Preamble

The Nonlinear Circuits and Systems Technical Committee (NCAS TC or the Committee) is a Technical Committee (TC) of the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society (IEEE CASS or the Society). As a subsidiary committee of IEEE CASS, the NCAS TC is governed by the rules and regulations of the IEEE and by the Constitution and Bylaws of CASS, which take precedence over this Charter in case of conflict. TCs are established by IEEE CASS in significant fields of interest of the Society through its Technical Activities Division to advance the state of knowledge and educate Society members and the general IEEE membership. To these ends, TCs play a major role in creating a high quality technical program for the Society’s flagship conference, the International Symposium on Circuits and Systems (ISCAS). TCs may also organize other workshops and conferences, special sessions at conferences, and tutorial programs, and undertake other activities to help better achieve their purpose. Further, the NCAS TC may act as a bridge between CASS and related IEEE Societies and Councils as well as other institutions in the general area of nonlinear circuits and systems.

Purpose

The purpose of the NCAS TC is to provide a networking forum for leaders in the field of nonlinear circuits and systems and promote the exchange, advancement, and dissemination of information about the research, development, and practice of nonlinear circuits and systems in electrical engineering and related areas. Nonlinear circuits and systems include, but are not limited to, nonlinear aspects of circuits and systems, dynamics, oscillations, numerical methods, stability, bifurcation and chaos, nonlinear signal and imaging processing, as well as cellular neural networks and complex networks.

The Committee sponsors discussions on all aspects of nonlinear circuits and systems within CASS’ Field of Interest: the theory, analysis, design, implementation of circuits and systems, as well as the corresponding tools. The field spans theoretical foundations, applications, and architectures, as well as the implementation of algorithms for signal and information processing through circuits and systems. Cooperation is sought with other IEEE Societies, Affinity Groups, and Committees with related scope.

The NCAS TC operation pursues the following vision statement.

Nonlinear phenomena in circuits and systems are ubiquitous. As new technologies emerge and existing technologies are moving closer to their performance limits, nonlinear effects will assume greater importance. It is vital to create a repository of theory and experience that will allow engineers to understand, exploit, and control these effects. Areas such as nanoelectronics, systems biology and complex networks will present important new challenges and applications.

An important trend in the area of nonlinear circuits and systems is a rapid growth of interest in the study of large, extended nonlinear systems and networks. In particular, the area of complex networks and systems is receiving increasing attention. Main activities in the field will involve the analysis and design of nonlinear circuits and systems characterized by numerous interacting systems whose structure and topology evolve and adapt in time and space.

Future aspects of the nonlinear circuits and systems field should also encompass fundamental theories and their importance in new application domains. The NCAS TC sees worth pursuing the following new research directions:

• analysis, control, and simulation of complex networked systems;

• analysis and synthesis of bio-inspired circuits and systems;

• developing nonlinear circuit models for bio-impedance and bio-electrical applications;

• analysis and design of piecewise-smooth and discontinuous dynamical systems;

• developing emerging applications of nonlinearity, chaos, and complexity to circuits and systems including smart grids, communication networks, random number generation, biological circuits and systems.

This vision may change over time in response to changes in technology and emerging areas of importance.

Activities

The NCAS TC activities include:

(a) Organizing that part of the technical program of ISCAS related to the NCAS TC field. This includes managing the review of papers submitted to ISCAS in tracks dealing with topics in the NCAS field, appointing TPC Track Chairs, Review Committee Members (RCMs), and paper reviewers, as well as arranging tutorials, special sessions, workshops, and other sessions;

(b) Nominating individuals for

(i) society awards, (ii) editorial appointments, (iii) Distinguished Lecturer appointments, and (iv) CASS representatives for Steering and other Committees arising from joint tasks with other Societies and Councils;

(c) Nominating papers for Best Paper awards for CASS journals;

(d) PreparingtheTCAnnualReport;

(e) Preparing information for periodic review of the TC by the Society;

(f) Maintaining the TC website;

(g) Reviewing and updating as needed the TC Vision and Mission statements at least every 5 years;

(h) Assessing the quality and helping to maintain/raise the quality of CASS sponsored conferences in the field;

(i) Any other activities to help achieve the mandate of the TC, such as editing reprint books, organizing special issues in IEEE publications, planning workshops, conferences, and other publication activities in the area of the NCAS TC.

The NCAS TC members meet at least once every year at the Annual TC Meeting organized during ISCAS.

Membership

Membership of the NCAS TC is open to IEEE CASS members in good standing and willing to perform the duties of membership.

Membership is by nomination and submission of a curriculum vitae (CV) and has to be approved by a majority vote of the members present at the Annual TC Meeting or by Internet vote of the members. Individuals applying for membership should be present at the annual meeting where their application is approved or, in case of an Internet vote, at the annual meeting immediately following such vote.

The NCAS TC has two classes of membership: regular and affiliate.

Rights of regular members include voting, proposing motions, expressing opinions at meetings and through the electronic communication means used by the TC.

Regular members should attend the annual TC Meeting. It is their duty to contribute to the activities and purpose of the TC, which includes reviewing papers within the field of the TC submitted to the Society’s conferences and journals. A member is said to be active if he/she participates at least once every two years in one of the four activities: (i) attending the annual TC meeting; (ii) submitting a write-up for inclusion in the TC’s annual report; (iii) serving as Review Committee Member (RCM) or Reviewer for papers related to the nonlinear circuits and system area at ISCAS, at a CASS regional conference, or in a CASS journal or serving on the editorial board of a CASS journal as an expert in the nonlinear circuits and systems area; and (iv) actively contributing to another activity carried out by the TC, as listed in Clause 3 activities (a) to (i) of this Charter.

A regular member is said to be inactive if he/she did not participate in one of the listed four activities in two consecutive years. The Secretary will contact inactive members to encourage them to become active. Members who give sufficient cause for a two-year absence and yet fail to contribute for a 3rd consecutive year will automatically lose their regular member status in the TC.

Members who are not sufficiently active to maintain their regular member status can, with a majority TC vote, become affiliate members rather than being removed from the NCAS TC.

Regular members may voluntarily request registration as affiliate members at any time before conditions arise that would disqualify them as active members, by sending such request to the Secretary.

Rights of affiliate members include receiving all the TC communications (including being registered on the members’ mailing list), participating in the annual TC meeting, being invited to express suggestions and opinions. However, they have no vote and cannot submit motions.

Affiliate members may be moved to the regular member status by sending a request to the Secretary including information on their qualification as active members.

The TC will maintain and publish annually the TC Roll of Members, including a record of attendance at the annual TC meeting and participation in activities. The Roll of Members must include contact information for all members. The TC will maintain a mailing list for communication among the members, based on the Roll of Members.

Leadership and Management

The TC shall have three officers: Chair, Chair-Elect, and Secretary. Each will serve a 2-year term. All terms end together at the annual TC meeting that follows the Chair's appointment by two years, or by a period between one and two years in case the Chair had previously been renewed off the annual meeting.

The Chair, supported by the other Officers, is responsible for:

(a) ensuring that the purpose of the TC is well achieved through timely and diligent execution of the activities;

(b) ensuring that the TC operates according to its Charter; and

(c) establishing the TC Chair as a well-known channel for communication between the TC and the CASS Board of Governors.

The Chair will preside over Committee meetings and voting. He/she will be responsible for all interactions with the Society. She/he will report about Committee activities to the CASS Board of Governors, through its Vice President Technical Activities at least once a year, before ISCAS.

The Chair is a member of the CASS Technical Activities Division (TAD) and will attend the Annual Meeting of the TAD, usually held during or shortly before ISCAS.

The Chair is normally not directly elected and is appointed by transition of the Chair-Elect at the end of their two-year term or in case of resignation/removal of the previous Chair. An out-of-sequence election of the Chair may be held should the Chair-Elect be unable to assume the role of Chair.

The Chair will oversee all activities of the TC, with assistance from the Officers and TC members if necessary, and is responsible for: soliciting and making the TC’s nominations of individuals for awards and for editorial, Distinguished Lecturer, and CASS representative roles; ensuring preparation of the TC annual report; preparing material for and participating in periodic TC Reviews; and maintaining the TC vision and mission, that is for the aforementioned Clause 3, Paragraph 1, Activities (a), (b), (d), (e), and (g).

In relation to the Committee’s ability to express recommendations on editorial appointments, the Chair is responsible for learning when the editorial boards are formed and for soliciting nominations from the TC members in a timely manner.

The Chair-Elect is elected by ballot by the TC members and must have been a regular member of the TC for the previous two years. The ballot is usually held at the annual TC meeting but may otherwise be conducted by electronic means through the year in those cases when the Chair-Elect position remains vacant before the expected term (e.g., in case of resignation of the Chair-Elect or of appointment of the Chair-Elect to the Chair due to resignation of the Chair). The names on the ballot are selected through a nomination process in which the candidates’ CVs are circulated. The TC members should be allowed to discuss the nominations for at least 15 days before the ballot is finalized. Self-nominations are permitted. Past TC Chairs cannot be nominated for the Chair- Elect role if: (a) they have already served as TC Chair more than once; or (b) they have ended their Chair term by less than two years.

The Chair-Elect will assist the Chair as necessary in all activities, will participate in the TC review meeting, will audit the member activities and will notify members of lapses in activity, and will be responsible for: soliciting nominations for best paper awards for CASS journals; quality assessment and maintaining/raising the quality of CASS sponsored conferences in the NCAS TC field; and other activities undertaken by the TC. The Chair-Elect has specific responsibility regarding activities described in Clause 3, Paragraph 1, points (c), (h), and (i).

The Chair and Chair-Elect are both responsible for motivating TC members to promote NCAS TC sponsored special sessions and workshops at ISCAS.

The Secretary is elected by ballot by the TC members and must have been a regular member of the TC for the previous two years. The ballot is usually held at the annual TC meeting but may otherwise be conducted by electronic means through the year in those cases when the Secretary position remains vacant before the expected term (e.g., in case of resignation of the Secretary). The names on the ballot are selected through a nomination process in which the candidates’ CVs are circulated. The TC members should be allowed to discuss the nominations for at least 15 days before the ballot is finalized. Self nominations are permitted.

The Secretary will record meeting minutes and ensure their expeditious posting on the TC website; maintain the Roll of Members including email addresses; maintain a mailing list for contacting the TC members and another list for contacting the TC Officers; maintain a record of members’ attendance at the annual meeting and of participation in activities. She/he also will be the focal point for maintaining the NCAS TC website and the default coordinator for other initiatives related to the media/web TC presence. The Secretary will have specific responsibility for activities defined in Clause 3, Paragraph 1, Point (f).

The Officers can be individually removed before the term-end by a majority, anonymous vote of the TC regular members that can be initiated by a motion undersigned by at least one fourth of the TC regular members.

In addition to the Officer’s roles, other duties may involve tasks that occur periodically and tasks that emerge occasionally and for which temporary positions or working groups may be formed that report to the Officers.

Among the recurring tasks, the organization of the ISCAS Track on Nonlinear Circuits and Systems is recognized by the TC as a key activity and an occasion to seek the maximum involvement of its members. Annually, at the ISCAS meeting, the TC elects one or more track Co-Chairs to work under the supervision of the TC Chair for the organization of the Track at the following ISCAS. At each ISCAS meeting, the Track Chair(s) present a report to regarding the track organization.

Meetings and Conduct of Business

Business relevant to this Charter may be conducted at meetings or by ballots/votes via the Internet.

Only in exceptional cases of extreme urgency, business can be conducted by majority vote among the Officers to be later ratified at a meeting or by an Internet vote. Urgency is defined by lack of the minimal time between notice of motions and votes established in this Clause (Clause 6), Paragraph 4, third bullet point. The Officers must not delay regular business until it becomes urgent. 

All matters regarding the regular TC operation are managed with an explicit vote. All matters related to the election, nomination of members to roles and awards, and extraordinary TC operation (such as the amendment of its Charter) are managed by anonymous vote.

Meetings may be held in-person (typically at a conference) or by electronic means.

  • Whenever voting occurs during a meeting, a quorum applies requiring at least the ceiling of one third of the regular TC members to be present at the meeting.
  • When votes are organized by electronic means, a quorum applies requiring the ceiling of one-half of the regular TC members to vote.
  • A minimum of two-week notice of motions shall be given to voting TC members prior to the close of voting to permit TC members to consider the issues, except as otherwise provided in Clause 7 of this Charter.
  • A majority of the legal votes cast by the TC members is necessary to approve a motion, except as 

At the annual meeting:

  • An agenda is circulated prior to the meeting;
  • The NCAS TC Chair presents an annual report regarding membership, activities, and progress on achieving the TC vision and mission;
  • TC members vote to elect new members and new Officers, as needed;
  • The TC members may discuss any other business relevant to the TC;
  • The regular members may vote on motions provided the required notice periods are met.

Any CASS or IEEE member is allowed to attend the Annual Meeting as an observer; the Chair may invite other observers; the Chair may invite observers to speak.

Amendments and Closing of the TC

Any Charter amendment, including the closing of the TC, can be considered at a meeting provided that the Chair and Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect have been notified at least one month prior to the Meeting. Approval by the Officers is not necessary but notification is required. When approved, the amendment takes effect the day following the conclusion of the meeting where the approval occurred.

Amendments to this Charter will be communicated to the CASS VP Technical Activities within one month from their approval.

Motions to amend the Charter and to close (sunset) the TC have special conditions that must be fulfilled to be consistent with CASS and IEEE rules. The conditions for such votes at a meeting and by Internet ballot are:

(i) Internet voting: voting by a minimum of one-half of the TC members is a valid ballot; a two-thirds majority is required to pass the motion;

(ii) Voting at the TC Meeting: a special quorum of ceiling function of one-half of the TC members to be present at the meeting is required; a two-thirds majority is required to pass the motion.

Bylaws of the NCAS TC were approved at the meeting of the committee in May 2017.