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SIT Newsletter header
March 2019

Message from the Editor
Heather Love, Editor, IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT) Newsletter
photo of Heather Love
Greetings, SSIT members!

This month's newsletter looks ahead to future publication and conference opportunities; introduces you to two more of your present SSIT Board of Governors members; and remembers past SSIT President Jerry Engel, who passed away in August 2018.

As always, I invite submissions from all SSIT members for inclusion in future newsletters. To announce an event, news item, volunteer opportunity, Call for Papers, award notice, or other article, please contact me at Heather.Love@uwaterloo.ca. Submissions for the April 2019 newsletter are due by 25 March 2019.


announcements header

Introducing your Board of Governors (BoG)

This month, we are happy to continue our series of short introductions to the current slate of SSIT BoG members. We hope that these vignettes will help you get to know a bit more about the group's varied (and impressive!) areas of expertise and backgrounds, the specific goals that different individuals have for their time on the SSIT BoG, and the more general aspirations they each have for the future of the SSIT.

We encourage you to contact BoG members whose interests and areas of expertise overlap with your own, and we hope that these introductions can serve as a starting point for building camaraderie and connections within SSIT as a whole.

We present Bozenna Pasik-Duncan and Russell Lefevre, two BoG members whose terms extend to 2021.


My name is Bozenna Pasik-Duncan and through all my life in Poland and in USA, I have been passionate about integrating research and teaching at all levels and helping others. I have been a strong advocate for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and for women in STEM.

I received a M.S. degree in mathematics from the University of Warsaw, and Ph.D. and D.Sc. (Habilitation Doctorate) degrees from the Warsaw School of Economics, Poland. I am currently based at the University of Kansas (KU) where my titles include: Mathematics Professor; Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) and Aerospace Engineering (AE) Courtesy Professor; Information and Telecommunication Technology Center (ITTC) Investigator; Center for Computational Biology (CCB) Affiliate Faculty; and Chancellors Club Teaching Professor. I am proud of being inducted to the KU Women’s Hall of Fame. My research interests are primarily in stochastic adaptive control and its applications to science and engineering, and in STEM education.

My involvement with professional organizations is wide reaching. For instance, I am the Founder of IEEE Control Systems Society (CSS) Women in Control; Past CSS Vice President for Membership Activities; 2017-2018 IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE) Chair; Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) and Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) Student Chapters Faculty Advisor; and Outreach Programs Founder and Coordinator. I have served in many leadership capacities in several societies, both in Poland and in USA, and my current service includes: IEEE WIE Past Chair; CSS and SSIT Board of Governors Member; CSS Control Education Technical Committee (TC) Vice Chair; American Automatic Control Council (AACC) Education TC Chair; International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC) Technical Board member; IFAC Task Force Diversity and Inclusion Chair; IEEE Fellow Committee Member; 2019 IFAC Advances in Control Education Symposium General Chair, and I enthusiastically invite all SSIT members to join the Symposium by contributing papers or invited sessions. For more information, visit the IFAC Symposium website

I am Life Fellow of IEEE, Fellow of IFAC, and recipient of many awards that include IEEE Third Millennium Medal, IEEE CSS Distinguished Member Award, and IEEE Educational Activities Board (EAB) Meritorious Achievement.

To make contributions to SSIT and its continued success, I offer my broad experience and best practices in integrating research and innovative teaching in STEM, and in advancing women in STEM. In particular I plan to organize a joint CSS and SSIT panel session on technology in applications of systems and control and its social implications at 2019 control conferences. I would love to join efforts to identify and nominate SSIT members, in particular women for IEEE Awards and Medals and for higher grades that include Senior Member and Fellow. I would like to help to create a sustainable model for Outreach Program, and for recognizing students, young professionals, and women in for Excellence in Community Service, Education and Leadership (Ex.C.E.L.). You can contact me at bozenna@ku.edu or visit my webpage for more information.

My name is Russell Lefevre; I hold a BS and MS in Physics from the University of North Dakota and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of California. I am a Fellow of IEEE and AAAS, and also Past President of IEEE-USA and IEEE Aerospace and Electrical Systems Society. In addition, I have been a leader in several IEEE programs including Smart Grid, Transportation Electrification and Smart City. My current activities center around issues associated with water and energy. I am on the Board of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, one of the largest water suppliers in the world.

The SSIT Pillars are closely related to many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. I want SSIT to become a resource for policy and decision makers in this arena. We can publish Technology White Papers that could be SSIT White Papers or IEEE White Papers depending on the topic. These White Papers would be reviewed by the IEEE Global Public Policy Committee. They would address issues covered by our 5 Pillars (Sustainable Development, Ethics/Human Values, Universal Access to Technology, Societal Impacts and Protecting the Planet). They would then be used by SSIT and IEEE to help technology developers, policy makers and decision makers to address societal impacts of technologies. Recent articles in IEEE Technology and Society could be candidates for such White Papers (e.g. articles on Implantable Technology, or on Robots and SocioEthical Implications). One purpose for these White Papers would be to use the IEEE to bring important considerations to a wider audience. You can reach me at r.lefevre@ieee.org.



March 2019 IEEE Technology and Society Magazine (T&S)


Watch for the March 2019 issue of IEEE T&S Magazine, a Special Issue on Technology for Governance, Politics, and Democracy.

The issue is Guest Edited by Tom Kane and Nick Novelli, and explores the impact of digital technologies on democratic systems of governance. Feature articles include "Democratic Governance of Information Technologies," highlighting the dangers of confirmation bias in Google and Facebook personalization algorithms, and "Twitter Data for Predicting Election Results," which looks at how our social media posts and profiles reveal so much information that even our personal emotions can be gleaned and tracked.

The issue also features an opinion piece by British M.P. Caroline Lucas, calling for a new digital Bill of Rights.

All SSIT members will receive emails for the issue with links to digital and electronic copies of the magazine. To join in discussions about articles in the issue, visit the SSIT Technology and Society Facebook or LinkedIn pages.



Call for Expressions of Interest to Host SSIT Conferences

SSIT is a sponsor of IEEE conferences in the field of technology and society. We are currently seeking expressions of interest from SSIT members interested in hosting the following conferences in their cities:
  • IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society (ISTAS)
    ISTAS is the flagship conference of SSIT, addressing issues across the range of SSIT interests. Information about the most recent ISTAS conference is available on their website.
    Expressions of interest are welcome for 2020, 2021, and 2022.

  • IEEE Conference on Norbert Wiener in the 21st Century (21CW)
    The 21CW conference series addresses the technical, social and personal legacy of the founder of cybernetics, control theory, and information ethics, Norbert Wiener. It has been held in Boston (2014), Melbourne (2016), with satellite activities in India 2014, 2016, 2018, and additional information about these events is available on their website.
    Expressions of interest are welcome for 2020 and 2022.
If you are interested in hosting one of these events, or if you would like further information, please contact SSIT Conferences Chair Paul Cunningham at pcunningham@ieee.org.




IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society Launches in One Year!
Submitted by Katina Michael

In just one year from now, the IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society will launch. This new IEEE periodical will complement SSIT's existing award-winning peer-reviewed IEEE Technology and Society Magazine.

The ManuscriptCentral submissions portal will open in April 2019, and founding editor-in-chief, Professor Katina Michael, will be accepting submissions for the multidisciplinary peer reviewed Transactions of original research. Regular papers are expected to be up to 10 pages, short papers up to six pages, and brief papers up to two pages, using the IEEE Transactions template.

Submissions must address a socio-technical research area with empirical results. Regular papers should make both a theoretical and practical contribution to knowledge; short papers should publish empirical results; and brief papers may act as a position statement of original research drawing on peer reviewed research outcomes.

For expressions of interest to serve on the editorial board as an ongoing reviewer or associate editor, or for other enquiries please email katina.michael@asu.edu.

More information about the approved IEEE Transactions can be found on this website.


Publish your Ethical Dilemma

If you have an experience that involved navigating an ethical dilemma as part of your professional life, we invite you to consider sharing it with your colleagues through the SSIT or Life Member Committee (LMC) newsletters.

A joint SSIT/LMC committee will vet all initial submissions, and authors will work with the editors of the two publications to finalize their submissions. Accepted Ethical Dilemma articles will be published simultaneously in the June and December issues of both newsletters.

Article submissions must be between 300 and 500 words in Microsoft Word format. The IEEE Legal Department requires that all articles be fully sanitized to protect the privacy of people and organizations.

Read an example of a previously published ethical dilemma, John Impagliazzo's story, which is the "Featured Article" at the end of our June 2017 newsletter.

Submit manuscripts to Rosann Marosy at r.marosy@ieee.org.



IST-Africa 2019
Nairobi, Kenya
8-10 May 2019



Supported by the European Commission and African Union Commission, and Sponsored by IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT), IST-Africa 2019 is the fourteenth in an annual series of Ministerial-level Technology Research Conferences.

Focused on Information Society and ICT Policy Dialogues, International Development, Research and Innovation Cooperation and Community Building, each conference brings together senior representatives of leading public, private, education and research organizations from 50 countries to discuss policy, share insight and identify collaboration opportunities.

IST-Africa Week is the flagship event of the IST-Africa initiative, co-funded under the European Framework Programme since 2005 - current Contract No. 723240.

The goals of the IST-Africa Conference Series are to:
  • Support development of the Information Society and knowledge economy in Africa
  • Promote international research innovation, and policy cooperation and coordination
  • Showcase African research and innovation capacity
  • Stimulate exploitation of research results by the public and private sectors
Other co-located multi-lateral and bi-lateral meetings will place during the IST-Africa 2019 week.

9th IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC)
Seattle, USA
18-20 October 2019


The 9th IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference is an international flagship conference sharing practical technology enabled solutions addressing the needs of underserved populations and resource constrained environments around the world and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG).

IEEE GHTC 2019 invites authors to submit full papers.Focus areas for IEEE GHTC 2019 include (but are not limited to):
  • Agriculture and Food Security (SDG2)
  • Good Health and Well Being (SDG3)
  • Quality Education (SDG4)
  • Clean Water and Sanitation (SDG6)
  • Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG7)
  • Disaster Mitigation, Preparedness, Response and Recovery
  • Communication/Connectivity in Support of Development
View the Call for Papers, the deadline for submission is 31 March 2019.

IEEE GHTC 2019 is Financial Co-sponsored by IEEE Region 6, IEEE Seattle Section and IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology.

Call for Reviewers
Please contact SSIT Conferences Chair Paul Cunningham at pcunningham@ieee.org if you wish to volunteer to review papers within the thematic areas listed above.



Past IEEE SSIT President Gerald L. Engel Dies at Age 76

Gerald (Jerry) Engel, past President of IEEE-SSIT, died in August 2018, in Waterbury, CT at the age of 76. Known to friends and colleagues as "Jerry," Engel served two terms as IEEE-SSIT President, first in 1999-2000, and again in 2011-2012.

Engel co-hosted the ISTAS 2001 conference in Stamford, CT and also generously hosted many SSIT Board of Governors meetings at the University of Connecticut. He was an elected at-large member of SSIT BoG for many years, and served in many other SSIT posts.

Engel brought with him to his service to SSIT many prior years of leadership experience in positions within the IEEE, the IEEE Computer Society, and the ACM. "Brian O’Connell always joked that Jerry was the adult that put SSIT back on track," said Bradley Kjell, who served on the SSIT BoG with Engel, and who with O’Connell and others was part of a small Connecticut-based contingent of active IEEE-SSIT members starting around the late 1990s.

Engel was born in Cleveland, OH, on 5 July 1942. He earned the B.S. degree from Hampden-Sydney College and the M.A. degree from Louisiana State University. In 1974 he received a doctorate in education from Penn State University.

He joined the faculty of the University of Connecticut in 1984, where became the first holder of the Leonhardt Chair of Computer Science and Engineering, and where he taught for over 30 years. From 1991 to 1995, he was loaned from the University of Connecticut to the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate (CISE) of the National Science Foundation, where he served as a program director (1991-1993) and acting deputy director for Computer and Computation Research (1994-1995).

Engel helped develop the Computing Sciences Accreditation Board (CSAB), and served as chair of the Computing Sciences Accreditation Commission. He was instrumental in the development of the integration of CSAB and the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). He was awarded the ACM Distinguished Service Award for 1991 and was named a Fellow of the ACM in 1994.

Within IEEE, Engel served as Division V Director and Chair of the Ethics Committee. He was President of the IEEE Computer Society in 2005.

Jerry served as a trusted advisor and mentor to many in SSIT, including to Laura (Jacob) Edelson who served as SSIT President in 2013-2014. "Jerry was a great mentor to me, both within SSIT and professionally," she said.

Newspaper obituaries noted survivors as his wife Doris S. Engel, his daughter, Samantha Engel, his son Shannon Engel, grandson, Jack, and niece, Mary Ann Engel. Donations in his memory were invited to be made to the Alzheimer’s Association. [Response: Read Receipt]
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