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Computer Society Connection

Pages: pp. 65-71

Albuquerque Teen Wins Top Computer Society Honors at Intel ISEF

For her astrophysics-oriented project, "An Optimization Algorithm for Space Mission Design: Dynamically Simulating Energy-Efficient Trajectories," Erika Alden DeBenedictis, 16, of Saint Pius X High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico, recently received a $1,000 IEEE Computer Society prize at the 2008 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Atlanta.

Founded by nonprofit educational organization Society for Science & the Public in 1950, ISEF is the world's largest precollege science fair. More than 600 individual contestants and team members were recognized at this year's event in May. First-, second-, third, and fourth-place ISEF best-of-category awards are $3,000, $1,500, $1,000, and $500, respectively, in each of the 18 scientific categories. Each of the top three winners also receives a $50,000 Intel Young Scientist scholarship. Other organizations and government entities, including the IEEE and the Computer Society, also sponsor prizes of varying denominations at ISEF.

Sponsored by Intel since 1967, and presented this year by Agilent Technologies, with further support from Shell Oil, ISEF offers an opportunity for top young scientists from around the globe to gather and share ideas, present cutting-edge science projects, and compete for more than $4 million in awards and scholarships. The Intel ISEF Grand Awards alone total nearly $1 million in scholarships, tuition grants, and scientific field trips. The balance of the prize money is offered by the nearly 70 government agencies and other organizations that participate in ISEF.

ISEF Competition

ISEF-affiliated science fairs throughout the world bring together competitors from the 9th through 12th grades. Students must develop a hypothesis, a procedure for testing the hypothesis, and a detailed research plan. Once the project is approved, contestants begin experimenting, observing, and collecting data in a project journal. They subsequently interpret the data and observations before drawing conclusions in a final report for presentation.


Figure    Erika Alden DeBenedictis was also part of the winning team at the 2007 New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge.

Complete details on past, current, and future ISEF competitions, as well as resources for locating affiliated regional science fairs, are available at

Computer Society Awards

Seven competitors at Intel ISEF 2007 received cash awards from the Computer Society. Based on scores compiled by a team of expert volunteer judges fielded by the Computer Society, winners of IEEE Computer Society awards at ISEF 2008 were:

  • First Award of $1000: "An Optimization Algorithm for Space Mission Design: Dynamically Simulating Energy-Efficient Trajectories;" Erika Alden DeBenedictis, 16, Saint Pius X High School, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Second Award of $500: "A Stream Cipher Algorithm Based on Magic Cube;" Xiao Liu, 18, Northeast Yucai School, Shenyang, China
  • Third Award of $350: "Stegacrypt: A Modular Steganography Framework;" Martin Christoph Maas, 20, Georg Cantor Gymnasium, Halle (Saale), Germany
  • Team First Award of $500 for each team member: "The Computer Analysis of Digital X-Rays to Identify Oral Cavities;" Mary Rochelle Unsworth, 17, and Rebekah Kristine Unsworth, 15, Kingswood Academy, Sulphur, Louisiana
  • Team Second Award of $400 for each team member: "Engineering a Modular Infrared Tracking Sensor for Use with the Foster-Miller TALON, a Man-Portable Reconnaissance Robot;" Matthew Hobart Fairbank, 18, and Jonathan Michael Rodriguez, 18, Keystone School, San Antonio, Texas

Students recognized by the Computer Society often win other honors at ISEF. This year, first award winner DeBenedictis also received $3,000 from the US Air Force, $1,000 from Intel, and $150 from the Patent and Trademark Office Society. Team second award winners Fairbank and Rodriguez also garnered a $500 prize from Science News. Third award winner Maas won $300 from the ACM. Award winners also receive a gift certificate for any Computer Society publication and a one-year subscription to a Society magazine of their choice.

$10,000 IEEE President's Scholarship

Harikrishna Rallapalli, 16, of Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton, California, won the 2008 IEEE Presidents' Scholarship for presenting "Low-Cost Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence Microscopy."

Sponsored by the IEEE Foundation, the IEEE Presidents' Scholarship is awarded for outstanding achievement in the field of engineering. It includes a $10,000 scholarship payable over four years for undergraduate study in engineering or a related field. The winner also receives a plaque, a framed certificate, and free membership to the IEEE for the scholarship's duration.

Young Scientist Award Winners

Winners of $50,000 Intel Young Scientist Award individual scholarships at ISEF 2008 were Yi-Han Su, 17, of Taipei Municipal First Girls' Senior High School in Taipei for "Efficient Hydrogen Production Using Cu-Zn-Al Catalysts Prepared by Homogeneous Precipitation Method;" Natalie Saranga Omattage, 17, of the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science in Columbus, Mississippi, for "Development of Biosensors for Detecting Hazardous Chemicals;" and Sana Raoof, 17, of Jericho High School in Jericho, New York, for "Computation of the Alexander-Conway Polynomial on the Chord Diagrams of Singular Knots."

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair moves to Reno, Nevada, in 2009. More information about ISEF is available at

2008 Computer Society Elections Begin

Each year, members of the Computer Society vote for the officers who will plan and direct the Society's operations in the coming year. CS officers lead efforts in such areas as publications, educational activities, conferences, and electronic products and services, and decide matters of administrative practice and policy for the Society as a whole. The volunteers selected this year will serve under 2009 president Susan K. (Kathy) Land, CSDP, who was voted president-elect in last year's election.

Candidates for office reach the ballot in one of two ways: by Nominations Committee recommendation or by petition. The Nominations Committee accepts nominations from members until April. At a May meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, the current Board of Governors approved the slate of candidates brought forward by the Nominations Committee.

President-Elect and Vice President Candidates

The 2008 Computer Society Board of Governors has approved James D. Isaak and Sorel Reisman as candidates for 2009 president-elect/2010 president. The president oversees the Society's programs and operations and is a nonvoting member on most CS program boards and committees.

The board also approved Jon Rokne and John Walz as candidates for first vice president. Candidates for second vice president are Alan Clements and Antonio Doria.

After the elections, 2009 president Kathy Land will appoint the two elected vice presidents to oversee two Society boards. At her discretion, Land will select appointees to head the Society's other governing boards.

Board of Governors Candidates

The 21 members of the Computer Society Board of Governors serve rotating three-year terms. The 12 candidates for 2009 to 2011 terms are Elisa Bertino, Fernando Bouche, Ernesto Cuadros-Vargas, George Cybenko, Ann DeMarle, David Ebert, David Alan Grier, Hironiori Kasahara, S.V. Sankaran, Steve Tanimoto, Wenping Wang, and Xindong Wu.

The seven candidates who receive the most votes will assume seats on the Board starting in January 2009. The Computer Society elections begin in August, when paper ballots will be mailed to all Society members, and end in October. All members will have the opportunity to vote via paper mail, fax, or online.

The paper ballots, the election area of the Society's webpage, and the September issue of Computer will provide biographical sketches and candidate position statements for each nominee. The biographical sketches will detail the candidates' CS and other professional activities, current employment, professional experience and accomplishments, degrees and majors, awards, and other honors.

We encourage all members to take part in electing the leaders of the Computer Society.

Visit for complete 2008 election details.

Board of Governors Votes to Amend Bylaws

At a recent meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Computer Society Board of Governors voted to amend three articles of the Society's bylaws. Article III was changed to disallow proxy voting at Board of Governors meetings, Article V was amended to clarify the president's role as a point of conflict resolution for the society, and Article XI was recast to eliminate the Electronic Products and Services Board and replace it with a committee of the same name.

Deletions are marked in strikeout text, and insertions are underlined. Only relevant segments of the bylaws in question are reproduced here.

Proposed Changes Article III - Board of Governors

Section 1: Board of Governors Responsibility

The Board of Governors is responsible for providing guidance, at the policy level, to all of the organizational entities within the Society. The Board should set direction and strategy for the Society, and should review the performance of the program boards and other committees and entities to assure compliance with its policy directions.

Operational issues should not normally be considered by the Board except in exceptional cases, or when there are requests for policy clarification or change related directly to operational or other program board matters.

Section 2: Officers

The officers of the Board shall be the Society's president, president-elect, first vice president, second vice president, and secretary. The secretary shall be elected by the Board at its annual meeting from the franchised Board members for the following year.

Section 3: Meetings

The Board shall hold its annual meeting during September, October, November, or December of each year. Additional meetings shall be held each year as required. The Board of Governors meeting and election schedule for each year shall be approved at or before the annual Board of Governors meeting of the preceding year.

Section 4: Notice of Meetings

No meeting of the Board shall be held to transact business unless each Board member has been notified of the time and place of the meeting 20 days prior to the scheduled date of the meeting by the secretary or his/her designee. Notice of Board meetings shall be published in a Society publication that nominally reaches the entire membership.

Section 5: Quorum

A roll call shall be taken at the beginning of each Board meeting. The secretary shall record the names of those franchised members present and announce whether a quorum exists. If less than a quorum attends a duly called meeting, tentative actions may be taken which will become effective upon subsequent ratification, either at a future meeting, or by an electronic ballot by a majority of all the franchised members of the Board.

Individuals holding more than one position on the Board or any committee thereof, shall be limited to one vote on each matter being considered by the Board or committee.

Proxy voting is not allowed.

Minutes of such a meeting, with a separate ballot for each question to be ratified by electronic balloting, shall be sent by the secretary to each member of the Board. Ballots must be returned within 30 days to be counted.



Article V - Powers and Duties

Section 1: Presidential Duties

The president shall be an ex officio member, without vote, of all Boards and standing committees, except the audit, awards, elections, fellows, and nominations committees, and also of the committees and boards of the IEEE and other organizations as designated by the Board. The president shall appoint the vice presidents, other than the first and second vice presidents, with the advice and consent of the Board of Governors, and shall appoint the Board and standing committee chairpersons unless otherwise specified herein. The president may appoint such ad hoc committees as he/she may deem desirable. The president shall appoint representatives to duly constituted organizations as may be provided for by the Society or the IEEE. The president may, with the consent of the Board, designate these representatives as ex officio non-voting members of the Board. The president may declare vacant positions for which the president has sole power of appointment, or for which the president delegates the authority to appoint.

In the absence of established procedures, the president serves as a point of conflict resolution for the society. When conflicts are brought to the attention of the president, the president appoints an ad hoc conflict resolution committee consisting of at least three disinterested members who have no prior involvement in the issue. Additional experts can be added to the committee as needed. All deliberations of the committee shall be handled in a confidential manner. The conflict resolution committee shall make a recommendation on the conflict resolution to the president in 30 days from the time they receive their charge. Questions involving the president shall be referred to the first vice president who will form the ad hoc committee and receive the recommendation.

Section 2: Past President Duties

Duties of the past president shall be as stipulated in the IEEE Computer Society Policies & Procedures Manual or assigned by the president or by the Board. The past president shall be the individual who was president the year previously. The past president shall serve as a franchised member ex officio of the Board of governors and chairs various committees as stipulated in the Standing Committees section of these Bylaws.

Article XI - Standing Committees

Article XI - Electronic Products & Services Board



Standing Committee Organization

The Standing Committees shall include the following:

  1. Audit Committee
  2. Awards committee
  3. IEEE Computer Society International Design Competition
  4. Constitution & Bylaws Committee
  5. Elections Committee
  6. Fellows Committee
  7. Finance Committee
  8. History Committee
  9. Intersociety Cooperation Committee
  10. Membership Committee
  11. Nominations Committee
  12. Personnel and Compensation Committee
  13. Planning Committee
  14. Professional Practices Committee
  15. Electronic Products and Services Committee


Unless otherwise specified, each committee chairperson shall appoint the members of his/her committee and designate a member as vice chairperson who shall act for the chairperson at his/her request.

Section 1: Audit Committee

The Audit Committee shall be appointed by the Board of Governors with the recommendation of the Nominations Committee. It shall review the Society's policies, procedures, and practices, including finance, and recommend such changes as it considers desirable. The Audit Committee shall consist of not fewer than three or more than five franchised members of the Board of Governors, none of whom shall be a Society officer. The Audit Committee shall select its own chairperson.

Section 2: Awards Committee

The Awards Committee shall have the responsibility for:

  1. selecting and recommending recipients for awards administered by the Society in accordance with applicable policies and procedures established by the Board of Governors; and
  2. nominating and recommending candidates for IEEE administered awards.

Section 3: IEEE Computer Society International Design Competition (CSIDC)

The CSIDC Committee shall be responsible for defining, planning and executing the annual design competition.

Section 4: Constitution & Bylaws Committee

The Constitution & Bylaws Committee shall be responsible for reviewing, evaluating, and formulating changes in the Constitution, Bylaws and Policies & Procedures Manual of the Society.

Section 5: Elections Committee

The Elections Committee shall be responsible for developing the timetable for implementing the Society's nominations and elections process, notifying the Board of Governors, the Nominations committee, the candidates, and the appropriate staff members of the required actions in a timely and appropriate manner, and implementing and monitoring the execution of election policies and procedures established by the Board of Governors and ruling on questions and issues that arise. The Elections Committee shall consist of a minimum of three Society members, each with at least full member grade, none of whom will be a candidate for elected office during the term of that Elections Committee.

Section 6: Fellows Committee

The Fellows Committee shall assist the IEEE Fellows Committee in recognizing IEEE members who, in its opinion, meet the qualifications for the grade of fellow because of contributions to the areas of interest to the Society. The Fellows Committee shall consist of at least seven Society members chosen from among those of fellow grade within the IEEE.

Section 7: Finance Committee

The Finance Committee, in cooperation with the treasurer, shall develop and analyze the budget using information provided by the vice presidents and chairs of each board and standing committee. The Finance Committee shall be comprised of the treasurer (chair), the president, president-elect, immediate past president, and the secretary. The chief staff executive and the appropriate finance and accounting staff member will be ex officio, non-voting members of the committee. Vice presidents or their representatives are ex officio, non-voting members of the committee, and as such are not required to attend extraordinary meetings of the committee.

Section 8: History Committee

There shall be a History Committee with the mission of assisting existing IEEE Computer Society, IEEE, national and international organizations in preserving and documenting the history of computing, with particular attention to the history of the IEEE Computer Society.

Section 9: Intersociety Cooperation Committee

The Intersociety Cooperation Committee shall be a standing committee for interacting with other organizations to study, plan, and coordinate actions which lead to mutually acceptable cooperative activities.

Section 10. Membership Committee

The Membership Committee is charged with the initiation of, and the planning and development of, programs designed to promote membership growth, and advocating member interests across all Society programs. It shall be chaired by the past president and shall consist of vice presidents of each of the program boards or his/her designee, and three at-large members appointed by the chair. The program boards representatives shall act as membership advocates, seek to coordinate Society membership programs, and resolve membership related issues with and between each program board. The ombudsman will report to this committee administratively, and subcommittees may be established in the IEEE Computer Society Policies & Procedures Manual.

Section 11: Nominations Committee

The Nominations Committee shall consist of six members of the Society, selected according to the following procedures and criteria, and selected or appointed in the order specified:

  1. The immediate past president of the Society shall be a member of the committee and shall serve as its chair.
  2. One franchised member of the Board of Governors elected by the immediately previous Board of Governors.
  3. The president-elect or his/her designee.
  4. Two members appointed by the president, one of whom shall be a franchised member of the Board of Governors, and the other of whom shall not be a member of the Board of Governors. In addition, if at least two of the members determined by steps 1–3 do not reside outside IEEE Regions 1–7, one of these two members appointed by the president shall reside outside IEEE Regions 1–7.
  5. One member appointed by the past president. If at least two of the members determined by steps 1–4 do not reside outside IEEE Regions 1–7, the member appointed by the past president shall reside outside IEEE Regions 1–7.

A member of the Nominations Committee cannot be a candidate in any of the slates submitted by the Nominations Committee.

Section 12: Personnel and Compensation Committee

The Personnel and Compensation Committee shall monitor compliance with the human resources, personnel and compensation policies of the Society, and bring any needed changes in such policies to the Board of Governors. The committee will produce an evaluation of the Executive Director once each year as part of the IEEE staff evaluation process. The committee shall be chaired by the past president and shall include as additional members the president, the president-elect, and the first and second vice presidents. A member of the executive staff, other than the Executive Director, shall be appointed by the chair and shall be an ex officio, non-voting member of this committee.

Section 13: Planning Committee

The Planning Committee shall continuously attempt to identify potential new activities of interest to the Society, modify existing activities, and initiate, promote, and develop plans for such activities in conjunction with the appropriate committees. The president-elect shall chair the Planning Committee and shall appoint its members.

Section 14: Professional Practices Committee

There shall be a Professional Practices Committee with 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, including: body of knowledge identification, curriculum, ethics, performance norms, and terminology. The committee chair shall be appointed annually by the president. The chair shall appoint the members of the committee, including representatives of relevant program boards, as provided in the IEEE Computer Society Policies & Procedures Manual.

Section 15: Electronic Products & Services Committee

The Electronic Products & Services Committee shall formulate the policies related to the creation, and packaging of all IEEE Computer Society electronic products and services. The committee has the responsibility for recommending new electronic products and services, coordinating and encouraging efforts to provide electronic products and services, monitoring the quality of present electronic products, reviewing the scope of new and existing electronic products, recommending changes in the scope of electronic products and making budgetary recommendations. It is also the responsibility of the committee to acquire and develop electronic tools and technologies to facilitate the development of new products or improve the production of current products. The policies related to the intellectual property of electronic products shall be formulated by the originating board. The committee chair shall be appointed annually by the president. The chair shall appoint the members of the committee, including representatives of relevant program boards, as provided in the IEEE Computer Society Policies & Procedures Manual.


To comment on the proposed changes, contact 2008 IEEE Computer Society Constitution & Bylaws Committee Chair Susan K. (Kathy) Land, CSDP at

CSDP Testing Window Reopens 18 August

More than 200 new professional certifications related to computer science have been introduced over the last decade. Furthermore, the number of technical certifications available to IT professionals has exploded from nearly 200 to 400 in only three years, resulting in the issuance of more than a million of these credentials. In response, Computer Society leaders saw the need to cut across these products and concentrate on the body of knowledge that underlies the whole spectrum of computer-related certifications. The Computer Society's Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP) certification program relies on well-understood and accepted software engineering standards to ensure an exceptionally high quality of preparation and testing procedures.

From 18 August through 12 December, candidates can take the CSDP exam at any of the more than 3,000 Prometric Testing Centers located throughout the world. The next opportunity to take the test is in early 2009.

The CSDP is intended for midlevel software engineers. Professional software engineers who hold a bachelor's degree can use the Computer Society CSDP credential to verify their skills to current or potential employers. Before taking the exam, candidates must have earned a baccalaureate or equivalent degree and have at least 9,000 hours of experience in at least six of the 11 knowledge areas the exam covers, including at least two years of software engineering experience within the preceding four-year period.

Those who successfully complete the CSDP regimen receive the only software development credential that includes all three of the components of a professional certification. To be eligible for CSDP certification, applicants must pass an exam demonstrating mastery of a prescribed body of knowledge, verify extensive work experience in the profession, and engage in continuing, relevant, professional education.

Potential examinees can prepare by joining the CSDP online study group at the Yahoo forum that is linked from the CSDP website. Resource materials and an online test preparation class are also available.

The 2008 CSDP exam measures knowledge in the following 11 domains:

  • Business Practices and Engineering Economics
  • Software Requirements
  • Software Design
  • Software Construction
  • Software Testing
  • Software Maintenance
  • Software Configuration Management
  • Software Engineering Management
  • Software Engineering Process
  • Software Engineering Tools and Methods
  • Software Quality

For IEEE or Computer Society members, 2008 CSDP exam fees total $450, including a $100 application fee and a $350 test administration fee. Non-member fees total $550, including a $100 application fee and a $450 test administration fee. CSDP credentialing fees are approved by the US GI Bill Education Benefits Program as a reimbursable expense.

Applications for the 18 August through 12 December testing window must be postmarked by 15 November. The application form is available online at For general information on the Computer Society CSDP program, including a list of sample test questions and a compilation of software engineering terms, visit

Petition Candidate Materials Due

In addition to the already mentioned candidates, the Computer Society welcomes the nominations of other contenders for office. To have a name added to the ballot, a member can submit a petition to the Society secretary via mail, fax, or e-mail indicating the desired office, the starting date of the term, and the candidate's name. The petition must also include the signatures of voting members of the Society: at least 250 signatures for Board term nominees and at least 1,000 signatures for officer nominees. Petition "signatures" can simply indicate the signing member's name and member number. A voting member can sign only one Board of Governors petition and one officer petition for each office. Nominations were due to the Society secretary in early May.

For each petition nomination, the Society secretary must receive a statement signed by the nominee indicating a willingness and availability to serve if elected. Petition candidates must also submit biographical data, position statements, and 300-dpi digital images or studio-quality head-and-shoulders photographs.

All petition nominee materials must be received by 31 July. Send them to Computer Society Secretary Michel Israel at

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