I am extremely honored to serve the Circuits and Systems (CAS) Society as 2018-2019 President. At the outset, I must thank my predecessors who built a great foundation both technically and financially for the Society. I am grateful to them for their dedication, vision, and time invested in the Society.

Many notable achievements of past two years under the leadership of Franco Maloberti can be found in the Past President’s Message. I will endeavor to build upon the initiatives set by our past Presidents to enhance the value of our members. Thus, my message will focus on the blueprint that elevates the Society to next level. With the support from volunteers in the Executive Committee, the Board of Governors, the Editor-in-Chiefs and editorial board members, the CAS Representatives to various IEEE Councils and Initiatives, the Technical Committee (TC) members, the local CAS Chapter Committee members, and the CAS Distinguished Lecturers, I am confident that we as a team can do much more to meet the expectation of our members. Before I elaborate the plan, it is worth reviewing the mission and vision statements of the Society. 

Our mission is to foster CASS members across disciplines to address humanity’s grand challenges by conceiving and pioneering solutions to fundamental and applied problems in circuits and systems.

The IEEE Circuits and Systems Society (CASS) believe that the Grand Engineering Challenges of the 21st century can only be addressed in an interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary manner. The Society’s unique and profound expertise in Circuits, Systems, Signals, Modeling, Analysis, and Design can have a decisive impact on important issues such as Sustainable Energy, Bio-Health, Green Information Technology, Nano-Technology, and Scalable Information Technology Systems.

Both Mission and Vision statements indicate that interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary approaches are instrumental for the Society to move forward. It is also vivid that the CAS Society is not only about “Circuits” and “Systems”, where Signals, Modeling, Analysis, and Design are essential to achieve our vision. The role of the society’s leadership is to create opportunities for members from different disciplines to collaborate and make impacts in the field of circuits and systems. All members should have equal opportunities to present their results in our journals, conferences, and workshops. Industry members should be able to leverage on breakthroughs and innovative solutions from the CAS Society to address issues in applications. To this end, the Society needs to find new mechanisms to facilitate cross-fertilization in order to strengthen our technical leadership and create value for members. This is what I want to accomplish in the next two years.

Strengthen Technical Leadership
CASS, by nature, is an interdisciplinary community with diverse field of interests. It used to be a breeding ground for new fields, from which some of these fields spun out to form their own societies. But, we lose the momentum recently when Impact Factor (IF) becomes the indicator of quality. As a result, our diversity was reflected as a weakness, especially for our publications where diversity dilutes citations resulting low IF. Rather address the “weakness” by narrowing our focus, we should embrace the interdisciplinary nature of CAS, ride on the new wave of technologies, and emerge as leaders in multiple new fronts. Therefore, I would make structural changes to the society to promote interactions among TCs and provide support for interdisciplinary activities. Specifically, I will do the followings:

  1. Creating interdisciplinary cluster: an interdisciplinary cluster is a unit independent from existing TCs. Any TC member can join a cluster. Each cluster aims for an emerging area. We will provide funding support for each cluster to boost their activities. 
  2. Establishing new satellite workshops for emerging areas: clusters can organize workshops before or after CAS flagship conferences such as ISCAS, BioCAS. Examples were BrainCAS and FoodCAS organized after BioCAS2016 and BioCAS2017. With the increase of activities, it is possible to initiate a multi-theme conference in future.
  3. Promoting interdisciplinary research: JETCAS is an ideal venue for publishing interdisciplinary research. Each cluster can produce a special issue or joint special issue in JETCAS to promote their area.

Strengthening technical leadership is the most important task that CASS would undertake. The advancement in IT, material, and life science had a profound impact on CAS. It creates a golden opportunity for CAS to extend its technical offerings to emerging areas such as brain-inspired computing, energy-efficient signal processing techniques for big data, invisible sensing for IoT, embedded AI, and much more. Seizing these opportunities by creating new clusters and multi-theme conferences, CAS could become a home for interdisciplinary research and international collaboration. This will definitely increase recognition, prestige, and impact of our society. It will also help to grow our membership base.

Create Value for Members

Creating value for members is never an easy job. It requires innovation, dedication, and commitment. I will try my best to match member’s needs and expectations with society’s services in following areas:

  1. Value: to lift up the level of chapter activities. Local chapters are the focal point for connecting our members. More chapter activities mean more services to our members. The society will provide incentives for chapters to organize more activities for members. The society will make an investment in platforms and tools to promote interdisciplinary research, facilitate international collaborations, and support professional growth and career development.
  2. Opportunity: to involve more members as editorial board members, conference organizing committee members, and reviewers. A website will be created for members to register their interests.
  3. Recognition: to recognize our volunteers with awards and certificates, provide support for our members to apply for IEEE Senior and Fellow grades.

The society will also strengthen links between academia and industry through conferences, local CAS chapter activities, internship opportunities, and career fairs. Young Professionals (YP) will receive more opportunities, and extra budget to organize YP related activities. Furthermore, the society will create a stage for our future leaders to emerge, and provide them with training and guidance.

A good example of value creation is the new initiative of fast publication. Starting from ISCAS2018, the selected papers from ISCAS submissions will be published directly in Special Issues of TCAS-I, TCAS-II, and TBioCAS. The TCAS-II Special Issue will be published before ISCAS2018. This means an 8-month submission to publication turnaround time for conference presentation and journal publication. Another example is the launch of 2018 International Symposium on Integrated Circuits and Systems (ISICAS 2018), the first journal-paper only conference. The accepted papers will be published in TCAS-I and TCAS-II. You can find new initiatives and activities at our website: ieee-cas.org. You may also want to visit newly launched “Resource Center” (http://resourcecenter.cas.ieee.org) to download free books and videos.

I look forward to serving you and working with you. I eager to hear your ideas and suggestions for the improvement of the Society. With your support, I believe we can bring CAS to next level while creating value for you. I wish you and your family a happy and prosperous 2018.

Yong Lian, 2018-2019 President