Welcome from the President

 

President’s Message: Ghostbusters and CIS

jim keller

Hey all, 

Well, it looks like I’m the President of the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society for 2022-2023. Talk about your “hard act to follow!” I have great admiration and affection for Bernadette Bouchon-Meunier who led us through the unprecedented time of the COVID-19 pandemic with such grace and acumen. I have been fortunate to have worked with her over the years in several capacities, have had an inside view of CIS as her President-elect in 2021, but most of all to be able to call her “mon amie”. She’ll continue to provide leadership as past president in 2022 to my great relief. Bernadette followed a long line of dedicated and innovative Presidents; CIS has been fortunate for their leadership. Now it’s my turn “in the barrel”. The good news for me (and for you!) is that we have a large cast of extremely talented folks who carry the brunt of the organizational load. The Vice Presidents are energic and committed. Besides Finance, Publications, Conferences, Technical Activities, Education, and Membership, 2022 will see a VP in new focus area, Industry and Government Activities. The leadership of the CIS standing committees, subcommittees, ad hoc committees, EiCs and AEs do so much to ensure that all goes well within CIS. Also, we are blessed with 3 outstanding IEEE staff members who keep the wheels of CIS rolling smoothly.

I’ve been volunteering for IEEE for over 30 years in many different capacities. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that I’ve received so much more than whatever the effort I had to put in to do a particular job. Mostly, I’m just so grateful to have had the opportunity to make so many friends from all across this planet of ours. We need active diverse members from students to young professionals to us emeritus-types to help CIS to continue to grow.

Whatever you have a passion for, CIS has a place for you. Take some time to explore https://cis.ieee.org/ to find your place(s) and join the fun. Our publication portfolio is both broad and deep with transactions that we solely sponsor to those we co-sponsor with other IEEE Societies. Our Society is at the forefront of modern AI technology. In fact, recently, we’ve joined 4 other IEEE Societies to launch the IEEE Transactions on AI, with a CIS volunteer as the founding EiC. We’re making changes to our highly acclaimed CI Magazine to provide additional benefits to membership. Be on the lookout for a cool union of publications and education via interactive articles in CIM, coming soon. Please consider expanding your involvement in publications. My own path was strongly influenced by publications (referee, Associate Editor, Editor-in-Chief, Vice President for Publications, some IEEE level publications committees). Coupling publication to professional networking, the CIS conference offerings are amazing. Let’s all hope to meet at WCCI 2022 in Padua, Italy, if not before. The many opportunities in conferences (reviewing, special sessions, organizing committees, program and general chairs) are wide open for seasoned and new volunteers. Technical Activities span publications and conferences and more, providing several places for you to make a difference. Are you a dedicated educator? Join in the many interesting activities and initiatives found in the Education Committee. CIS is making a stronger commitment to our industry and government members by creating a VP position with an associated I&GA Committee. We need your help to orient CIS to better serve industry and government. An exciting new development that links I&GA to Conferences is the IEEE Conference on AI, an event that will debut in 2023 as a jointly co-sponsored conference with a focus on industry. Glance though the many member benefits, along with opportunities to contribute, all overseen by our Membership Committee. But, you don’t need to join a society committee to make a difference. CIS has a vibrant network of local chapters around the world; get involved with one close to you, or help organize one in your area.

If you look deep into any of the CIS structures, you’ll recognize the commitment that CIS has towards diversity and inclusion. We cherish, value, and need contributions from all of the diverse membership of a truly international organization.

So, why Ghostbusters? About the time I was thinking about this message, I happened to read a small Sunday newspaper insert about the newest sequel to the iconic 1984 Ghostbusters film [1]. Dan Aykroyd, comedian, comedic and dramatic actor, and writer (he co-wrote the original), was interviewed and made the following observation that stuck with me about my feeling of CIS:

“You can’t underestimate the value of unqualified collaboration. You go to a set and you introduce yourself and you involve everybody. It’s what makes good art and commerce. Nothing can be pulled off without teamwork, whether you’re at a nuclear plant or on an airplane or working on an oil rig. As human beings, we have to be able to work together.”

This is so true about our CI community. It’s the people who matter. We all do “stuff”, but when we do it together, it becomes magic.

So, “who you gonna call?” Well, certainly start with me. Please contact me at kellerj@missouri.edu with your thoughts, suggestions, questions, or just to say “hi”. I’m looking forward to connecting with as many people as possible.

 

jim keller signiture

Jim Keller
University of Missouri, USA

1. Mara Reinstein, “Ghostbusters: Then and Now,” Parade Magazine, New York, Oct. 31, 2021,

pp. 6-7.