Moshe Kam IEEE President
Appointment of Dr. Moshe Kam to Dean, Newark College of Engineering
3 April, 2014

ENGINEERING AS A LIBERAL ART: an address to the Edinburgh International Cultural Summit (The Debating Chamber, Scottish Parliament; Edinburgh, Scotland; 14 August 2012)
14 August, 2012

Comments during the dedication of an IEEE Milestone on the World’s First Reliable High Voltage Power Fuse, 1909 (3 August 2012, Chicago, IL, USA)
3 August, 2012

Comments at the Dedication of the IEEE Milestone Mainline Electrification of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, 1895 (21 June 2012, Baltimore, MD)
9 July, 2012

Comments at the installation of the Iota Lambda Chapter of Eta Kappa Nu at the University of Hong Kong (13 January 2012)
13 January, 2012

Comments at the Unveiling of the IEEE Milestone on the Apollo Guidance Computer, Cambridge, MA
13 December, 2011

Roger Pollard (1 June 1946 - 3 December 2011)
4 December, 2011

As 2011 draws to a close...
3 December, 2011

Member Letter – U.S. Hurricane Irene/Floods
10 September, 2011

Message to IEEE Volunteers and Members in Japan
14 March, 2011

It Is About Value (Not About Price)
11 February, 2011

A Small Miracle in Hyderabad
27 January, 2011

So you are traveling a lot, eh?
17 January, 2011

How Should We Proceed with IEEE’s Humanitarian Efforts?
1 January, 2011

IEEE and Haiti
20 January, 2010

A Most Impressive Quasquicentennial in Hyderabad
7 January, 2010

My New Year Resolution - Seeking Less Experienced Volunteers
2 January, 2010

Mail about IEEE Spectrum article - Powerless in Gaza
26 December, 2009

The list of new IEEE Fellows is out
15 December, 2009

In praise of three tough guys from Trinidad
25 November, 2009

Who will be the 50th President of IEEE?
23 November, 2009

Smart Grid and Standards Search - the Board of Directors approves new initiatives
22 November, 2009

Globalization and Music - a Visit to the IEEE France Section
12 November, 2009

Moshe Kam elected IEEE 2010 President-Elect
7 October, 2009


Globalization and Music - a Visit to the IEEE France Section

I visited the France Section on November 6 and 7 on the occasion of the Section's celebration of the 125th anniversary of IEEE.  The 2-day event took place at the Royaumont Abbey, which is located about 30 kilometers north of Paris.  The massive buildings served as a Cistercian Abbey from the early 13th century to 1791.  As the guide who took us around explained, the only room in the large compound that was heated in winter was the Scriptorium - where monks copied and re-copied religious manuscripts.  The heat was needed to keep the inks, as well as the fingers of the copying monks, from freezing. All other areas remained unheated even in the dead of winter.  As I discovered later, in my rather chilly guest room within the Abbey, old traditions die hard...

Among the many subjects that were raised by the volunteers of the Section was the oft-discussed issue of "IEEE as a global organization" and the feeling of many volunteers outside of North America that they are under-represented in key IEEE committees and boards. My observation is that in some areas - most notably Boards of Governors of IEEE technical societies - we are doing better.  There are many more candidates and incumbents from outside of the US and Canada now than ever before.  When one looks at the IEEE Board of Directors and at some of the other major boards, the picture is different: members outside of North America are still under-represented.  One obvious question is whether this outcome results from dearth of candidates (especially willing candidates) form regions 7-10 (the IEEE administrative geographical units outside the US), or from bias of the Nomination and Appointment committees that fail to recommend qualified candidates from these regions.  My sense is that it is the former problem, namely - we do not have enough willing candidates who would stand, or be recommended to stand, in IEEE elections, from R7-R10.   Though I do not have a complete analysis to prove that, I do have a not-so-small list of individuals, mostly from Asia and Europe but some from other areas, who in my opinion could be excellent candidates for President of IEEE.  As far as I know, these individuals were approached time after time by the IEEE Nominations and Appointments Committee but always reused to throw their hats into the ring.  Some of them cited other commitments but some did not feel comfortable with IEEE's competitive election traditions.  When I mentioned the possibility of candidates running as petition candidates, being in fact nominated by the membership rather than by nominating committees, it was pointed to me that there were no major petition candidates from outside of the US and Canada for Director position - at least in the last 15 years.  The issue therefore involves matters of culture, social attitude and style which are sometimes difficult to communicate let alone resolve. 

There were many interesting presentations in the anniversary event - the one that impressed me the most was given by  François Pachet, a senior researcher at Sony Computer Science Laboratory Paris.  He and his colleagues (including Youngmoo Kim who works at my Department at Drexel University) were engaged for several years in very interesting work on music interpretation, cataloging, storage and retrieval, and on involving the listener actively in the creation and processing of music.   While some of this work is difficult to "market" these days because of the hard times that the music industry experiences, I believe that this line of work has a bright future.  I hope that IEEE - which already has significant activity in different technical aspects of music analysis, interaction, access and processing - will expand its activities in this and related areas, perhaps in cooperation with ISMIR, the International Society for Music Information Retrieval.

Moshe Kam ( ) ECE Department, Drexel University, 3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
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