Leveraging Financial Strength to Serve Members and Invest for the Future

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10 years of news and resources for members of the IEEE Signal Processing Society

Leveraging Financial Strength to Serve Members and Invest for the Future

Min Wu
SPS Vice President – Finance

The IEEE Signal Processing Society (SPS) has enjoyed healthy financial operations for a number of years, thanks to the tremendous amount of effort from volunteers at all levels and the support from the staff.  In his November 2009 article "SPS Finances and Value-adding Efforts for Members", former Vice President – Finance, Petar Djuric, provided eNewsletter readers with an overview of major aspects of the Society’s  Finances.  Although the financial reserves of the IEEE and SPS were negatively affected by the worldwide financial crisis in 2008, it is encouraging that for two years in a row, SPS financial reserves have been steadily recovering, and surpluses have been realized from annual operations.

How can SPS leverage its financial strength to serve members and invest for the future prosperity of the signal processing community? This has been a core topic being examined by the Society leadership, including during the long range planning retreat held last Fall during ICIP 2010 (see the December 2010 article “Thinking Long Range for SPS” by President-Elect Ray Liu).  The SPS Board of Governors has set aside a sizable amount of funds for 2011 and is currently working on the 2012 budget to explore various initiatives to expand member benefits and values, to outreach to signal processing communities worldwide, and to enhance the visibility of the SPS.

Setting up an SPS Travel Grant is one of the recent initiatives that the Society's Board of Governors approved in Fall 2010, which draws the synergy from the Society’s finance, conference, and membership operations. Building on three pilot efforts in 2009-2010, the Society will allocate a substantial annual fund to support students as well as researchers in need from developing countries to attend the Society's two major conferences - ICASSP and ICIP.  Fifty-one SPS members who are ICASSP 2011 authors have been selected as the first group of grantees.

Among them, twenty members are from developing regions, including nine from Region 8 (Egypt, Iran, Tunisia, Turkey, and Yugoslavia), three from Region 9 (Argentina and Brazil), and eight from Region 10 (China, India, and Thailand). These countries are consistent with the IEEE outreach plans <link>.  A substantial travel fund is provided to these student and non-student members, with an average grant of nearly $1000 each (specific grant size depends on geographic areas and travel budget needs). In addition, thirty-one SPS student members from ten other countries around the world will receive a travel subsidy to support their traveling to Prague to present their papers at ICASSP 2011.  The timely selection of grantees would not be possible without the hard work of the SPS Travel Grant Selection Committee for ICASSP 2011 (co-chaired by Akihiko Ken Sugiyama and Jonathon Chambers, along with Roxana Saint-Nom and Jennifer Trelewicz).  Special thanks for the support from the SPS Staff, in particular, Theresa Argiropoulos, Lisa Schwarzbek, Rupal Bhatt, Nicole Allen, and Darlene Beverley.

Shortly, the SPS Travel Grant applications will be open to qualified ICIP 2011 authors who are SPS members. Please bookmark this SPS web page and check for updates in a few weeks. Keep in mind that SPS membership is required. For prospective applicants, if you have not renewed your SPS membership, please renew it now.  If you are not yet an SPS member, follow this Membership page to join and take advantage of the limited-time promotion at the half-year rate.  An increasing number of benefits are being planned and will be available to members only. So join SPS now, and be part of the First Society of the IEEE and access a network of over 15,000 members across nearly 150 chapters worldwide!

Outreach visit by SPS Leadership: Beijing, September 2010.

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