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Issue No. 12 - December (2010 vol. 43)
ISSN: 0018-9162
pp: 9-10
Carl K. Chang , Iowa State University
I can hardly believe that my four-year tenure as Computer's editor in chief is approaching its end. As the IEEE Computer Society's flagship magazine, Computer strives to introduce the latest computing technologies and practices to its audience. It also serves as the vehicle for the Society to connect to its members.
In retrospect, I appreciate all the precious opportunities provided to me to get involved in many dimensions of the Society's professional activities. I have witnessed firsthand the evolution of this great organization through a long journey as a volunteer since joining the Computer Society in 1979.
My work as IEEE Software's third EIC (1991-1994) prepared me well for taking the position as Computer's EIC. Software is a world-class magazine, published bimonthly and focused on software. In contrast, owing to the nature of our computing profession, Computer's content necessarily covers a broad range of topics. Obviously, no individual can claim expertise in all the subjects that Computer covers. Thus, Computer's EIC needs a lot of help from experts in many areas of computing.
EICs must be proficient in fundamental editorial skills. What makes the EIC job interesting is that there always seems to be a learning curve. I gratefully acknowledge that I have continued to learn and benefit from all sources of advice that are accessible to me. I am deeply indebted to all who had to bear with me in the eight years of my EIC career.
Indeed, many outstanding people have contributed to Computer's success.
First, our authors and reviewers are to be thanked and congratulated. Your work provides the foundation of a great publication such as Computer.
Next, members of the editorial board and advisory panel are indispensible colleagues who help fulfill Computer's mission through effective and proactive editorial development and participation in a rigorous decision-making process.
In particular, I would like to express my gratitude to Doris Carver, my EIC prededecessor and in many ways my role model, who cultivated my service as a Computer Society volunteer, which eventually led to my appointment as C omputer's EIC.
I would also like to take this opportunity to recognize the enduring and high-impact service of Tom Cain and Ron Hoelzeman, long-term Computer Society volunteer leaders who, before my arrival, had already made significant contributions as members of Computer's editorial board for many years. We shall miss them greatly as they retire from Computer. I likewise thank Erich Neuhold, who is retiring as a board member, for his sincerely appreciated service as an area editor.
Computer's editorial staff in the Los Alamitos office has consistently performed a meticulous job. High quality and timely production of Computer over the course of all these years couldn't have been accomplished without the great partnership between volunteers and staff working toward a common goal.
Unfortunately, Computer recently suffered a huge loss—the passing of Scott Hamilton, senior acquisitions editor. As I said in his obituary ("In Memoriam," Computer, Oct. 2010, p. 7), Scott effectively gave Computer a distinct "personality" in his 15 years of unselfish service to this publication. I still can't imagine how Computer will evolve in the post-Hamilton era. He certainly left big shoes for us to fill.
As a strong believer in industry and academic collaboration, I have had the opportunity to establish two industrial advisory boards, one for Software in 1991 during my first year as EIC, and one in 2009 for Computer, which subsequently became a Society-level advocate for improving the relationship between industry and academia (C. Chang, "Reversing the Bipolar Drift—Introducing the IAB," Computer, July 2009, pp. 20-21).
The Software IAB persists through today and has even more dutifully embraced 21st-century advances in software technologies because of the deeper penetration of software into almost every aspect of modern life. While it was charged with broadly advising the Society on a variety of professional issues, the IAB established in 2009 has already contributed several articles to Computer through the bimonthly Industry Perspective column, edited by Sumi Helal. I foresee that this column will be instrumental in the continuous improvement of the Society's service to its audience as a genuine industrial sounding board.
Since the birth of modern electronic digital computers in the late 1930s and early 1940s, the world has progressed through many landmark events in the evolution of modern computing. In the future, I see that cross-cutting issues ranging from security and privacy to performance and availability eventually will consume a lion's share of the research funding and efforts to support the work of both industrialists and researchers. Therefore, I hold great hope that the work done in this area will continue to be as effective in the future as it has proven to be in the recent past.
Finally, it's is my duty and privilege to announce to you the incoming EIC, Ron Vetter. Ron has served Computer for many years as an editorial board member and as our Web editor. Computer's editorial board has often benefited from his down-to-earth perspective because Ron is more than an academic—he's also a computing technologist who is willing to experiment. I trust that Computer will continue to thrive under Ron's leadership.
I hereby call for your continuous support through active engagement in all dimensions of editorial and readership activities to improve and sustain Computer—your publication.
Carl K. Chang,Computer's editor in chief from 2006-2010, is professor and chair of the Department of Computer Science, Iowa State University. Contact him at
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