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Computer Society Connection

Pages: pp. 73-76

Two CS Members Win US Presidential Honors


Figure    Juan E. Gilbert researches game-like interfaces that provide naturally interactive instruction by using animation, artificial intelligence, and speech.


Figure    Karen Panetta advises schools and science museums across the US on ways to encourage engineering and technology education among youth.

IEEE Computer Society mem-bers Juan E. Gilbert and Karen Panetta were among nine individuals and eight organizations that US President Bar-ack Obama named as 2011 recipients of the Presidential Award for Excel-lence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring.

"Through their commitment to education and innovation, these indi-viduals and organizations are playing a crucial role in the development of our 21st-century workforce," said Obama.


Gilbert, a senior member of IEEE, is IDEaS professor and chair of the human-centered computing division in the School of Computing at Clemson University. One of Gilbert's key contributions includes development of the African-American Multiple Learning Styles integrated learning system, designed to teach algebra in a culturally responsive way.


Panetta, an IEEE Fellow and a member of the Computer Society Fellows Committee, is a professor of electrical and computer engi-neering and director of the Simula-tion Research Laboratory at Tufts University.

In May 2011, she was named a Woman of Vision recipient for leadership by the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology. The institute recognized Panetta not only for her contributions in academia and industry but also for her expertise in disseminating engineering and science to youth, parents, and educators, and in attracting young women to the STEM disciplines. Her Nerd Girls international program has inspired young women by teaching them how engineers and scientists create innovations that benefit humanity.


Administered by the National Science Foundation, the award recognizes the role that mentoring plays in the academic and personal development of students studying science and engineering—particularly those who belong to underrepresented groups. Colleagues, administrators, and students can nominate candidates. In addition to being recognized at the White House, honorees receive a $25,000 NSF grant to advance their mentoring efforts.

Changes to Society Bylaws Available Online

The IEEE Computer Society Board of Governors recently approved the first reading of three amendments to the Society's bylaws.

Article II (Nominations & Elections), Section 6, was revised to set a two-candidate minimum for officer nominations and to prohibit nominations from the floor during the Board meeting at which the selection occurs. Article II (Nominations & Elections), Section 10, was also revised to set a two-candidate minimum for officer nominations. Article I (Membership), Section 1, was revised to add a graduate student class of membership.

Changes to existing Society bylaws that receive first and second reading approval by the Board of Governors are listed by title in Computer, with links from each to a website location hosting the actual documents. The documents remain accessible at this website location until such time as the changes receive final approval.

Documents are posted at the following URLs:

Bylaws Article II: Nominations & Elections—Section 6

Bylaws Article II: Nominations & Elections—Section 10

Bylaws Article I: Membership—Section 1

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

CRA-W Project Matches Undergrads with Mentors

A project of the Computer Research Association Committee on the Status of Women (CRA-W), the Distributed Research Experiences for Undergraduates program matches promising undergraduates with a faculty mentor for a summer research experience at the faculty member's home institution.

Students are directly involved in a research project and interact with graduate students and professors on a daily basis. Participants maintain a weekly journal and website documenting their progress on the project. Students and mentors submit a progress report midway through the summer, and students prepare a technical paper reporting on their project.

At the end of the program, links to the student websites and final reports are posted on the DREU website ( Students are also encouraged to submit papers and to present their work to appropriate journals and conferences.

Funding for the student consists of a weekly stipend plus travel assistance when appropriate. A student's funding is intended to cover 10 weeks of research during the summer, though alternative arrangements are possible. Additional funds may be available to support student conference travel, either during the summer or afterward, and for outreach activities promoting DREU.

A third-party assessment of DREU by the University of Wisconsin center for Learning through Evaluation, Adaptation and Dissemination (LEAD) has established that students who participated in DREU were roughly 20 times more likely to attend graduate school than a control group with comparable grades.

Since 1994, more than 400 students from more than 100 academic institutions have participated in DMP/DREU. Students and faculty can apply by 15 February at

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