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Computer Society Connection

Pages: pp. 71-73

Chen, Hescott Win Society Education Awards

Wen-Tsuen Chen, the 2011 IEEE Computer Society Taylor L. Booth Award recipient, is a Distinguished Chair Professor in the Department of Computer Science at National Tsing Hua University, where he has served as department chair, dean, and university president. Chen received a BS in nuclear engineering from National Tsing Hua University and an MS and PhD in electrical engineering and computer sciences from the University of California, Berkeley.


Figure    Wen-Tsuen Chen is a pioneer in computer science education in Taiwan.

Chen joined National Tsing Hua University in 1976 at a time when there were no digital industries in Taiwan. He has since witnessed and contributed to the country's development into a technology powerhouse. Chen helped found the Department of Computer Science at the university and founded its College of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences.

His citation reads, "For contri-butions to computer science education in Taiwan and worldwide, and for promoting computer networking education at all levels."

From 1988 to 1992, Chen was a science and technology advisor to Taiwan's Ministry of Education and helped establish the Taiwan Academic Network (TANet), the first Internet in Taiwan, which has served as the foundation for developing public as well as commercial Internet services in the country. From 1992 to 1996, Chen served as director of the Ministry of Education's advisory office. He helped improve the information infrastructure of K-12 schools and initiated computer systems, communications, and VLSI design education programs that significantly improved research infrastructure and teaching programs in universities.

Chen was selected as an IEEE Fellow in 1994 and received the IEEE Computer Society Technical Achievement Award for his research accomplishments in computer networking and parallel processing in 1999. He is a lifelong national chair of the Taiwan Ministry of Education.

Taylor L. Booth Award winners receive a bronze medal and a $5,000 honorarium in recognition of an outstanding record in computer science and engineering education.

Tufts University's Benjamin Hescott was recently selected to receive the IEEE Computer Society's 2011 Computer Science and Engineering Undergraduate Teaching Award. Hescott is a senior lecturer and research assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science in Tufts' School of Engineering. His research interests include computational complexity, Kolmorgorov complexity, approximation algorithms, and computational biology. Most recently, within the school's Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Research Group, Hescott has worked to discover genetic motifs that represent redundant systems.


Figure    Benjamin Hescott explores complex problems in computation and biology.

His citation reads, "For making computer science accessible to a broad spectrum of students through his energy, enthusiasm, and dedication to teaching."

Hescott is continually searching for new tools and analogies to help make computer science and programming accessible to all learners. His teaching tools include everything from rolls of paper towels to model Turing machine tapes to nesting Tupperware containers for linked lists. Hescott is currently working on new curricula for the first-year sequence of computer science.

Hescott graduated from Boston University with a PhD in computer science in 2008. While at BU, he received the department teaching award. At Tufts, he is the faculty supervisor for the student ACM chapter and serves as liaison to the New England Undergraduate Computer Science Symposium. He is a member of the leadership team for the Empowering Leadership Alliance, whose main purpose is encouraging, preparing, and retaining underrepresented minorities in computer science.

The IEEE Computer Society Computer Science and Engineering Undergraduate Teaching Award is presented for outstanding contributions to undergraduate education through teaching and service, and for helping to maintain interest in the field and making a statement about the importance with which the IEEE Computer Society views undergraduate education.

IEEE Division VIII Director-Elect Candidates Named

The IEEE Computer Society Board of Governors has selected Roger U. Fujii and Rangachar Kasturi as IEEE Division VIII Director-Elect nominees.

Kasturi, 2008 president of the Computer Society, is the Douglas W. Hood Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of South Florida. He received a PhD from Texas Tech University in 1982. Kasturi was a professor of computer science and engineering and electrical engineering at the Pennsylvania State University from 1982 to 2003.

Fujii, Computer Society vice president of standards activities, recently retired as vice president of network communication systems at Northrop Grumman. He was responsible for three major business units with $1 billion in revenue and administered annual research and development funding for more than 2,300 employees. Fujii led efforts in communications and network planning, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, acquisition, and systems engineering and satellite/tactical data link systems, including IED defeat systems and ground forces network management.

Society Seeks Officer Candidates

Recruiting active leadership is critical to the vitality of the IEEE Computer Society. The Society's Nominations Committee requests nominations of qualified candidates for the following positions:

  • 2012 president-elect, to serve as 2013 president and 2014 past-president;
  • first vice president, to serve a one-year term in 2012;
  • second vice president, to serve a one-year term in 2012; and
  • seven Board of Governors positions, to serve a three-year term in 2012-2014.

Candidates for president-elect, first vice president, and second vice president must be members of the IEEE and must have been Computer Society members for the preceding three years. Board of Governors nominees must be Computer Society members.

A packet of information for each candidate, including a personal biography and a statement of candidacy, must be submitted to the Nominations Committee by 25 March. Please submit the name of any proposed candidate to, with a copy to Individuals can be nominated for more than one position.

IEEE Foundation Invites Grant Proposals

The IEEE Computer Society Board of Governors voted at a recent meeting to amend its bylaws to clarify the makeup of the Executive Committee, establish an executive office for the Society, and eliminate the Personnel and Compensation Committee. Changes to existing Society bylaws that receive first and second reading approval by the Board of Governors are listed below by title, with links from each to a website hosting the actual documents. The documents will be accessible in these locations until such time as the changes receive final approval.

Documents are posted at the following URLs:

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

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