There shall be an Editor-in-Chief appointed for the Computer Society web who will chair the Web Operations Committee. The Function of the Web Operations Committee will be defined , as provided in the Computer Society Policies & Procedures Manual. The Board of Governors may designate other chairs of committees of the Electronic Products & Service Board as being editors-in-chief.

3.2 The Electronic Products & Services Board shall recommend to the President, candidates for the each Editor-in-Chief position, as specified in the Computer Society Policies & Procedures Manual , at various times as required.

3.3 The President, with the ad-vice and consent of the Board of Governors, shall appoint the each Editor-in-Chief for a term not to exceed two years. In the case of a new electronic product or service, the initial appointment may be for a maximum of three years.

3.4 Editors-in-chief may serve a maximum of two consecutive terms in a given position. The Editor-in-Chief may be appointed to serve a maximum of two consecutive terms.

Members can submit comments on the proposed bylaws changes to Deborah M. Cooper, 2005 chair of the Computer Society Constitution and Bylaws Committee, at

Software Developers Earn Professional Certification

Recently, software developers from around the world earned recognition for their talents by successfully completing the IEEE Computer Society Certified Software Development Professional exam. In 2002, Computer Society leaders established the software developer certification program as part of an effort to provide professionals with tangible proof of their proficiency in planning, developing, and implementing software systems. CSDP exam developers factored real-world responsibilities and knowledge requirements into the test structure. The CSDP exam includes questions from 11 topic areas that include software design, testing, and requirements.

More than 550 software professionals have taken and passed the exam. The test, along with CSDP training courses and other preparation materials, gives practitioners the opportunity to challenge themselves and enhance their knowledge of important software engineering trends. IEEE Computer Society partner Thomson Prometric administers the CSDP examination at testing centers throughout the world. Recently added testing centers include locations in Armenia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland, Kazakhstan, and Switzerland.

In addition to passing the exam, those who receive the CSDP credential must also have met minimum requirements for work experience and education. Applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree and must have performed at least two years of software engineering work within the past four years. Credential guidelines require 9,000 hours of relevant experience. CSDP certification is valid for three years. To be eligible for recertification, practicing software development professionals must complete 30 professional development units in fields that include educational activities, publishing, presentations, technical/professional service, and self study.

For more information on the IEEE Computer Society's certification efforts, visit

IEEE Computer Society Announces New Standards Committee

The Foundation for Intelligent and Physical Agents, a Swiss-based organization originally formed in 1996 to produce software standards and specifications for heterogeneous and interacting agents and agent-based systems, is joining the IEEE Computer Society Standards Activities Board as a new committee charged with promoting agent-based technology.

FIPA will no longer be based in Switzerland and will change its name to the IEEE Computer Society FIPA Standards Committee. Since its inception, FIPA has promoted agent standards and has supported the development and widespread adoption of agent-based technology. The foundation has also developed an extensive suite of specifications (see that a wide range of users and developers are implementing. At the Computer Society, FIPASC will continue to promulgate all existing FIPA standards.

FIPASC also will expand its scope to include human and machine interaction, social and business interactions, and agent/technology interoperability. The merger with FIPA brings the number of committees operating under the auspices of the IEEE Computer Society Standards Activities Board to 11.

To express interest in joining the IEEE FIPA Standards Committee, or to request further information, contact FIPA board members at, or Susan (Kathy) Land, 2005 vice president of standards activities for the Computer Society, at

IEEE Educational Activities Board Honors Computer Society

In June, the IEEE Educational Activities Board voted to recognize the IEEE Computer Society "for its contribution in providing outstanding products, services and support to (its) members in the areas of life-long learning, continuing education and professional development" by presenting 2005 Computer Society President Gerald Engel with the 2005 IEEE Educational Activities Board Society/Council Professional Development Award.

The Computer Society offers an extensive slate of educational and professional development opportunities, including the Computer Society International Design Competition, distance learning campus, and online bookshelf. Other efforts by the Society include the Certified Software Development Professional credentialing program and the CC-2001 computing curricula project.

Said Murali Varanasi, 2005 IEEE Computer Society vice president for educational activities, "I want to express my sincere appreciation to all the volunteers and staff who have contributed to the accomplishments that led to this recognition. I am extremely proud of the accomplishments of the EAB and convey my hearty congratulations to each and every member of the board."

The award will be presented on 11 November in an official ceremony at the IEEE Board of Directors fall meeting series in Orlando, Florida.

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