Location: the internet (online meeting)
Date: Oct, 21st 2015
Time: 13.00-14.00 UTC/GMT +0

Members participant at the meeting (9)

  • Elena Blokhina
  • Sergio Callegari
  • Alessandro Colombo
  • Ferdinando Corinto
  • Dimitri Galayko
  • Zbigniew Galias [1]
  • Herbert Iu
  • Xiang Li
  • Marco Storace
[1]  Zbigniev Galias joined the meeting at 13.40 GMT and had technical issues preventing him from having his voice heard by the other members.

Call to order

A special meeting of the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society (CASS) technical Committee on Nonlinear Circuits and Systems was held on the Internet on Oct 21th 2015. The meeting convened at 13:00 GMT/UTC using the GotoMeeting platform for online conferences provided by CASS, Chair Sergio Callegari presiding and Herbert Iu, secretary.

The special meeting had been called by the Committee Officers following solicitation of the CASS Technical Activities Vice President in order to complete unfinished business from the previous ISCAS 2015 meeting, and specifically with the collection and discussion of motions about the completion of the Technical Committee Officers appointments for year 2015/16.

Due to the peculiarity of the online meeting platform, the meeting had been called with the provision of postponing votes on motions regarding the Officers appointment to an electronic voting session following the meeting and opened to all the Technical Committee Members.

1. Welcome & introduction to the online meeting

The Chair welcomed all the participants and illustrated a few arrangements specific to the online meeting: (i) he reminded that the GoToMeeting platform was recording the meeting to ease the preparation of minutes; (ii) he recalled the need to follow the Robert’s Rules during the meeting; (iii) re recalled that the online meeting platform could not be used for anonymous voting so that the meeting was only meant to discuss and formalize motions to be voted in the following days on a different electronic platform also provided by CASS.

After the roll of members present, the Chair let all the participants verify that they could access all of the online meeting platform functionality, including ability to view the material presented by the chair, to take the floor and speak, to use the “chat” function to ask for the floor, to use the camera to be seen by the other participants to the meeting.

2. Summary of minutes from the past meeting

The Chair pointed all the participants to the written copy of the previous meeting from the Technical Committee web site. Then, he read an extract of the minutes related to the unfinished business from the previous meeting.

Approval of the minutes from the previous meeting is due at the next ordinary meeting of the Technical Committee.

3. Chair’s report on Officers’ appointments

The Chair gave a report on the TC events after the ISCAS 2015 meeting, and the current situation regarding the appointment of Officers and other forthcoming steps for the Committee.

Illustration of events after the ISCAS 2015 meeting included the following points:

  • The impossibility to appoint Officers at the ISCAS 2015 meeting compelled the Technical Committee to start its 2015-16 year with the past Officers from 2014-15 maintaining their role “ad interim”.
  • On Aug 2nd there was an attempt by the then ad interim Chair Jinhu Lu to start a vote on his motion for a new Officer setting. This attempt received criticism from some TC members (mainly due to lack of information on what happened at the ISCAS meeting, limited space for discussion and bad timing, lack of consideration for an alternative motion that had been presented at ISCAS) and was eventually unsuccessful.
  • On Aug 29th, the then ad interim Chair Jinhu Lu stepped down. The then Chair Elect of the Committee, Sergio Callegari took the Chair role.
  • On the same day, Sergio Callegari announced the re-opening of a ballot for the election of the ISCAS 2016 Track Chairs for the Nonlinear Circuits and Systems area, that also act as Officers in the Technical Committee during the year. The vote had already been started as an electronic non-anonymous vote and was being re-started as a proper anonymous ballot taking advantage of the CASS infrastructure.
  • On Sep 18th, the new ISCAS 2016 Track Chairs were announced, being Xiang Li and Ferdinando Corinto.
  • On Oct 5th, Sergio Callegari communicated to all the Technical Committee members the forthcoming steps for the committee, announcing the current meeting.

In his report, the Chair recalled the current Officers situation, where the Chair Elect position is vacant and the Secretary position is covered ad interim by Herbert Iu. Other positions had already been renewed, including Chair (Sergio Callegari), Past Chair (Jinhu Lu) and ISCAS Track Chairs for the NCAS area (Xiang Li and Fernando Corinto).

The Chair also suggested the opportunity to complete the appointment of Officers, decoupling it from the changes to the Technical Committee Bylaws, in order to: (i) simplify the work of the CASS Technical Activities Vice President who was working on a document to be used as a starting point for the updating of the TC Bylaws in adherence to new rules set by CASS; and (ii) to enable a comprehensive consideration of the new Bylaws as a whole in the near future.

The Chair recalled the motion still pending from the ISCAS 2015 meeting, including:

  • A proposal by Gianluca Setti detailed as follows:

    • Continue the Technical Committee practice of rotating Officers for one last time; change the Chair and Chair Elect term to be 2 years (in adherence to the new rules set by CASS); make the Secretary a 2 year term aligned to the Chair and Chair elect; stop considering the ISCAS Track Chair(s) as Officers, stop considering the Past Chair as an Officer after 1 year, to give:

      2015-2016 (transient)

      Chair: Sergio Callegari
      Chair Elect: Herbert Iu
      Secretary: Elena Blokhina
      Past Chair: Jinhu Lu

      2016-2017 (beginning of regime, from this year on, the Track Chair and the Past Chair are not anymore Officers)

      Chair: Sergio Callegari
      Chair Elect: Herbert Iu
      Secretary: Elena Blokhina

      2017-2019 (regime)

      Chair: Herbert Iu (from Chair Elect position)
      Chair Elect: To be elected
      Secretary: To be elected

      State of the motion: pending, active

      Notes: the motion joins the appointment of Officers with some changes to the Technical Committee Bylaws exceeding the mere extension of the Chair and Chair Elect term to 2 years (required by CASS), to also include a reduction in the number of the Officers and the change of the Secretary term.

The Chair also recalled that the other motion that remained pending at ISCAS, that had been presented by the then Chair Jinhu Lu and that included the extension of his own mandate to 2015-2016 was to be considered as dropped, having become inapplicable after the stepping down of Jinhu Lu.

The Chair concluded his report presenting other possible ways to complete the appointment of Officers, including: having a nomination and ballot for both the Secretary and the Chair Elect; applying an automatic rotation for the Secretary position and having a nomination and a ballot for the Chair Elect; using a variation of Gianluca Setti’s proposal removing the non urgent changes in the Bylaws (to have them discussed together with other proposals on Bylaws updated later on). The Chair underlined that he was not making any motion himself.

4. Main business: proposals and discussion on the appointment of Officers

Elena Blokhina made the following motion to be considered as an alternative to the still pending motion by Gianluca Setti:

  • Have a nomination and a ballot for the Secretary and Chair Elect positions; change the Chair, Chair Elect and Secretary term to be 2 years (in adherence to the new rules set by CASS for the Chair and Chair Elect positions), to give

    Chair: Sergio Callegari (until May 2017)
    Chair Elect: To be elected by ballot (to become Chair in May 2017)
    Secretary: To be elected by ballot (until May 2017)
    Past Chair: Jinhu Lu

    in addition to the recently elected ISCAS Track Chairs, Fernando Corinto and Xiang Li, to remain in charge until May 2016.

    The motion did not touch the current Bylaws with respect to the Past Chair terms (1 year) and to the role of Officers for the ISCAS Track Chair, to give the option to all members to decide on these aspects during a comprehensive discussion on new sets of Bylaws.

The motion by Elena Blokhina was seconded by Herbert Iu.

During the discussion, Elena Blokhina remarked that the rationale for her proposal was to:

  • move as quickly as possible to adhere to the new rules by CASS that require the Chair Elect election and Officers terms
  • give stability to the Committee, giving that some Officers had taken their position only halfway through 2015-2016
  • leave most decisions on Bylaws changes to a dedicated discussion.

No other motions were presented.

The Chair concluded the discussion communicating his intention to organize an electronic vote on the motions by Gianluca Setti and Elena Blokhina in the shortest possible time.

5. Announcements

The Chair announced that discussion on the updating of the Bylaws was to start shortly, as soon as a document from the CASS Technical Activities VP was ready to be used as a starting point for the discussion.

6. Adjournment

Not having any other matter to discuss, the Chair thanked everyone who attended the meeting and closed it at 13.50 GMT/UTC.

Minutes prepared by Herbert Iu and Sergio Callegari in Oct 2015.