Minutes of ICASSP '99 Meeting, held 3/16/99 in Phoenix, AZ

(Action items appear below in boldface)

In attendance: P.P. Vaidyanathan, Javier Fonollosa, Dirk Slock, Alle-Jan van der Veen, Martin Kristensson (for Bjorn Ottersten), John Shynk, Michail Tsatsanis, Rick Kozick (SPAWC '99 representative), Rick Blum, Lang Tong, Sergio Barbarossa, Ananthram Swami, Brian Sadler, Moeness Amin, John Treichler, Zhi Ding, Lee Swindlehurst, and Georgios Giannakis.

Meeting began with an introduction of all members. Giannakis thanked the committee for their help in writing the SPCOM contribution to the IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, which had just recently appeared in the March 1999 issue. It was mentioned that the editor of the SP Magazine, Aggelos Katsaggelos, has asked for greater involvement of the TCs in the magazine. Katsaggelos wants feedback on possibilities for enhancing the visibility of the TCs in the magazine. Possible suggestions are special TC-related issues, a column on recent TC activities, etc.

Giannakis pointed out the current subcommittee assignments in the six TC categories, and noted that, at least for this ICASSP, we received many submissions in the multicarrier area, and fewer than expected in the array and multichannel category. TC members are to review the subcommittee assignments and contact Giannakis with requests for changes.

Next, a discussion was held on how to strengthen our ties with the IEEE Communications Society. Various suggestions were discussed: have a representative attend appropriate meetings of the Comm Society's technical committees, advertise each other's workshops and conferences, encourage joint membership in both societies, focus on joint workshops rather than big conferences, establish a presence at ICC and GlobeCom, etc. One difficulty is finding an appropriate contact point within the Comm Society. To them, "Signal Processing for Communications" means something quite different than it does to us. Treichler noted that every member of our committee was recently added to the e-mail list of the Communication Theory technical committee, we don't know who was specifically responsible for this action, but it was decided that this would likely be our best potential point of contact. Action items resulting from the discussion:

Giannakis noted the following special committee assignments:

He then asked for volunteers to serve as representatives to the SP Education and Multimedia Committees. Ding volunteered to serve as a liaison to Multimedia, but there was no volunteer for Education. It was decided that a representative to the Education Committee would be found at the next committee meeting to be held in May at SPAWC.

Giannakis thanked Tong for his willingness to provide the expert summary in the Comm area at this year's ICASSP. Tong mentioned that he felt 20 minutes was too short for such a summary, an hour would be more reasonable. Giannakis asked Swindlehurst and Slock to arrange the expert summaries at ICASSP 2000 and 2001. Shynk volunteered to do one of them.

A discussion followed concerning the need for committee members to be both members of the IEEE and members of the Signal Processing Society. Giannakis made a motion that all TC members must be IEEE and SP Society members. The motion was seconded by Ding, and carried unanimously. Giannakis is to notify any current TC members not satisfying this requirement that they must do so or be removed from the TC.

Giannakis thanked Swindlehurst for setting up the TC's webpage. Swindlehurst is to see that the link for our TC at the IEEE webpage points to the new one. Tsatsanis pointed out that van der Veen has developed some excellent web-based tools for Associate Editors to manage paper submissions and reviews. He recommended that these tools be passed on to future ICASSP organizers to help them coordinate their reviews. van der Veen to contact ICASSP 2000 Technical Committee to offer his paper-review software to them.

Giannakis thanked the committee for their help with ICASSP '99 reviews, and Swami for attending the meeting in Phoenix where the session topics and speakers were ironed out. ICASSP 2000 wants feedback on how to improve the review forms.

Giannakis pointed out that Jose Moura likes our approach of having a pool of candidates available for recommendation as Associate Editors (AE) of the Signal Processing Transactions. Tong is in charge of maintaining the list of candidates, he said there are currently eight names in the pool. Moura has asked that we only suggest the names of individuals who have received their PhD no fewer than 5-6 years previously. Giannakis gave a statement of support for one of the candidates, Luc Vandendorpe. Treichler followed with a statement of support for Sheila Hemami. Giannakis moved that the TC vote once per year on the pool of AE candidates representing our TC. Tong seconded the motion, and it carried unanimously. Treichler recommended that this vote be held annually at ICASSP, but this means that nominations must come in prior to ICASSP. It was decided that this year, the vote for AEs will be held electronically prior to SPAWC. We will elect six candidates, one from each of the categories within the TC. Tong is to collect nominations (we need more nominations!) and announce the vote, and Swindlehurst will collect the votes. Giannakis suggested that the people we suggest as AEs be active in publishing and reviewing papers. Ding pointed out that a good track record in publishing does not necessarily imply they will be a good AE, a better indication is how responsive they are as reviewers. Ding suggested we poll current AEs to find out if any of our candidates have not been good reviewers (action item for Ding?).

A discussion followed concerning the need for nominations from our TC for various society and paper awards. Since we are a new TC, to gain visibility both in the SP and Comm Societies, it would be helpful to publicize excellent papers in our area. Treichler mentioned that, according to Sally Wood, the SP Society gives far fewer awards than other IEEE Societies. Treichler mentioned that the recent special IEEE Proceedings issue on blind methods contained some excellent papers that would be award-worthy. Swami to find out if IEEE Proceedings papers can be nominated for SP Society paper awards. Also, Swami will collect nominations for paper and society awards from the TC members over the next few weeks. Swindlehurst will collect electronic votes prior to SPAWC.

Giannakis pointed out the Greg Wornell had concerns about how we recently conducted the voting for new members. It was mentioned that our procedure is similar to that followed in other committees. Giannakis will ask Wornell to express his concerns to the TC via e-mail or at the SPAWC TC meeting.

The publications board has recommended that, to be a TC member, one should be actively involved in paper reviewing and other volunteer activities. In particular, they have suggested that TC members review at least two papers per year, and that they should annually write a short paragraph on their volunteer activities. They also recommend that Associate Editors should report TC members who refuse to do paper reviews. These suggestions were discussed, but no conclusion was reached.

Giannakis reported that the Board of Governors of the SP Society has adopted a code of ethics that discourages society members from nominating themselves or their students for awards, reviewing the manuscripts of one's students, refusing to participate in the peer review process in any fashion, refusing to meet financial obligations such as overlength page charges, etc. These items were briefly discussed and no objections were raised.

Sadler and Kozick gave a report on the upcoming SPAWC workshop. There were 125 submissions (lower than for the first workshop), and 105 papers were accepted for presentation. With a few dropouts, the number of papers that will actually be presented will be close to 100. They have received support from ONR, and hope to also receive funding from ARO. The SPCOM TC will meet for lunch at SPAWC on Tuesday, May 11. A proposal to hold the 2001 SPAWC meeting in Taiwan was circulated. It would be organized by Kwang-Chen Chen (National Taiwan University) and Chong-Yung Chi (National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan). Tsatsanis mentioned that Lang White may also be interested in hosting SPAWC 2001 in Australia. A vote will be held at SPAWC to determine where the 2001 meeting will be held. Tsatsanis is to contact White to see if he is serious about submitting a proposal. Other candidates should be encouraged to apply.

Amin gave a report on the SSAP 2000 workshop to be held in Pennsylvania (Pocono Manor). AFOSR has pledged $10K in funding, but additional financial support is needed. The call-for-papers will be ready by September, 1999. Amin was encouraged to advertise in the SP Magazine.