Issue No. 04 - July/August (2008 vol. 10)
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MCSE.2008.104
Norman Chonacky , Yale University
I don't usually comment on content in these editorial pieces, but I was inspired to do so this time because this isn't a special (themed) issue. In the past, these nontheme issues have been relatively rare, but more recently I've received so-called "regular" manuscripts in increasing numbers, variety, and quality. As a result, we've built up a backlog of accepted articles. These manuscripts usually aren't solicited by our editorial board, so they represent in some measure a spectrum of work and ideas that the editorial board hasn't preprocessed or filtered. In this sense, they say something authentic about our readers' current interests.
We have a fairly long horizon on our publishing schedule, so some of the articles in this issue have been in our manuscript queue for months. Our publication calendar contains tentatively scheduled theme issues that routinely extend for almost a year, so we need to squeeze in the nontheme issues from time to time. On this scale, it's a long time between when I first see a regular manuscript and the time it actually appears. As a result, reading the table of contents for a new nontheme issue can offer epiphanies.
Looking over the varied titles and abstracts of this issue's collection was no exception. The articles cover mechanics, biology, laboratory applications, and computation per se. Moreover, they're evenly divided between the two communities of our readers—those from the computational physical sciences and those from scientific computing—communities between which it's our mission to serve as a liaison. In this sense, to the extent that the distribution in content of these articles represents our readers, we can feel assured that we have positioned CiSE properly.
As you may recall, CiSE was the child of a marriage between an IEEE Computer Society magazine and an AIP magazine, each of which served one of these two reader communities. Given that this volume marks the first decade of that offspring, it might be a good point to look back at the editorial that George Cybenko, the first editor in chief of this publication, wrote in that inaugural issue:
CiSE is setting up camp at the confluence of two great intellectual rivers—the physical sciences and the computational sciences. This camp will grow into a town and then a city but only if we learn each other's languages and trade in good faith.By publishing novel ideas from such a broad array of topics and specialties, we must be open-minded and helpful to each other. More likely than not, what might appear to be a wrong-headed argument or approach in one community is what another community takes as gospel. This creates opportunities both ways. We stand to learn a lot or to reach an enormous new audience by setting the record straight, whichever the case may be.
I would like to think that we're fulfilling Cybenko's perceptive predictions. What do you think?