Minutes of SPCOM-TC Meeting at ICASSP-2006, Toulouse Thursday, 18 May 2006, 12:05-13:50 Pierre Baudis Servanty
Members attending (15): A. Swami, N. Sidiropoulos, H. Boche, P. Duhamel, D. Gesbert, F. Hlawatsch, V. Koivunen, G. Leus, Z.-Q. (Tom) Luo, J. Manton, M. Moonen, B. Rao, P. Regalia, A. Sayed, A. Scaglione.
Members absent (15): N. Al-Dhahir, H. Boelcskei, H. El-Gamal, J. Garcia-Frias, M. Ghogho, R. Heath, Y. Hua, A. Liavas, C. Papadias, S.-M. Phoong, P. Schniter, G. Vasquez. X. Wang, D. Xu, Q. Zhao,
Meeting commenced at 12:05.
Coordinating award nominations: Nikos Sidiropoulos + Franz Hlawatsch (auditor)
Maintaining web page: Geert Leus
Maintaining pool of editors: Geert Leus
Technical Directions Committee: Ananthram Swami
Publications Board: (unofficial) Ali Sayed
Conference Board: Ananthram Swami
Anna Scaglione summarized hindsights from SPAWC-05. Books have been closed and there has been a 22% profit for IEEE. This was due to a number of reasons, including considerably higher participation than expected (approx. 250 participants vs. 170 originally expected), and the fact that the organizers did a lot of the management work themselves rather than using a reliable but expensive conference management service, as is typical for ICASSP, for example. It was felt that the pressure-for-profit from IEEE was high, especially because third-party contributions / donations to the conference (e.g., from the U.S. National Science Foundation) were included in the profit margin calculation at the direction of IEEE. At the ensuing discussion, TC members voiced concern about this practice (of including third-party contributions in the calculation of the profit margin). It was felt that the profit margin should only be applied to conference registration income. It was noted that SPAWC-99 had a small ($3,000) loss, and SPAWC-03 broke even. It was suggested that a large percentage of the surplus from SPAWC should be carried over to SPAWC workshops in subsequent years.
Dirk Slock and David Gesbert summarized the status of SPAWC-06. There were 250 papers submitted, of which half (125) were accepted. The U.S. NSF did not support SPAWC this year, unlike the previous two SPAWC workshops, which were supported by NSF with approx. $20K each. On the other hand, the organizers expect between 10 and 15K in contributions by Texas Instruments and other (smaller) contributors.
Dirk Slock recounted his experience with the new IEEE regulations regarding compatibility of PDF paper files with IEEExplore / PDFxpress guidelines. He mentioned that the instructions were incomplete and occasionally inconsistent, and the whole process far from being user-friendly. This added to the burden of authors and organizers alike.
There was a suggestion to post "SPAWC-2-SPAWC" organizing committee information, hints, comments etc on the TC's webpage to help future organizers. For example, simple procedures to ensure compliance with PDFxpress guidelines, experience from using various conference management services, etc. Suggestion was adopted unanimously.
Visa Koivunen summarized the status of SPAWC-06 organization. The organizers have opted for using a Finish conference management service that handles all aspects of the workshop (paper submission, review, registration, etc) at approximately 1/3 of the typical cost of comparable services, after much negotiation. Workshop webpage is up and running and all is progressing smoothly. The organizers have secured support from NOKIA, and the NOKIA CTO has agreed to give a plenary talk, which will increase visibility and help strengthen the SPCOM community's links to industry.
There is interest from a team in Brazil to host SPAWC-08 in Recife, on the north-east coast of Brazil. The proposal was presented by Prof Paulo S. R. Diniz, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Recife is a city of approx. 3 million, and a prime tourist destination. Brazil offers high-quality accomodations at very competitive prices, and the proposed venue is in front of the beach. There are many direct flights from major European and U.S. cities. After the presentation, Ali Sayed mentioned that one consideration that is worthwhile taking into account is the need to encourage signal processing communities around the world. Brazil has a large SP base, and national SP-related conferences are regularly organized there.
Geert Leus presented an informal proposal to host SPAWC-08 in Perugia, Italy. The organizing team will include Robert Heath, Geert Leus, and Paolo Banelli. The prospective organizers have already talked to local munincipal authorities to secure a suitable auditorium and poster facilities at very low cost, if any. Perugia has direct flights to and from Milan, and a fast train service from Rome.
The plan is to have formal presentations of these two bids at SPAWC-06 and e-vote after SPAWC-06.
1 May to SPS, for Distinguished Lecturer: Nomination of Georgios Giannakis was forwarded by Ananthram Swami.
25 May ICASSP Student Paper Awards: e-vote to select 6 awards from 9 finalists.
30 June: deadline to submit reviews for Best Paper Award (BPA) and Young Author BPA (YBPA) to Nikos Sidiropoulos and Ananthram Swami. Nominations to be submitted to SPS by 1 September.
1 July to IEEE, for the IEEE Fink Award (Tutorial published in 2005 in Magazine or Proceedings; our TC has never submitted Fink nominations in the past.)
1 Oct to SPS, for Education, Service, Society, Technical Achievement awards.
Should papers considered in the previous year be automatically reconsidered (subject to eligibility)?
After discussion, it was decided unanimously that up to two papers (the two top vote-getters) per category (BPA, YABPA) will be automatically reconsidered, subject to eligibility. Remaining papers from the previous year (or the year before) can always be explicitly renominated by any TC member.
Meeting adjourned at 2:00pm.
Transcribed & submitted by
N. Sidiropoulos and A. Swami