1998 ACC Highlights of the 1998 American Control Conference

The 1998 American Control Conference (ACC) was held June 24-26, 1998, at the Adam's Mark Hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 1998 ACC was well attended, with a total of 974 registered attendees, of which 302 were students and 339 were from outside the US, representing 38 countries. Including exhibitors, the total attendance exceeded 1,000.

There were 887 technical papers accepted (from a total of 1,183 submitted), which were organized into 149 sessions in three days and a 3899-page, 6-volume proceedings. The papers were presented in 17 tracks on Wednesday and Thursday, and 16 tracks on Friday. Each day featured an hour-long plenary lecture, followed by morning, midday, and afternoon technical sessions of two hours long each. Each session consisted of six papers, and all papers (regular or short) were allotted 20 minutes each. The 1998 ACC continued the tradition of selecting a best speaker of each session, who was awarded a 1998 ACC mug.

The 17th track of the conference consisted of 5 tutorial sessions. Each tutorial session started off with an hour-long survey of the field followed by four 15-minute presentations of industry applications. This relatively new presentation format was designed to serve the interests of the industrial participants of the ACC.

The 1998 ACC featured three morning plenary lectures and a special Wednesday evening plenary lecture. On Wednesday morning, Herbert Hanselmann gave a talk on "Real-Time Control Systems - From Concept to Experiment to Product." The Wednesday evening lecture was given by Rudolf E. Kalman, whose talk was entitled "Mathematical System Theory in the 21st Century." (A video tape of the lecture is available, for the cost of reproduction and postage, from M. N. Geselowitz, Rutgers University, 39 Union St., New Brunswick, NJ 08903-5062 USA.) The Thursday plenary lecture entitled "Gain Scheduling" was given by Jeff Shamma. On Friday, Babatunde Ogunnaike gave a lecture on "Controlling Industrial Chemical Processes."

Seven tutorial workshops were held, with a total of 91 people attending. A total of 17 exhibitors participated in the conference, showcasing the latest textbooks, software, and control experiments, which were of high relevance to the conference attendees.

In this ACC, Quanser Consulting sponsored a Student Design Competition on the control of a ball-and-beam experiment. The winner of the competition was Raja Amirthalingam of Auburn University. A Quanser MultiQ data acquisition board was awarded to Amirthalingam and his faculty advisor Prof. Jay Lee. All students whose designs satisfied the specifications received books donated by McGraw Hill, Prentice-Hall, CRC Press, Springer-Verlag, and John Wiley. The ACC organizers are also grateful to the National Science Foundation, AACC, and dSPACE, GmbH for providing funds to partially support the conference registration and travel for about 70 selected student participants from US Universities.

Several events were organized for the conference attendees. The Welcome Reception was held on Tuesday evening, a Newcomers and Student Reception was held on Wednesday evening, the Awards Banquet on Thursday evening, and the Closing Reception on Friday evening. In addition, a company orientation was held on Wednesday morning, and a day tour to Brandywine River Museum and Longwood Gardens was organized for Thursday. A trolley was provided to take conference attendees to downtown Philadelphia and its historical landmarks on all three days of the conference. All these activities were well attended.

            Proceedings

The printed copies of the conference proceedings are available from the IEEE Service Center, 445 Hoes Lane, P.O. Box 1331, Piscataway, NJ 08855-1331 USA. The CD-ROM proceedings for the 1998 ACC (as well as the 1997 ACC) are available through the AACC Secretariat at the address on the backpage of this newsletter.

More details about the 1998 ACC can be found in an article in the December issue of the IEEE Control Systems Magazine.

                Joe Chow
                General Chair, 1998 ACC

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