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Digital Magazines: The Future of Publishing Is Here

Ron Vetter, University of North Carolina Wilmington

Pages: 22–23

Abstract—Computer examines the advance of RF-powered computing, social learning in software engineering, speech-recognition technologies, solid-state memories, and population informatics through big data. The Web extra at is an audio recording of the EIC message, in which Ron Vetter discusses Computer�s annual �Outlook� issue and how it highlights emerging technologies that promise to have a major impact on computing in both the near and distant futures.

Keywords—RF-powered computing; social learning; software engineering; speech-user interfaces; speech recognition systems; solid-state memories; big data; population informatics

Graphic: Ron VetterUniversity of North Carolina Wilmington

Ron VetterUniversity of North Carolina Wilmington

Happy New Year! I'm excited to begin the year with our annual “Outlook” issue, highlighting emerging technologies that promise to have a major impact on computing in both the near and distant futures. We cover a wide range of topics in this issue, including the emergence of RF-powered computing, the future of social learning in software engineering, ways to facilitate the rapid development and adoption of speech-user interfaces, what the future holds for solid-state memories, and a big data vision for tapping into the insights of population informatics. I hope that you enjoy reading these articles and that you find the topics interesting and thought provoking.

In my previous EIC messages, I stressed the importance of Computer‘s digital transition. This move makes sense both for electronic distribution through traditional means as well as through emerging mobile platforms, and I'm pleased to report that the IEEE Computer Society continues to make important strides in this area. In 2007, the IEEE CS began offering Computer as a PDF file; in 2011, we offered multimedia-enhanced PDF files; and as of 2012, Computer is available as a mobile app for both the iOS and Android platforms. At a recent meeting of the IEEE CS Magazines Operations Committee, editors supported a transition for all CS publications to move to a digital format (with print available on demand) tentatively scheduled for 2015. This is an exciting time to be editor in chief of Computer, as our content is published in new and convenient formats for our readers.

Select content from Computer, and other Society-related activities and publications, including IEEE Software, is also featured on the IEEE CS YouTube channel ( Multimedia interviews and content, captured along with traditional print articles, not only provide value-added capabilities to the print publication, but also provide opportunities for reaching audiences beyond IEEE CS members through new and emerging electronic models of distribution.

Finally, as I reflect on the last year, it amazes me how far our digital publishing initiatives have come in just three short years. The publishing world is changing in many ways—whether it's open access, digital-only distribution, or the emergence of social media, we must continue to evolve our publishing processes and platforms to engage our current and future readership. 2014 is my final year as EIC of Computer. It has been a rewarding experience and, like many events in one's life, it's also gone by too quickly!


As is customary in this annual message, I want to take the opportunity to thank the editorial board members who serve in a variety of capacities, from the advisory panel to area and column editors. The masthead lists the people who help make Computer possible each month. These volunteers and staff members are critical to providing the expertise required to produce such a high-quality publication.

I also want to sincerely thank individuals who have completed their terms of service to Computer, and to welcome new members of the editorial board for 2014. Board members who retired from Computer in 2013 include column editor Chris Huntley, software editor David Weiss, and network editor Ahmed Helmy. They contributed significant time and expertise, and Computer is a better publication because of their efforts. In addition, Computer‘s long-time managing editor, Judi Prow, retired in May 2013. Judi worked tirelessly to improve the magazine and to uphold its well-known rigor and high standards. Computer misses her dedication, delightful spirit, and reassuring energy, and congratulates her on her retirement at the conclusion of a terrific career.

Finally, I want to take this opportunity to especially remember column editor John Riedl. John died on 15 July 2013 after a three-year battle with cancer ( I first met John at the University of Minnesota while I was a PhD candidate there. I asked him to join Computer‘s editorial board a couple of years ago to edit the Social Computing column; he was a wonderful editor, colleague, and friend. He is greatly missed.

Computer welcomes several new additions to the publication this year. First, I'm pleased to introduce Carrie Clark Walsh, Computer‘s new managing editor. Carrie is very highly regarded for her work with volunteers at the IEEE Computer Society, especially for the way she has handled various Technical Committee and Special Technical Community efforts. She brings more than 10 years of editorial experience in the medical field as well as several years of experience in senior-level positions for high-profile programs. Please join me in welcoming her to our team!

We also have a new area editor and column editor joining us in 2014. Upkar Varshney, of Georgia State University, is the new area editor for health informatics, and Christian Timmerer, with Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, will edit the Social Computing column. I look forward to working with them.


Opportunities to become involved with the IEEE CS and Computer include becoming an author, serving as a guest editor of a special issue, or volunteering as a reviewer. Visit to find detailed information about these opportunities and others.

As always, I welcome your comments and encourage you to submit suggestions for topics to be covered in future issues of Computer.

Ron Vetter is the Interim Associate Provost for Research and Dean of the Graduate School at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and cofounder of Mobile Education, LLC (, a technology company that specializes in developing interactive short message service applications. Vetter received a PhD in computer science from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Contact him at

New Board Members

Upkar Varshney is an associate professor of computer information systems at Georgia State University, Atlanta. His research interests include wireless networks, pervasive healthcare, ubiquitous computing, and mobile commerce. Varshney received a PhD in telecommunications and computer networking from the University of Missouri. In addition to authoring more than 160 papers, he has presented at numerous workshops, including keynote addresses at wireless, computing, and information systems conferences. Varshney has received several teaching awards, including the Myron T. Greene Outstanding Teaching Award (2000 and 2004) and the RCB College Distinguished Teaching Award (2002). He is serving or has served as editor or guest editor for major journals including IEEE Access, IEEE Transactions on IT in Biomedicine, Mobile Networks and Applications (MONET), Computer, and Decision Support Systems (DSS).

Christian Timmerer is an assistant professor in the Department of Information Technology (ITEC) and a member of the Multimedia Communications Group at Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, Austria. His research interests include immersive multimedia communication, streaming adaptation, quality of experience, and sensory experience. Timmerer received an MSc (Dipl.-Ing.) and PhD (Dr.techn.) from Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt. In addition to publishing more than 100 technical papers, he's an associate editor for Computing Now responsible for social media technologies and the inaugurating chair of the Special Technical Community on Social Networking. He was the general chair of WIAMIS 2008 and QoMEX 2013 and participated in the work of the International Organization for Standardization (IOS) and the Motion Picture Experts Group (MPEG) for more than 10 years. He's a member of the IEEE Computer Society, the IEEE Communications Society, and ACM SIGMM.

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