Issue No. 12 - December (2009 vol. 42)
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MC.2009.400
Susan K. (Kathy) Land , Mitre
At the beginning of 2009, I issued a leadership challenge and gave an overview of the IEEE Computer Society's strategic focus ( Computer, Jan. 2009, pp. 6-8). To provide our membership with some continuity, I wanted to offer a few year-end highlights in this message.
Throughout the year, our efforts have remained strategically focused, and this has resulted in a very productive year. The IEEE Computer Society Board of Governors continues to concentrate on the Society's transformation. We are pursuing innovative strategies to best position the Society for the future as well as provide the most value to our members.
Increasing Membership Value
Our strategic focus remains centered on extending value to our membership. The Chapters Activities Board (CAB), led by vice president S.V. Sankaran, is operating with renewed vigor and continues to gain momentum looking forward to 2010. With the support of Violet Doan, director of membership, we are working closely with IEEE's Member and Geographic Activities (MGA). As a result of this collaboration, we were able to launch an outstanding offer to student members and exploit IEEE resources to build a stronger student membership in the fields of computer science and information technology through an MGA-led student branch development initiative. Students can join both the Computer Society and the IEEE, with access to the entire Computer Society Digital Library (CSDL), for only US $40.
This year the Member Visit Program was launched. The MVP, a visitor's portal project, aims to leverage visits of the Society's more than 5,500 Fellow and Senior members to other regions or countries and more easily organize technical activities at chapters. Professional and student chapters benefit by having broader access to speakers for their local meetings, while senior Society members have opportunities to facilitate networking and share knowledge. T.K. Ramesh was the first to inaugurate the MVP in October by delivering a technical talk to the Bangalore IEEE Section/IEEE-CS Chapter.
Our local chapters, and the volunteers who lead them, face unique challenges when supporting remote areas or regions. These are often some of our best efforts—where people truly become connected and where you will find many of our most dedicated volunteers. Each local chapter starts with someone who is motivated and willing to step forward to lead. The IEEE-CS is dedicated to providing improvements to volunteers in our local and regional chapters. Looking forward, we continue to explore precollegiate programs while also strengthening the relationship among the IEEE, the Society, and our membership—striving to enhance products, services, and benefits.
I would like to congratulate the 2010 class of IEEE Fellows, which includes candidates recommended by the Computer Society Fellows Committee. The rank of IEEE Fellow is only afforded to one-tenth of one percent of IEEE membership during a given year. I thank our IEEE-CS Fellows Committee chair Chita Das, vice chair Larry O'Gorman, and members of the committee for their efforts and careful review of 117 Society Fellows candidate nominations.
Enhanced Web Capabilities
If you haven't visited computer.org recently, I encourage you to do so: This year has seen many upgrades, and more are forthcoming. Be sure to visit the redesigned e-Learning Campus, the Build Your Career site, and the Media Center. Explore the homepage features to read news about the IEEE-CS and the technology industry. Sign up to receive e-mail newsletters or to volunteer.
The IEEE-CS provides several online resources to help promote continued learning. This information is topical and relevant. Webinars, podcasts, and articles are available at no cost to both IEEE-CS members and nonmembers. Also, check out Computing Now, our free online portal, which presents new print and online content on today's hottest topics from the Computer Society's 13 peer-reviewed magazines as well as highlights from CS journals and conference proceedings, all on one website.
Improving Professional Competencies
The IEEE-CS continues to strive to improve the professional competencies of students and professionals through education and certification. The charter of the Educational Activities Board was expanded in 2008 to include professional development and training. Alan Clements, EAB vice president, has been working with board members to maintain ongoing EAB efforts while expanding volunteer efforts into these new areas. EAB members are working with IEEE-CS staff to develop professional courseware supporting the Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge (SWEBOK). This courseware will provide training opportunities for software engineering professionals.
This year, the IEEE-CS Board of Governors created a Professional Activities Board (PAB) to provide for volunteer governance supporting the Society's practitioner-oriented programs. Jim Moore is the vice president for professional activities. While the initial PAB portfolio focuses on software engineering (SE), this year PAB members began defining additional areas of professional focus, and volunteers are working on a framework for defining other computing disciplines and professions.
Advancement of Software Engineering
The year began with a Software Engineering Leadership Summit. This meeting was held to support the Computer Society's continuing efforts to establish SE as a recognized engineering profession. The IEEE-CS currently supports various software-engineering-related programs, such as training, certification, and SWEBOK. This meeting provided participants with the opportunity to share ongoing development efforts, outline areas of need, and develop a common outlook for coordinated SE work.
PAB continues to support the advancement of SE as a profession. Among the products supported are the Certified Software Development Associate (CSDA) and Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP) examinations. The CSDP is currently being refreshed under the leadership of Steve Tockey, with rollout planned for the first quarter of 2010. Pierre Bourque is currently leading the efforts to revise SWEBOK, which is the foundation for IEEE-CS software engineering products. Additionally, support is being provided toward the licensure of software engineers. IEEE-USA and the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying are cosponsors of the development of a new professional exam for software engineers. The Society, along with the National Society of Professional Engineers and the Texas Board of Professional Engineers, is providing support to this effort. An exam is expected within the next three years.
Global Forum for Computing Professionals
The IEEE-CS Industrial Advisory Board continues to actively uphold the Society's mission. The IAB's goal is to help the Society build its relevance by serving as an advisory body to guide the development of Society products and services targeted to the industrial audience and by reviewing the Society's plans that engage industry.
The IAB membership has been working on numerous efforts that directly support our strategic intent to deliver content and resources that are relevant to practitioners. Its efforts this year include an Industrial Perspective column published bimonthly in Computer and the development of criteria for future graduates. The Computer column was launched this year based on topic and author suggestions provided by IAB members. It will serve as a platform for the IAB to reach out to industry practitioners among the Society membership. The column editor is Sumi Helal.
Expanded Standards Activities
Standards volunteers remained very engaged throughout 2009, supporting various standardization efforts and expansion of the associated knowledge base. Members participated in the MIT Emerging Technologies Conference, assisting in the IEEE-sponsored breakout session, Standards and Serious Games. Our volunteers continued to work closely with the IEEE Standards Association, gaining approval for P1622. The focus of project P1622 is to develop electronic data interchange formats to be used by components of the voting system for exchange of electronic data.
The Standards Activities Board (SAB), chaired by vice president John Harauz, has been effective this year in keeping the IEEE-CS portfolio current. They have also dedicated volunteer resources and initiated smart grid, digital personal property, and cloud computing initiatives, and have collaborated with the Open Web Application Security Project.
Improving Quality and Content
Vice president John Walz, Technical & Conference Activities (T&C) chair, and vice president Sorel Reisman, Publications chair, worked with past president Kasturi and products and services director Evan Butterfield to develop a set of recommendations to maintain and improve the quality of conference articles in IEEE Xplore. The recommendations, categorized by different responsibility levels, assume that conferences and published proceedings positively contribute to research, information, and networking for the engineering and computing professional community.
In addition to addressing the issues associated with conference quality and conference publishing, the T&C leadership is collaborating with IEEE-CS staff to test ways to host virtual technical meetings (TMs) as a way to increase industry participation in the face of tighter business travel constraints. They have also been working to enhance transparency and streamline the workflow among technical committees, conference steering committees, TM volunteers, and staff.
The Publications Board has been very active this year under the leadership of Sorel Reisman and Evan Butterfield. This group initiated the successful proposal to launch a new publication, Transactions on Affective Computing, as well as continued efforts to support the Web delivery of superior content.
The IEEE Computer Society's technical magazines and journals saw their influence grow considerably over the past year, with significant impact factor increases reported throughout the Society's stable of high-quality, peer-reviewed technical publications. IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis & Machine Intelligence was ranked number 1 in electrical engineering and artificial intelligence, was one of the top-10-ranked computer science titles, and was the overall top-ranked IEEE and CS journal. IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering was one of the top-10-ranked computer science-software engineering titles, IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing was one of the top-10-ranked information systems and telecommunications titles, and IEEE Transactions on Visualization & Computer Graphics was one of the top-10-ranked computer science-software engineering titles.
As an organization, we have spent much effort this year evaluating where we are and where we want to be. It's impossible to express how impressed I have been with the volunteers and staff this year as we have pursued specific goals, working together to move the Society forward. I have great confidence in our staff under the leadership of Angela Burgess, our Executive Director, and affirm the quality of the volunteers we have to draw from in 2010, to be led by incoming president Jim Isaak.
I am enthusiastic about the future of our organization. The success of our Society is due to the continued efforts of the many dedicated volunteers and staff. This volunteer-staff partnership provides the foundation for all our efforts within this organization.
I thank all of the volunteers and staff who have worked so tirelessly to make 2009 a great year for the IEEE-CS, and we look forward together to an even better year in 2010.
Susan K. (Kathy) Land, CSDP, is employed by Mitre, a not-for-profit organization chartered to operate in the public interest, which manages three federally funded research and development centers for the US government. Contact her at email@example.com.