The biographies and position statements for the 2016 IEEE Vice President, Publication Services and Products candidates are listed below. The sequence of candidates is alphabetical by last name and indicates no preference.
Sheila S. Hemami (S’89–M’95–SM’03-F'09) received the B.S. degree inelectrical engineering from the University of Michigan (1990), and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University (1992 and 1994, respectively).
She was with Hewlett-Packard Laboratories in 1994. From 1995-2013, she was with the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Cornell University in Ithaca, NY where she most recently held the positions of Professor, Director of the Visual Communications Lab, and Associate Director of the School. Since 2013, she has been Professor and Chair of the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Northeastern University in Boston, MA. She has held visiting positions at Universite de Nantes; Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne; Princeton; Rice; and in 2001, she held a Fulbright Distinguished Lectureship at the Faculte de Sciences, Rabat, Morocco. Her research interests comprise communication of visual information, from the perspectives of both signal processing perspective andpsychophysics.
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As Vice President of Publications I am working to institutionalize author education on ethics across the Institute by forming a joint committee from PSPB, MGA, and TAB to define a structure for such education. The resulting programming will proactively address issues such as plagiarism and bibliometric manipulation that presently consume much time in a reactive manner; addressing the challenge proactively will allow for more productive use of volunteer time as well as providing community building and expanding opportunities.
While Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Multimedia, I developed an Associate Editor Training module for the Signal Processing Society. The goal was to provide AEs with best practices in an interactive forum that encouraged both questions and discussion. The session included three to four associate editors and a moderator in a panel discussion for AEs, and was run yearly at the SPS's large yearly conference ICASSP and also at ICIP. Nearly 80 AEs participated in 2009 & 2010, with 80% rating the module as "extremely helpful" or"very helpful."
As Editor-in-Chief of the Transactions on Multimedia, I inherited a journal with poor paper handling, many disenfranchised authors, and a lack of procedure and policies for both AEs and for awards. I implemented clear guidelines for paper handling and made myself available to the AEs as a resource; personally contacted authors and managed papers that had been poorly handled; and created an awards process that emphasized transparency, fairness, and integrity. Clear communication with and developing a team-based attitude within the editorial board substantially improved paper handling and author satisfaction. I set a target of first reviews back to authors at six weeks and over the three year period we moved from a 12 week average time to 6.5.
While chair of the SPS Image & Multidimensional DSP Technical Committee in 2006, I developed guidelines for technical co-sponsorship of conferences and workshops for the SPS, to ensure that uniform standards for quality were applied to all entities seeking technical co-sponsorship. These guidelines currently represent SPS's policy and are in practice today.
My first PSPB SPC meeting as chair in April 2013 was a substantial change from the previous two years of meetings; the weekend was a strategic planning exercise facilitated (excellently) by John Keaton with the goal of thinking outside of the current IEEE publications-based business models and developing a 10-year vision for the IEEE. An important core value emerged from this meeting: first and foremost, the IEEE is a technical community first and a publisher second. Endorsement of this value by the committee provided the necessary impulse to move the Professional Productivity and Collaboration Tool rapidly forward in 2013 with our now target launch of first quarter 2015.
As technical program co-chair of IEEE ICIP 2012, my co-chair Gaurav Sharma and I implemented substantial improvements to the review process (we received approximately 2400 submissions and ensured that each paper received at least three reviews). Specifically, based on feedback we had received in our volunteer roles with SPS conferences in previous years, we implemented (1) a reviewer feedback mechanism,by which authors could respond to reviewers on both technical comments and on the usefulness of the review; (2) a reviewer scoring system, by which area chairs rated reviews in terms of the quality of the written justifications and accuracy of the scores; (3) a results-to-reviewers feedback mechanism by which reviewers received information about the ultimate decisions on the papers they reviewed. The feedback we received from the community was extremely positive.
From the production side of the publications process, my experiences with IEEE publications are as an author (20 years of experience), reviewer (20 years), associate editor (6 years), editor-in-chief (3years), and end user (23 years), and I will bring my experience in these roles to the position. I am also a professional educator and have to regularly develop new material and ways of marketing it to my students, and therefore I understand the need to adapt to new media and technologies to continue to serve my constituency.
From the business side of publications, my experience on PSPB, PSPBSPC, and PSPB PSC have given me a multi-dimensional perspective on IEEE publications issues, from an operational view (PSPB), an aspirational view (SPC), and from a practical view (PSC).
As a leader, I am a consensus builder and I value and solicit the viewpoints and participation of all stakeholders; I will seek out the input of others if they do not actively offer it. However, I also am decisive and once a decision has been made I am very action-oriented in developing an efficient and feasible implementation plan and in moving forward. I am also data-driven and base decisions on rational thought and facts. I have experience driving institutional change at my former institution, Cornell University, where I led a 5-year $4MNSF-funded ADVANCE grant toward recruitment, retention, and advancement into leadership positions of women faculty in the sciences and engineering. The grant implemented significant changes in approaches to these goals and the programming that it created has now been institutionalized into the university as normal operating procedure.
IEEE should be the one-stop shopping point for not only the technicalcommunity but also the general public on technology questions. This involves (1) broadening our technical community via providing value-added services, including but not limited to member use/access to Xplore content; (2) outreach to the general public. Google indexes; we have the community and the content. Elsevier publishes; we have the community. The community is the resource that both provides our content and maintains itself.
Moving toward this end, the IEEE needs to understand and develop radical new business models that go substantially beyond relying on big-ticket IEL subscriptions. These models must incorporate open access, they must be targeted to drawing in new technical communities that are outside our classical realm (an excellent example of such a non-standard the open source software community), and they must be member-centric and designed to provide value and services.
Specific strategies that are required to move us toward these goals include:
BS Physics 1969, Spring Hill College, Mobile AL Summa Cum Laude
MS Physics 1974, Purdue University, W. Lafayette IN
PhD Physics 1978, University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA Sigma Xi Award for Outstanding Graduate Research
Taught HS Physics and Math 1969-74; Assistant Professor of Physics & Pre-engineering, Xavier Univ, New Orleans LA; Joined Texas Instruments 1979, retired 2014, Texas Instruments Fellow Emeritus, sixteen patents; held various jobs including process development manager for bipolar and BiCMOS, corporate yield team leader, Program Manager for multimillion dollar 0.8um, 130nm, 65nm and 45nm Flash EEPROM development programs; SRC Industrial Mentor at Univ of FL and MI; member Baylor College of Engineering and Computer Science Board of Advocates and Univ of Houston College of Engineering and Computer Science Industrial Advisory Board, member Fort Bend Business Partners in Education, member Fort Bend Education Foundation, member of K.V. Hightower HS Magnet School for Engineering
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2013-present Industry Advisor to Rice University Student Chapter (nominated for Best Chapter Award for Small Chapter in Region 5)
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During my career I have been a creator and a consumer of content in IEEE Journals, a reviewer of papers and on the EDS Golden List of Reviewers, an editor of IEEE T-ED for five years and an Editor-in-Chief (EiC) for eleven years. I have been on the EDS Publications Committee for over a decade and was a member of both the IEEE Committee on Publication Standards and the CrossCheck (now called i-Thenticate) Evaluation Committee. I am on the Steering Team of J-PV and assisted in its launch. I helped gestate EDS' open access Journal, J-EDS, and was very influential in defining its business model. I have mentored two T-ED EiCs, one EDL EiC and one J-PV EiC. Lastly I have adjudicated multiple cases of author misconduct and advised on several others after my tenure. I have seen and experienced IEEE publications from every angle possible. During the time when I was EiC of the T-ED, the submission-to-publication time was reduced from over a year to less than six months which at the time was among the best of IEEE monthly-published Transactions. This was recognized and lauded in both the IEEE PRAC reports that occurred when I was EiC along with several other notable achievements.
As a Program Manager at Texas Instruments and TI Fellow, I successfully led several muti-year, multi-million dollar development projects thereby demonstrating project management skills, business acumen, financial accountability on a large scale, leadership skills, multi-cultural sensitivity and communication skills pulling together an international team (US, Taiwan, Philippines, Germany, India) in winning efforts. All projects were completed on time and on budget. I also had responsibility for competitive analysis and was the go-to person for customer communications especially when customers were unhappy with some aspect of our performance. In my role as program manager and Texas Instruments Fellow it was my responsibility to act as a technical leader for the corporation which required the ability to think and act strategically. Indeed my election as a Fellow (a title limited to no more than 1% of the technical population) was in recognition of this ability. The title is also meant to recognize creativity and the ability to generate innovative ideas that can be reduced to practice.
In my role on various publications committees, I have been engaged in many debates on the future of publishing and particularly the future of electronic publishing. I do not consider myself an expert on this subject, but I have logged many hours analyzing the problem with colleagues. What I can bring to the table in this arena is several sharply defined questions, the answers to which will largely tell the story of the place of IEEE Publications among publishers in the coming decade. All of the questions seem to come down to the balance between the business model and the value-add of the publisher.
It is common knowledge that the state of the publications business is in transition. Hence we are in a critical time when operations must adapt or fail to grow or maybe even perish. There is little doubt that with the advent of smart phones and tablets, the bar for technical publications has been raised since a majority of consumers receive content using those devices and the look and feel of the content has changed drastically. The capability that now exists to contemporize, upgrade, and transform technical documentation have spawned tools (mostly variants of XML) that are plentiful, powerful, and ready to be implemented.
I do not presume to have the answer on how to navigate these waters which can be treacherous. However I do believe that I know what the issues and critical questions are and what the process should be to sort through them. First we have to change how we frame the problem. We have to recognize that what is before us is not simply a shift in technology, but rather a sea change by which I mean a dramatic culture change, with repercussions everywhere, and which has universally elevated the expectations of the consumers of content. Similarly we need to broaden the concept of technical "publications" to that of technical "communications." We need to stop thinking in old patterns of unilateral, didactic, subject matter experts transferring dead trees to uninformed fledglings. Yes, we have moved into digital print media but the logs are still there. They have just been encoded differently. We need to think in terms of vibrant communities interacting, questioning, sharing and collaborating in a much more visual, aural and graphical-rich environment.
Even the title of VP of Publications and Services is anachronistic. It should be the VP of Technical Communications and Services. To that I would quickly add that with a few exceptions (Discounts, Humanitarian Programs) most of what we call "Services" are really in large part a subset of Technical Communications (Career Resources, Technical Networking, Continuing Education, Staying Technically Current, etc). This is not a paradigm shift for the international community. It is already here. It is a call for us to catch up.
So much for vision. Now a little on process. Not everything that our community expects is it willing to pay for. Open Access for example is philosophically glorious but no one has found the business model that will make it riproriously successful (Photonics Society not withstanding). There are myriad paths (and forms) from content generator to content consumer since the invention of the internet and the world-wide web. The pivotal question though is which path provides the maximum value-add per cost of delivery. This is at once the challenge and the opportunity for IEEE. If we can figure this one out, we will be a winner. We need to intensify our effort to much more sharply define the value proposition, develop the business model that goes with it and then get content consumers (our community) to notice it.