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Welcome from the President

Welcome from the President


Pablo A. Estevez
President of the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society (2016-2017)


CIS in the Next Decade

I feel honored to serve as IEEE CIS president for 2016-2017. The Computational Intelligence Society (CIS) is a worldwide network of researchers, professionals, practitioners, and students who are interested in nature inspired problem-solving. I am grateful to those of you who have dedicated time to our society serving as volunteers, officers, reviewers, editors, and conference organizers, and particularly grateful to our past presidents. I feel as if I am standing on the shoulders of giants — the pioneers who developed the Perceptron, least mean square, and backpropagation algorithms, self-organizing maps, genetic algorithms, evolution strategies, evolutionary programming, fuzzy sets and systems, and fuzzy c-means. All these methods form part of our identity as CIS members; they have become part of our communal DNA. And currently, novel techniques such as deep learning, multi-objective evolutionary optimization, and type-II fuzzy sets and systems, among others, are capturing our attention. What will the future bring us? Although we do not have an Oracle to give us the answer to this question, it is an interesting exercise to look into the signs of the times.

The first sign is big data everywhere. Today, we have the technology to collect and store large amounts of data, from petabytes to zettabytes. But we have to answer the question of how to make sense of all these data. Applications range from astronomical surveys to healthcare. In my own research we are preparing for the era of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), which will begin operations in Chile in 2022. This robotic telescope will scan the entire southern hemisphere sky every 3 days, taking images of 50 billion objects, generating 2 TBs of data per hour, and accumulating a 150 PetaByte imaging dataset in 10 years. Computational Intelligence related techniques will be needed for feature extraction, feature selection, clustering, visualization, and classification, and above all, for discovering the unknown unknowns, the things “we do not even know that we don't know.” Another clear sign is the Internet of Things (IoT), a network of physical objects (intelligent devices and smart objects) eventually to be provided with sensors and actuators.

What is the role of Computational Intelligence in the development of Big Data and the Internet of Things? I think that this is a key question for our society that can be rephrased in more general terms. What emergent problem areas are most suited for Computational Intelligence based methods? This was, in fact, the subject of a panel discussion held during the SSCI 2015, in Cape Town, South Africa.

Our society is preparing a strategic plan for the next 5 years. As a first step we organized a Strategic Planning Retreat (SPR), which was held in San Jose, CA, on Oct 30 - Nov 1st, 2015, with the participation of CIS EXCOM and ADCOM members, plus Editors-in-Chief. The SPR addressed all aspects of our society: conferences, education, membership, publications, and technical activities. During 2016 we will advance in defining concrete goals and plans of activities. I invite you to attend the panel “IEEE and CIS in the Next Decade”, that will be held during WCCI 2016, the World Congress on Computational Intelligence, that will be held on July 25-29, in Vancouver, Canada ( This is our flagship conference where we meet each other and exchange ideas. If you are willing to share your ideas on the topics described above, please send me a message. Your participation in IEEE CIS is very welcome and appreciated. I am looking forward to working with you in the IEEE CIS for the next two years.



Pablo A. Estevez
President of the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society (2016-17)