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					                                                 THE PRESIDENT’S PAGE


T       The ComSoc Technical Committees
        (TCs) help define and implement the
technical directions of the Society. A current
list of ComSoc TCs and their officers is at
                                                                                        publications, define and promote industry
                                                                                        standards, and provide many professional
                                                                                        networking opportunities. A new name this
                                                                                        year on the list of TCs is “Information Infra-                                                 structure and Networking,” which was recent-
Technical. You can learn much more about                                                ly created by merging two former TCs: a TC
the TCs by following the links to their respec-                                         on “Information Infrastructure” and a TC on
tive TC websites. In addition to the TCs, we                                            “Enterprise Networking.” The merger recog-
have a number of emerging technical subcom-                                             nizes the optimal interplay of information
mittees that were formed by members who                                                 and its efficient global distribution.
have a common interest in a new technology                                                  What is the right number of TCs? The
area. Some of these subcommittees will likely                                           number has remained relatively stable over a
eventually evolve into full TCs. A current list                                         number of years, growing from 21 TCs in 2003.
of emerging technical subcommittees is at                     BYEONG GI LEE             Over the past year we actually reduced the                                                 number by one through the above mentioned
emerging.                                                                                          merger. This year, though, it is pos-
    Sharing this month’s column is                                                                 sible that we will increase the num-
Mark Karol and Naohisa Ohta.                                                                       ber. We try to put in place those
Mark is ComSoc’s Vice President –                                                                  TCs of interest to our members and
Technical Activities (VP-TA); his                                                                  for which there is sufficient support
background was outlined in the                                                                     from a core group of volunteers.
April 2010 message. Naohisa Ohta                                                                       Volunteers are the key to the
is Chair of ComSoc’s standing                                                                      success of our TCs. So, if there are
Emerging Technologies Committee.                                                                   enough active volunteers who want
Naohisa received his B.S., M.S., and                                                               to support our technical activities in
Ph.D. degrees in Electronics from                                                                  a particular subject area, and there
Tohoku University, Japan, in 1973,                                                                 is sufficient interest from the techni-
1975, and 1978, respectively. He has                                                               cal community (both members and
been engaged in research and devel-                                                                non-members), then it is likely we
opment of high-quality digital media                                                               will create and maintain a TC on
systems and new applications associ-              MARK KAROL              NAOHISA OHTA             that topic. Provided, of course, the
ated with networked digital media.                                                                 particular topic fits well with our
In 1978, he joined NTT Laboratories, where he researched and          existing collection of TCs and technical subcommittees. Some-
developed digital signal processing algorithms for audio-video        times it is better to simply fold a new activity into an already
communications and highly parallel DSP systems and architec-          existing TC. We do not want to create confusion with too many
tures. He joined Sony in 1998 and directed R&D on high-qual-          overlapping TCs. However, some overlap between TCs is
ity audio/video transmission for real-time networked                  unavoidable and probably even desirable, so that we do not
applications as President of Broadband Applications Laborato-         leave open gaps in our coverage of important technical areas.
ries from 2002 to 2004. He is currently a Professor of the                According to ComSoc Bylaws, TCs are “created, merged, or
Graduate School for Media Design at Keio University, Japan.           dissolved by resolution of the BoG.” Proposals and recommen-
He is directing research projects on network applications using       dations for new TCs can come to the ComSoc BoG (Board of
very high-quality digital motion pictures like 4K digital cinema      Governors) in a number of ways. The ETC and the TC Recerti-
and digital archives. He is a member of the IEEE Future               fication Committee (TCRC), described next, will each some-
Directions Committee, a member of the IEICE Board of                  times make recommendations for new TCs as part of their
Directors, and an IEEE Fellow.                                        reviews of existing TCs and subcommittees. New TCs may also
    In the rest of this article, we provide a brief overview of the   be proposed by petition of 25 Society Members. Petitions, must
ComSoc TCs, followed by a description of the emerging techni-         include the name, scope, tentative program for the first year,
cal subcommittees and the activities of the Emerging Technolo-        and approximate numbers of interested and potential members.
gies Committee (ETC). The ETC helps identify and nurture new              To help make sure the TCs stay current in technical topics
technical directions, and recommends the formation of technical       and content, we have mechanisms to control the entry and
subcommittees and eventually their elevation to full TCs. We          exit of TCs, with the former performed by the ETC and the
conclude the article by describing how you can become involved        latter by the TCRC. Technical committees are evaluated once
in a technical committee or subcommittee of your choosing.            every three years by the TCRC to ensure they maintain high
                                                                      quality standards and stay responsive to the interests of our
                     TECHNICAL COMMITTEES                             technical community. The TCRC reviews current committees
    We currently have 24 TCs, including comparatively young           to determine whether they are fulfilling their responsibilities
TCs such as those on Cognitive Networks, Power-Line Com-              and, when necessary, recommends the elimination or merger
munications, and e-Health. TCs help organize and ensure the           of TCs to better reflect current needs and interests. Most of
technical quality of workshops and conference sessions, evalu-        the existing TCs were recertified by the ComSoc BoG in 2010.
ate and endorse proposals for new events, help implement              Although we do not often create or eliminate TCs, we do

6                                                                                             IEEE Communications Magazine • April 2011
                                                   THE PRESIDENT’S PAGE

  Ad Hoc & Sensor Networks                                                          EMERGING TECHNICAL SUBCOMMITTEES
  Information Infrastructure & Networking                             Applications of Nanotechnologies in Communications
  Cognitive Networks                                                  Nano-Scale, Molecular, & Quantum Networking
  Internet                                                            Autonomic Communications
  Communications & Information Security                               Peer-to-Peer Networking
  Multimedia Communications                                           Human Centric Communications
  Communications Quality & Reliability                                Social Networks
  Network Operations & Management                                     Integrated Fiber & Wireless Technologies
  Communications Software                                             Vehicular Networks & Telematics Applications
  Optical Networking
  Communications Switching & Routing
  Power Line Communications
  Communications Systems Integration & Modeling                     formation and evolution of human social networks; informa-
  Radio Communications
                                                                    tion propagation and dissemination in human social networks;
  Communication Theory
  Satellite & Space Communications
                                                                    small world phenomenon and its implication in telecommuni-
  Computer Communications                                           cation networks; convergence of telecommunication networks
  Signal Processing & Communications Electronics                    and human social networks; and new applications and services.
  Data Storage                                                         Currently there are six other technical subcommittees: (i)
  Tactical Communications & Operations                              Applications of Nanotechnologies in Communications; (ii)
  e-Health                                                          Autonomic Communications; (iii) Human Centric Communica-
  Transmission, Access, & Optical Systems                           tions; (iv) Integrated Fiber & Wireless Technologies; (v) Nano-
  High-Speed Networking                                             Scale, Molecular, & Quantum Networking; and (vi) Peer-to-Peer
  Wireless Communications
                                                                    Networking. Please visit their websites to learn more about their
                                                                    interests and activities. In addition, discussion is also under way
                                                                    regarding new opportunities in other new technological areas,
occasionally revise the names and technical scope of existing       such as cloud computing, and cable networks and services.
TCs as technology changes over time. In the next few para-             As you can see from the above recent examples, we try to be
graphs, we will focus on the activities of the ETC.                 responsive to our members’ interests and their willingness to sup-
                                                                    port activities in new and emerging topics. Technical subcommit-
            EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES COMMITTEE                         tees report to the chair of the ETC. The VP-TA, the ETC, and
    ComSoc encourages and provides assistance to members            members of the Technical Activities Council (TAC) annually
with common interest in new technology areas to form technical      review the progress of the subcommittees and decide whether to
subcommittees (i.e., small activity groups), with the expectation   continue, terminate, or merge them, or elevate them to a full TC.
that such groups may eventually evolve into technical commit-          We have focused on TCs and technical subcommittees in
tees. In this era of converged communications, the goal is timely   this article. In addition, it is worth mentioning that last year
dissemination of technical information in emerging technology       we put in place another related organizational unit for the
areas that are of high interest to our members and others in our    coordination of technical activities in new, hot topics that span
field. The ETC is responsible for identifying, describing, and      the interests of multiple existing TCs. Specifically, in March
nurturing new technology directions, recommending new pro-          2010 we created an ad hoc committee on Smart Grid Commu-
grams, and nurturing potential technical committees for formal      nications and invited all TCs to appoint, if appropriate, a
proposal to the BoG via the VP-TA. The ETC helps subcom-            member of the new ad hoc committee. According to our
mittees obtain the necessary resources from the Society and         Bylaws, the ComSoc President can establish an ad hoc com-
IEEE to sponsor their activities.                                   mittee “to address broad technical or operational issues within
    For example, in 2010 we formed a new technical subcom-          the Society or IEEE.” Our hope for ComSoc smart grid activi-
mittee on “Vehicular Networks & Telematics Applications” to         ties, and potentially future topics, is that this model will be a
address the confluence of transportation technologies with          good one to help push for collaboration across multiple TCs
communications technologies. The subcommittee will actively         (rather than create many new, dedicated, “specialized” TCs).
promote technical activities in the field of vehicular networks,
V2V, V2R and V2I communications, standards, communica-                         JOIN A TC TO START YOUR NETWORKING
tions-enabled road/vehicle safety, real-time traffic monitoring,        If you are interested in proposing a ComSoc technical sub-
intersection management technologies, and future telematics         committee in a new technology area, we encourage you to
applications and ITS-based services. ComSoc has had some            contact and submit a written proposal to Mark, the VP-TA
activities on these topics for a few years. In response to grow-    (, copied to Naohisa, the ETC chair
ing volunteer interest and support for this topic, we decided       ( We will evaluate the proposal in
the time was right to create a formal ComSoc entity (i.e.,          consultation with members of the TAC.
technical subcommittee) in charge of these efforts.                     More importantly, please join a TC or a technical subcommit-
    In addition to creating this new technical subcommittee, we     tee and become an active member of ComSoc. You may visit the
also recently renamed a subcommittee on “Consumer Net-              websites of the TCs of your interest, contact the officers with your
working” to concentrate on another interdisciplinary topic:         questions, and volunteer to help them in their endeavors, along
“Social Networks.” The change was made to help us stay cur-         with colleagues having common technical interests. In keeping
rent with changes in the technology and industry. This new          with ComSoc’s Golden Triangle vision, we especially encourage
subcommittee will promote interdisciplinary research among          participation by young members and industrial participants – from
social science, information theory, and computer science. It        all parts of the world. Joining a TC (which is easy to do and has no
will encourage research activities that answer fundamental          membership fees) is an excellent first step to start networking and
questions in human and telecommunication networks such as:          co-working with colleagues having common technical interests.

IEEE Communications Magazine • April 2011                                                                                             7