Thursday, October 30, 2008

Gift Giving, IEEE Spectrum Style

Check out IEEE Spectrum annual Gift Guide for the perfect present for the gamer in your life (Toshiba’s new Qosmio G55-802 notebook computer), "green" lover (Electric Zero X dirt bike) and the little guy -- or girl -- who is looking for a whirl (FlyTech Bladestar rotary-wing flying toy). There's more, of course, including the low-down on the latest accessories for the Apple iPhone.

Latest Issue of IEEE GOLDRUSH Newsletter

I'm a big fan of the IEEE GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade) initiative, as it speaks to my own experiences as a fairly recent graduate, well, the third time around. I wouldn't have the position I hold today, nor the pleasure of so many career-related friendships, without being involved in the professional associations in my field. But when I was younger, these groups were intimidating, peopled as they were with those vastly more experienced than I - or so I thought.

IEEE GOLD provides support for students as they make the transition into the workplace, with technical and career information, professional and social networking opportunities, and that all-important leadership development.

Among the topics covered in the September 2008 newsletter are "Top 10 Things Professors Need to Hear" (tips for those seeking tenure), advice for technology consultants, choosing between a start up and large company, and more -- all pithy and practical articles written by young(er) engineers who have "been there, done that."

The newsletter is freely available on the web at:

Visit the GOLD home page at:

New IEEE Award Sponsored by Toyota Recognizes Environmental and Safety Technologies

The IEEE Foundation recently announced that Toyota Motor Corporation has donated US$300,000 to support a new IEEE award, the IEEE Medal for Environmental and Safety Technologies. This award will recognize outstanding accomplishments in the application of technology in the IEEE fields of interest that improve the environment and/or public safety. Toyota Motor Corporation has agreed to sponsor this award for ten years, with the first presentation scheduled for 2010.

The IEEE Medal for Environmental and Safety Technologies is relevant to a wide community including intelligent transportation systems, wireless communications, sensor networks control, control and automation, computing and signal processing.

Toyota’s sponsorship supports the awarding of this IEEE Medal to an individual recipient, or a team of recipients up to three in number, each year for the years 2010 through 2019. The award consists of a gold medal, a bronze replica, a certificate and honorarium. To learn more about this and other IEEE Awards, visit


Karen Kaufman
Development Communications Manager
IEEE Foundation
+1 732 981 3436

Friday, October 24, 2008

IEEE Seeks Volunteers for Humanitarian Technology Challenge

The Humanitarian Technology Challenge (HTC) is a partnership between IEEE and the United Nations Foundation designed to bring together technical professionals and humanitarians to develop technological solutions for pressing challenges facing humanity.

A small number of IEEE members are needed to help shape the early stages of the program, working with humanitarians to further detail challenge definitions and outline a solution process. This is a unique opportunity for IEEE volunteers experienced in systems engineering to work directly with prominent humanitarian volunteers.

The following initial challenges were identified by focus groups composed of representatives from ten humanitarian organizations:
*Reliable Electricity – Availability of power for electronic devices
*Data Connectivity of Rural District Health Offices -- Capability of exchanging data among remote field offices and central health facilities
*Local Management and Tracking of Supply Distribution – Ensure that supplies are getting to the people that need them in order to maximize the impact of assistance
*Incident Tracking – Determine locations and extent of medical problems in order to focus resources
*Patient ID and Tie to Health Records – Maintain consistent patient records, including when patients visit different clinics and when they relocate.

IEEE volunteers should be experienced in the application of technology to solve humanitarian issues and be willing to commit approximately two to four hours per week to the project. A conference call/webcast for early stage volunteers is scheduled to take place in late November, 2008. This will be followed by an in-person conference scheduled for the first quarter of 2009, where additional volunteers will be needed.

For more information, visit the HTC Web site ( Interested volunteers should contact Harold Tepper, IEEE HTC Project Manager, at

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Presidential Candidate's Forum at Stanford and Online 10/21

Scientists and Engineers for America and our partners cordially invite you to a Candidates’ Forum Presidential Perspectives on Energy and Innovation, featuring:

~Kurt E. Yeager, Co-chair, McCain California Energy Security Coalition
~Daniel M. Kammen, Senior Advisor on Energy and Environmental Policy for Barack Obama
~Moderated by Paul Rogers, Resources & Environmental Writer, San Jose Mercury News

Tuesday, October 21 6:30-8:00 P.M.
Questions will be accepted from the audience, or in advance at

Kresge Auditorium Stanford University 555 Nathan Abbott Way Stanford, CA
Seating is limited; RSVP by October 17 202.223.6444

View the forum live at

Cosponsored by: American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
American Chemical Society (ACS)
American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS)
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
American Physical Society (APS)
American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)

Stanford IEEE Hosts Orientation for Frosh/Soph

The Stanford IEEE Presents:
The 2008 Freshman-Sophomore Electrical Engineering/Computer Science Orientation

Curious about Electrical Engineering or Computer Science? Want to learn more about what the difference between the two majors is? Unsure of what classes to take as a freshman? Interested in learning about what opportunities are available to a student studying Electrical Engineering or Computer Science at Stanford?

This orientation is for you!

Where? Gates 100
When? Thursday October 16th, 2008 at 5:15 PM
Who? Professors Simon Wong (Vice Chair of Electrical Engineering) and Mehran Sahami (Associate Chair of Undergraduate Education for Computer Science)
What? A great opportunity to learn more about the opportunities available to you here at Stanford!

Free food and beverages will be served!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Stanford Spotlights Computing for Socio-Economic Development

Autumn Seminar Series – Thursday, Oct. 16
6:00pm - 7:00pm – Wallenberg Hall, Room 124, Stanford University
Computing for Socio-Economic Development Kentaro Toyama
With Support from CHIMe Lab, Asha for Education (Stanford Chapter)
Engineers for Sustainable World, IEEE, HCI Research, and Stanford India Association

On the same planet where there are 1.4 billion Internet users, a far less fortunate 1.4 billion people survive below the World Bank's extreme poverty line. Computing technology has transformed the lives of the wealthiest people on the planet, but it remains out of reach and irrelevant for the poorest. How do you design user interfaces for an illiterate migrant worker? Can you keep five rural schoolchildren from fighting over one PC? What value is technology to a farmer earning a dollar a day?

Questions like this will be raised in a sample of research work from the Technology for Emerging Markets group ( at Microsoft Research India, in Bangalore. We are a multidisciplinary research group consisting of anthropologists, economists, designers, and computer scientists who together seek new applications of computing technology for the world's least privileged communities in domains such as agriculture, education, healthcare, and microfinance. The constraints are severe, with poor education, terrible infrastructure, and a shortage of funds making even the best-designed systems challenging to implement. Nevertheless, we believe this is a challenge worth undertaking, and one that can make a difference as long as we retain equal measures of skepticism about the brash claims of technology and optimism about its true potential.

Kentaro Toyama ( is assistant managing director of Microsoft Research India, in Bangalore, where he supports the daily operation and overall management of the research lab. He also leads a group that conducts research to identify applications of computing technology in emerging markets and for international development, and is co-founder of the IEEE/ACM Int'l Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development. From 1997 to 2004, he was at Microsoft Research in Redmond, where he did research in multimedia and computer vision and worked to transfer new technology to Microsoft product groups. In 2002, he took personal leave from Microsoft to teach mathematics at Ashesi University, a private liberal arts college in Ghana. Kentaro graduated from Harvard with a bachelors degree in physics and from Yale with a PhD in computer science.


WASHINGTON (30 September 2008) -- As part of its public-awareness program to promote engineering and technological literacy, IEEE-USA has helped to underwrite almost 600 local television news reports on engineering and science since 2005. The "Discoveries & Breakthroughs Inside Science" TV news reports are distributed to local U.S. television stations in more than 100 cities, transit systems in seven U.S. cities, as well as through the Voice of America and the Roo Online Video Network in more than 60 countries. Stations airing the IEEE-related spots include a mix of ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, Univision, cable and independent affiliates. IEEE-related technology stories have their own Web site at

Recent TV news reports on IEEE technologies that benefit society have included segments on:
--Engineers who have created a model to forecast the progression of a future pandemic allowing researches to design the best way to distribute food and vaccines to those in need
--Engineers who have invented a device to bring air samples into contact with genetically engineered biosensors to detect dangerous biological agents
--Environmental scientists and engineers who have developed mathematical models to calculate the impact of pollution from Europe and Asia on areas in the United States
--Chemists and engineers who have designed a technology that protects soil and helps promote plant growth to keep topsoil in place over the long term Additional TV news reports on IEEE technologies include:
--Biomedical and safety engineers who, in order to improve safety for children using seat belts, have added a more lifelike abdomen to models representing youngsters between the ages of 4-8
--Engineers who have developed a computer program to track and schedule immunizations for infants
--Pyschoacoustics researchers and industrial technologists who use a pen computer to help visually impaired students learn science and math --Engineers and scientists who have developed a new technology that allows cardiologists to capture detailed pictures of the heart in less than one second, revealing subtle changes in blood flow and blockages in tiny blood
--Biomedical engineers who have used advanced cone beam imaging technology to take a series of two-dimensional x-rays, allowing dentists to create a detailed three-dimensional picture of a patient's mouth

The "Discoveries & Breakthroughs" TV news service was developed by the American Institute of Physics (AIP) with a coalition of 23 technical professional organizations including IEEE/IEEE-USA. The service delivers 12 vetted 90 second TV reports monthly -- in English and Spanish -- with a potential reach of up to 75 million TV viewers, and an estimated 41 million online views per month. Academic research has documented that the public obtains most of its information about engineering and science from local TV news and that viewers of the "Discoveries & Breakthroughs" service are more likely to support engineering and science than those who are not viewers.

Former IEEE-USA Mass Media Engineering Fellow Sourish Basu and former IEEE
Washington Internships for Students of Engineering Participant Elizabeth Johnston participate with other society representatives in weekly telephone conferences to develop and vet story ideas. "Discoveries & Breakthroughs" is seeking new story ideas to include in its TV reports incorporated in local TV news broadcasts. Pitches should be directed to Emilie Lorditch, the series' manager and senior science editor, at