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Dr Kasturi, first Indian president of IEEE Computer Society

February 04, 2008 17:22 IST

Dr Rangachar Kasturi, who was elected the first Indian- American new president of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers-IEEE - Computer Society, envisages 2008 as the Society's 'Year of Revitalisation.'

"We see an opportunity to enhance the value of the IEEE CS to its members, its customers, the profession, and the public," said Dr Kasturi, the Douglas W Hood professor and chair of the Computer Science and Engineering Department at the University of South Florida.

"Our revitalisation depends on our ability to innovate, especially in those areas that enhance career development, and to discontinue products or services that do not contribute to our growth," he informed group members.

"We will fund several new initiatives without increasing the financial burden on our members or customers."

Dr Kasturi, who was elected in a worldwide election, took office January 1.

He is the first person of Indian origin to serve as president of this prestigious organisation with some 90,000 members in 140 countries. Founded in 1946, IEEE CS's vision is to be the leading provider of technical information, community services, and personalized services to the world's computing professionals. It is dedicated to advancing the theory, practice, and application of computer and information processing technology.

Through its conferences, applications-related and research-oriented journals, local and student chapters, distance-learning campus, technical committees, and standards working groups, the Society promotes technological innovation and an exchange of information and ideas.

It publishes 23 technical journals and magazines, organizes some 200 annual scientific conferences worldwide for students and professionals, and helps establish industry standards.

"My plan is to shape 2008 as "the year of revitalisation," a year when each of our program boards innovates new products that will pave the way for our prosperity,' Dr Kasturi said.

"We have made great progress toward managing our expenses, but our recovery truly depends on growing revenues. Our director of finance and accounting has provided clear targets for operating margins over the next two to three years, and I have asked each program board vice president to develop plans toward achieving those targets."

Those targets include: completion of the new; building of a state-of-the-art open-source platform that will enable encourage member engagement; launch of an entry-level software developer certification; an expansion of the highly successful conference publishing program to all of IEEE; a new software engineering seminar series; and a new version of the Computer Society Digital Library - the IEEE Computing Library - which will be targeted at software companies.

'All of these initiatives are being driven by what our members and customers have asked for: information and services that enhance career advancement, are easy to access, and that maintain the IEEE CS's reputation for the highest quality,' he noted.

Dr Kasturi received his BE (electrical engineering) degree from Bangalore University in 1968 and his MS (electrical engineering) and PhD degrees from Texas Tech University, in 1980 and 1982 respectively.

He was an engineer at the Mysore Electrical Industries, Bharat Electronics Limited, and Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum from 1968 to 1978.

Dr Kasturi was the first one to develop a personal computer-based Kannada word processing software in 1985. He served as a professor at Pennsylvania State University from 1982 to 2003 and was a Fulbright Scholar in 1999 at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

He served as president of the International Association for Pattern Recognition from 2002 to 2004. He is a Fellow of both the IEEE and the IAPR. His research specialization is in the areas of computer vision and pattern recognition. He is an author of the text book, Machine Vision (McGraw-Hill, 1995), and coathor of several other books and chapters, and has published in scientific journals extensively.

He had served as treasurer of the Computer Society in 2004-2005, first vice president for conferences and tutorials, in 2006 and vice president for publications, 2001-2003. He is the general cochair for International Conference on Pattern Recognition slated in Tampa, Florid this year.

He has also served as general co-chair for IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition in 2001 and of International Conference on Document Analysis and Recognition in 1999, among numerous other assignments. He has worked as editor-in-chief of IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence (1995-1998) and Machine Vision and Applications Journal (1993-94).

He is recipient of numerous honors and awards, including Penn State Engineering Society Premier Research Award, its highest honor. He has led sessions at several conferences and has been an invited and featured speaker and has presented papers at several scientific meetings, both national and international.

A Correspondent