Volunteer Spotlight: Fabrizio Lombardi

fabrizio lombardi

The IEEE Computer Society's Publishing Services Department is proud to introduce our new interview series called "Volunteer Spotlight." Each month, our series will feature five tailor written core questions and five standard optional questions answered by our volunteer of the month.

Our first interviewee is IEEE Transactions on Computers' EIC Fabrizio Lombardi. Enjoy!

Read other volunteer spotlights...


Q. What motivated you to become an IEEE Computer Society volunteer?

A. In my opinion, an active membership in a professional society such as the IEEE Computer Society (CS), is an integral part of my job. Participation in IEEE CS helps me to gauge the pulse on the profession as a whole, in terms of acquiring both disparate experiences as well as source of personal improvement.

Q. What has been the best part of being a CS volunteer?

A. The best part is the interaction with people from different cultural and educational backgrounds that I continue to be exposed as an active member of IEEE CS; it is always enlighting, a rich experience that has allowed me to learn and absorb new ideas and expand my horizons.

Q. Why do you think it is important to get involved with nonprofit organizations?

A. Nonprofit organizations provide an unique backbone for many activities specifically directed to different segments of today's society. Nonprofit organizations have expanded their activities on a wide spectrum of endeavors; as second to none, the IEEE CS has worked very hard to propel its technical outreach to professionals from all over the world. Moreover participation in a learned community can not exclude an involvement in the organization that leads in providing support and growth to its members.

Q. Earlier this year you became an IEEE Fellow, what does this designation mean to you personally and professionally?

A. I was humbled by such designation as I regard the elevation to Fellow a token of appreciation from my peers.

I remember in the late seventies when pursuing my PhD at the University of London, a tedious literature survey (no electronic search available at that time ....) involved to peruse through dusty bounded copies of IEEE Transactions; the names of many authors and pioneers in the computing field (such as Booth and Dijkstra) were always identified by their IEEE Fellow designation. Such an aura still remains very vivid in my mind as a testimony of professional accomplishment.

Q. What up and coming topics in your field of study are exciting to you? Are there any papers currently in our CS digital library that discuss these topics?

A. As EIC of IEEE Transactions on Computers, my expertise has to be diverse in covering the many innovations that are occurring in the computing field. In my opinion the years ahead will show that computers will closely bridge the two domains of engineering and applied sciences. This is already occurring in many forefronts of technology: at nano scales, chip fabrication and manufacturing are confronted with limitations imposed by physical properties of materials and devices. At the higher system-level, design is utilizing biologically inspired techniques to push computation to its limit. While this may be identified with the interdisciplinary trend so fashionable these days in academia, I believe that computing and in this respect IEEE TC as the publication of the highest relevance in this field, will experience tremendous growth in both audience and contributors. In my opinion, the IEEE Computer Society is already well position to harvest this untapped field by focusing on existing peer-reviewed publications and enlarging their scope to encompass these new technology developments as reflected in activities from industry and academia.

Q. What do you like best about being an EIC?

A. The biggest satisfaction in being an EIC is the direct impact on future generations of engineers; when at a professional meeting I meet an author who is in the early stage of a professional career (much likely a doctoral candidate), I always congratulate her/him on the published work; this reinforces the unique bond between IEEE Transactions on Computers and this young mind as future of our profession.

Q. How do you balance life and work?

A. The balance between life and work is always a challenge; I have a wonderful family that has been very patient and supportive of my professional activities even though they may take me away from them.

Over the years, I have found that the best practice to manage such balance is based on two firm beliefs: do not procrastinate and plan your activities ahead. At least in my case, they have helped to handle multi-threading as so often required in today's hectic life.

Q. What is your favorite book or movie?

A. My favorite book is "Gulliver's Travels" by Jonathan Swift. The classic status of this book is often identified with children's literature; however, it is a keen satirical view of society and its sometimes odd customs and prejudices.

My favorite movie is "Patton" (1970), a biography of US General George S. Patton during World World II. In addition to the charismatic account and character of this unsung leader, I am very fond of George C. Scott's performance as the general (for which he won an Oscar as Best Actor).