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10 years of news and resources for members of the IEEE Signal Processing Society
The IEEE Signal Processing Society is the premier international society for signal processing scientists and engineers. Its origins trace back within the activities of the Professional Group on Audio of the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE), which was formed in 1948. The IEEE Global History Network http://www.ieeeghn.org/wiki/index.php/IEEE_Signal_Processing_Society_History provides a "Brief Timeline of Events" where one can track the evolution of the Society and the changes of its name. Its main events of formation were.
June 1948 - IRE Audio Group
Thus, the history shows that the current name Signal Processing Society has stuck for a quarter of a century. Has the time come for another change of name?
For more than a decade, the leadership of the Society has addressed the problem of the Society’s visibility and its perceived lack of recognition by the wide public. Many members of the Society find that the reason for this is in the term “Signal Processing” because it carries very little public comprehension.
Many who hold the purse strings for research do not have much appreciation for what we do because of the name of the field. Even some of our technical colleagues in other disciplines such as Computer Science often view our work too narrowly. Three columns on this issue by our recent Presidents (Moura, Kaveh, and Liu) and a colleague (Li) published in the IEEE Signal Processing Magazine can be found at http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?arnumber=05230869&tag=1 (Moura, Nov. 2009),
http://online.qmags.com/SIPR0114/Default.aspx#pg159&mode2 (Kaveh and Li, Jan. 2014),
and http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=6678228 (Liu. Jan. 2014).
In the past 25 years, technology has continued to advance relentlessly. To keep pace with those advances, the Society has modified its field of interest twice (in 1994 and 2010). Furthermore, new technical committees within the Society have sprouted and old ones have changed their names:
Our conferences have also changed and many new workshops have been introduced. In 1994, ICIP was just launching. At that time, our publications were:
Today, our wholly-owned publications have grown to include:
These are in addition to a new journal (Computational Imaging to be launched on 1/1/15) and
numerous jointly owned periodicals on topics such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, Smart Grid, the Internet of Things, Medical Imaging, Biometrics, Biomedical and Health Informatics, Biomedical Engineering, Life Sciences, Sensors, Remote Sensing, Multimedia, Security and Privacy, Affective Computing, Computational Social Systems, Engineering Management, Mobile Computing, Network Science, Wireless Communications, Communications and Networking, and Molecular, Biological, and Multi-Scale Communications.
There is no doubt that our Society’s interests continue to grow with astounding pace. So, 25 years after the name Signal Processing was adopted, it is timely to reflect on whether it continues to portray a true image of the Society’s activities. And if not, is there a name that can capture the Society’s scope better while at the same time improving its visibility?
At the last Board of Governors meeting of the Society in Austin, TX (December 2013), it was decided to form a committee (P. Chou, P. M. Djurić (chair), W. Kellermann, A. Kuh, and A. Scaglione) to explore the question of the Society’s change of name. The purpose of this communication is to spur discussion on this issue so that the committee members obtain valuable feedback from our members.
We are particularly interested in comments related to the following questions:
We thank you in advance for your feedback.
On behalf of the committee,
Petar M. Djurić
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