The Community for Technology Leaders

A Personal Reflection

Jim X. Chen, Associate Editor in Chief

Pages: pp. 3

Life is Full of Contrasts. When I was a Wide-Eyed College Student, I honestly Felt That Learning so Many Different Subjects was Boring and Useless. However, Since Graduating From College and Departing the Traditional Classroom, I've Spent Much

of my life's work trying to review and expand what I briefly touched on in my college years to achieve my research and publication responsibilities as well as to understand recent technical advances. I often wish that I could have tried a little harder and learned a little more back in my college days. When I tell my students at George Mason University about these wishes, they just stare at me with blank faces. For most of us, the future is a remote cloud; we can only see the past with full clarity.

I joined the CiSE editorial board and got into the publication selection and decision process roughly 10 years ago. In the early years, I worked as a department editor and often worried about getting enough submissions and whether we could review them all fairly; the same is true when I've served as a guest editor of special themed issues. When a paper receives conflicting reviews, I often read the manuscript and try to come up with some sort of consensus. This activity parallels a lot of what we all do in our daily work lives: many researchers find that when they're looking to solve complex problems, some solutions already exist, sometimes within the pages of this magazine. Similarly, when researchers have great solutions they want to publish, their results might involve such a mixture of sciences and computation that they don't know where to turn. Again, CiSE can provide the proper venue; we're always eager to receive and accept quality manuscripts.

As one of its editors, I've watched this magazine evolve over the years to become the unique forum it is today for people in different areas to share their ideas and methods. Our core goal is to offer a mixture of sciences and engineering techniques and applications in diverse fields with modern computing technologies. Because of its broad scope, CiSE provides many opportunities to connect fragments of diverse research through computing, help the teaching and understanding of subspecialties, combine scientists and engineers from two major technical institutions (the American Institute of Physics and the IEEE Computer Society), and foster new interdisciplinary findings. Another great aspect of this magazine is that it offers not only original research, but also known quality results for dissemination to people working in distant, yet related, fields.

I often tell my students about CiSE and its exemplary content—fortunately, they greet me with more enthusiasm than blank expressions. I also find myself extolling the magazine's virtues whenever I meet professionals at different functions because I feel they should know about this great option for information and publication. If we all put this sort of effort into getting the word out, we can only improve the magazine's ability to serve the community.


To foster understanding, we identified certain commercial software in last issue's Computing Prescriptions department ("Cut It Out!" vol. 11, no. 3, 2009, pp. 74–79). Such identification does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, nor does it imply that the software identified is necessarily the best available for the purpose. We regret any confusion this error might have caused.

About the Authors

Jim X. Chen is a professor at George Mason University and an associate editor in chief of this magazine. His research interests include computer graphics, visualization, and virtual reality. Chen has a PhD in computer science from the University of Central Florida. Contact him at
59 ms
(Ver 3.x)