IEEE Technical Activities
Dr. Benjamin W. Wah
Robert T. Chien Professor
University of Illinois, Urbana
In my vision, the IEEE will provide our members easy access to current and concise technical information, facilitate interactions through conferences and regional activities, and bring new technologies to our members, steps ahead of other sources. As vice president for TAB, my goal is to carry out this vision and help our members maintain a competitive edge, using means like distance learning. To fulfill the mission of the IEEE and reduce the technology gap of our members, I will represent your interest and emphasize the following:
Guiding the IEEE into a learning community through journals, electronic conferences, Web-based tutorials, seminars, virtual communities, section meetings and regional activities. We will be exploring ways and means to rapidly update our members' knowledge in new and fast developing areas and help our members overcome obsolescence and meet their daily challenges of rapidly advancing technologies. We will do this through reviews and surveys from well-known experts, as well as discussions in conference panels and invited speeches that will be made available electronically beyond conferences. Using interactive distance learning, we will bring conferences to members' homes and strive for new ways of delivering timely and easily understandable information to our members according to their technological interests.
Promoting publications, conferences, and services for our practitioner members who need to stay attuned to changing technologies and continuously expand their technical expertise. We must develop new publications and services in emerging areas and improve our current offerings to serve our practitioner and student members’ needs. I will work with society program boards to bridge the gap between theory and practice.
Developing plans to better serve our regular and student members worldwide. We need more effective and economical methods to deliver workshops, conferences, publications, digital libraries, and services to our worldwide members. We must bring all our global members to closer collaboration.
Leading the IEEE through sound financial management practices and better cooperation among societies and councils. In addition, I will work hard to represent the interests of our members by reducing the costs of products and services, especially those unemployed and with low income.
I have served the IEEE-CS since 1978 and have been active in TAB in the last six years. In particular, I have demonstrated my leadership ability in serving as the IEEE-CS President in 2001, during which I managed an annual budget of $33 million, a membership of nearly 100,000, and many diverse activities in publications, conferences, standards, education, and international cooperation. To illustrate my abilities, the following are three projects that I helped initiate in 2001.
First, we launched the Total Information Provider Project, the master plan of IEEE-CS’ electronic future in the coming years. The project was in response to member requests for concise, relevant, and up-to-date technical material in digital format in diverse topical areas. It provides a method of offering broader content from within the total scope of computing literature and for synthesizing that information to focus on specific technical areas. It also offers tools to help members address their problem of information overload and their need for access to essential and timely information with anywhere, anytime delivery.
Second, we developed in 2001 a new distance learning initiative to significantly enhance the value of IEEE-CS membership. To energize educational activities, we started offering all IEEE-CS members free access to hundreds of hours of professionally developed IT-related courses via the Internet. The project was highly successful, leading to increased membership in 2002.
Third, we developed strategic partnerships with other IEEE entities in order to enhance member services. We also helped resolve many differences between IEEE and IEEE-CS that arose in the past few years.
My other significant activities in the IEEE include the co-founding of the IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering in 1988 and serving as its EIC between 1993-96, serving as the IEEE-CS Vice President for Publications between 1998-99, leading the initiation of the IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing and IEEE Pervasive Computing in 2001, serving as an AdCom member in the IEEE Neural Network Council for eight years, serving as an IEEE-CS Board of Governors member for eight years, and serving as conference and program chairs of numerous IEEE conferences.
In my professional career, I am the first holder of the Robert T. Chien Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana, where I have taught since 1985. Previously, I taught for six years at Purdue University. I served as a program director at the National Science Foundation between 1988 and 1989. I have supervised 16 Ph.D. and 19 M.S. theses. My interests are in computer and communications, including software engineering and Internet-based applications. My research is inter-disciplinary and covers areas in multimedia signal processing, computer networks, neural networks, and nonlinear optimization.
I will be honored to serve you as Vice President and will be available to you for interactions and advice. Please feel free to suggest to the IEEE how we can serve you better.