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From the Editor

As humans, we cannot be indifferent to the increasing number of dramatic events taking place in the world: fires, tornadoes, floods, and - recently - the collapse of a huge block of the Marmolada glacier in the Italian Alps. All are clear evidence to the global warming of the Earth.

The July issue of IEEE Signal Processing Magazine (SPM) is a special issue focused on “Explainability in Data Science: Interpretability, Reproducibility, and Replicability.” With increased enthusiasm for machine learning, it is a very timely topic, and I invite every IEEE Signal Processing Society (SPS) member to read these very instructive papers.
“Science without conscience is only ruin of the soul” said François Rabelais. This centuries-old quote still resonates, today maybe louder than ever. I began to write this editorial at the end of February when Russian tanks and soldiers invaded Ukraine and waves of bombers began dropping their bombs on Ukrainian cities, targeting civilian buildings, hospitals, and schools. This dramatic event was a shock to Europeans, since most of them have lived in relative peace for more than 70 years.
For me and, probably, many readers, each issue of IEEE Signal Processing Magazine ( SPM ) is the opportunity and pleasure to learn something new in the area of signal and image processing. In addition to lecture notes, tips-and-tricks articles, special reports, and so on, which propose interesting and clever solutions to typical signal or image processing problems, the feature articles and special issue provide tutorial-like articles on various mature or fast-developing domains.
This issue of IEEE Signal Processing Magazine is mainly focused on neurorehabilitation and assistive technologies. For a few decades, microelectronics, signal processing, robotics, and computer science have been the driver of many scientific and technological advances, with applications in many domains, including health.
This past summer, Prof. Robert Heath Jr. IEEE Signal Processing Magazine’s (SPM’s) former editor-in-chief, stressed to me how important it is to include a strong team of scientists on the magazine’s editorial board. It is especially important for area editors and members of the senior editorial board, but also associate editors for columns and forums as well as the e-Newsletter.
First, I would like to wish you a happy New Year and, especially, health for you and your families. I am very honored to be the new editor-in-chief (EIC) of IEEE Signal Processing Magazine (SPM) for the next three years. It is a great challenge for me, as it was probably for its previous EICs since SPM is not an ordinary magazine.
Three years have gone by quickly. I started as the editor-in-chief (EIC) of IEEE Signal Processing Magazine (SPM) in January 2018. It coincided with other changes in my personal life that made the transition steeper than I had expected. Looking back, it is how I imagine the New Year’s polar bear plunge might be. Of course, three years of service is a tad bit longer than a few minutes of swimming in ridiculously cold water. 

Like many of you, I am still working remotely, due to COVID-19, while writing this editorial. As in the past two years, I was planning to give an update on the magazine from our editorial board meeting. However, since ICASSP was remote, we have not yet scheduled the board meeting. Instead, I have decided to talk about a topic of personal interest: connections between communications and sensing in the context of vehicular systems.

After more than two years, my term as editor-in-chief (EIC) of IEEE Signal Processing Magazine (SPM) is coming to an end in December 2020. I am looking forward to finishing out this year with a bang. Soon, the search will start for my replacement. In this editorial, I will provide a summary of the EIC’s job from my perspective, in case you are interested in applying. 

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