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The Electronic World and Societal Trends

Pages: p. C2

Digital technology continues to impact all aspects of life and, with this transitional change, continues to create new cultural practices. You may have seen one of the variations of a humorous piece that makes fun of those of us who choose to send an email to the coworker sitting next door instead of poking our head into their cubicle for a five-second conversation; or habitually dialing 9 on the house phone before dialing the actual number.

New social protocols

Societal and cultural changes, influenced mostly by the presence of digital technologies, necessitate new social protocols and a new type of professionalism. This must begin, and must be deeply embedded, in the educational system. This certainly applies most strongly to the new graduates of multimedia degree programs. It's not enough to train them to have the necessary theoretical knowledge and technical and artistic skills. We must also expose them to an interdisciplinary range of topics, which include professionalism as related to the intersection of the electronic world and societal trends.

Do you know of any programs that have successfully embedded such a discourse into their curriculum? Are there best practices from which we can all learn? Please write to me at and let's keep the dialogue going in the "Readers' Remarks" section. TTYL and LOL.

New members

In other news, I would like to report changes on the editorial board. After many years of service, our founding editor in chief, Ramesh Jain, will retire from the board. His valuable services to this magazine—diverse in nature, numerous in quantity, and always of the highest quality—will be missed. Also retiring from the board are Nevenka Dimitrova and Tiziana Catarci, who have helped in many different ways. I am sincerely grateful for their precious services during my tenure as EIC. I would also like to thank Chiao-Fe Shu for his help with the "New Products" department over the years.

I'm pleased to introduce three new members to the editorial board: Susanne Boll (our new "Visions and Views" department editor), Farshad Fotouhi ("New Products" department editor), and Qibin Sun (the new "Multimedia at Work" department editor). As you can see by reading their brief bios, each brings a diverse talent that will help IEEE MultiMedia keep up with the electronic world and societal trends.

About the Authors

Susanne Boll is an assistant professor for multimedia and Internet technologies at the Department of Computing Science at the University of Oldenburg, Germany. Her research focuses on the development of user-centered (mobile) multimedia applications and systems.
Farshad Fotouhi is the chair of the Department of Computer Science at Wayne State University. His research interests include database management systems, object-oriented systems, query optimization, multimedia/hypermedia systems, Web databases, and medical informatics.
Qibin Sun is the manager of the Media Semantics Department at the Institute for Infocomm Research in Singapore. His expertise ranges from multimedia image and video processing and analysis to multimedia security and face recognition.
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