Position Statement and Bio
The value of the Computer Society to its members and volunteers, and the broader impact it is expected to have on the profession and the advancement of computer and information science and engineering must be critically reviewed and analyzed.
Many constants have rapidly changed lately for the 72-year old powerful brand! Time has come for its rejuvenation –to redefine its value prepositions, envision and implement new ideas and engagement models, design the supportive policies and mechanisms to deliver on the values, and to sustain a high impact and leadership role.
The Computer Society must offer valuable products, services and opportunities that meet the needs and aspirations of its members –all of its individual and organizational members around the globe. The Computer Society must do so cost-effectively to remain nimble and financially viable.
It must be relevant, influential, engaging, and of a definitive personalized value to its members, including the rising generation of young students and professionals. Urgently, the Computer Society must become much more “tangible” digitally and physically, with a powerful world-wide presence that far exceeds receiving periodic emails through distribution lists, sometimes mistaken by email systems as spam.
Engaging current and potential members with us as volunteers to co-create and redefine the society’s desired value/opportunity prepositions will be the highest-priority goal in my agenda as President.
Volunteers are the secret sauce and the key driving force behind any value and impact the society can ever realize. Hence, as President, I will also focus on incentivizing volunteering and turning it into highly sought-after opportunities.
The technical committees, in particular, are a good ground that holds a great promise for advancement and impact. As President, I will pursue a more energizing support model for the technical committees to bolster their role and prestige as ground zero for highly-rewarded volunteering.
Current Computer Society publications are influential, yet there is room for advancement by revising the titles lineup and by investing in and changing the magazines to serve a more powerful and complimentary role to transactions – become platforms for timely communication, interpretations, debates and critical surveys of the various forces shaping emerging research and technology evolutions.
Governance is also needy of some improvements! Particularly, bolstering the role of the board of governors to provide a tighter oversight of the operational and financial performance of the Computer Society.
As President, I will unwaveringly thrive to pursue the aforementioned initiatives and affect critically needed changes.
Sumi Helal is a Professor and Chair in Digital Health in the School of Computing and Communications at Lancaster University, UK. He directs the center on Digital Health and Quality of Life Technologies where he explores the use of computing technology and health data into the pathways of healthcare to improve outcomes and enhance the quality of life of all people including individuals with special needs.
Before joining Lancaster, Helal was Computer Science and Engineering Professor at University of Florida and Director of its Mobile and Pervasive Computing Laboratory. He co-founded and directed the Gator Tech Smart House – a real-world deployment to identify key barriers and opportunities to making the Smart Home concept a common place (creating the “Smart Home in a Box” concept).
His published research is widely cited (300+ publications with over 12,300 citations, h-index of 49, and i10-index of 156, according to Google Scholar). His research received substantial press coverage over the past 20 years, including New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Discovery Channel, and MIT Technology Review (for more details click here). He is inventor on nine US patents, and cofounder of several startups on Mobile Computing and Internet-of-Things.
Helal is a long-time IEEE Computer Society volunteer. He served on numerous editorial boards including as Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Computer, the Society’s flagship publication (2015-2018). He chaired over 25 conferences including 12 IEEE-sponsored. He was chair of the IEEE CS Technical Committee on the Internet (2000-2003). He was coordinator of IEEE CS Region 3 (2009).
He serves as member of IEEE CS Board of Governors since 2017, and currently chairs the Publications Board’s Magazine Operations Committee. He chaired the CS Financial Audit subcommittee (2017). Helal is a Boilermaker (Ph.D. 1991, Purdue University), Fellow of the IEEE, Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology, and IEEE CS Golden Core recipient.