President's Corner President's Corner

We had another very successful ACC in Philadelphia in June this year. Thanks to General Chair Joe Chow, Program Chair Bonnie Heck, and members of the Operating and Program Committees for their excellent job. Attendees of the 1998 ACC had a surprise opportunity to attend a special evening plenary session by Rudolf Kalman, who received the 1997 Richard E. Bellman Control Heritage Award but could not attend the ACC last year.

The AACC has been working to increase the mixture of theory and application oriented papers at the ACCs. A new AACC award, the Control Engineering Practice Award, presented for the first time at the 1998 ACC to Charles Cutler, is a sign of AACC's strong commitment to emphasize control practice and encourage industrial participation.

The organization of conferences, as well as the way we conduct research, has changed dramatically with the growing use of the Internet. In conference organization, we often depend on web pages for timely dissemination of conference announcements; and in research, we can learn about the research of others by downloading papers and other information from others' homepages. An article in this issue on submitting papers electronically by J. Jim Zhu describes another step in the use of modern technology. The Internet is a powerful tool for research collaboration and exchange of scientific ideas. Yet, the value of actually attending technical conferences such as the ACC will never be lost. After seeing each other at a meeting, we come to really know with whom we are communicating via e-mails, and e-mail acquaintances can develop into friendships. As the communication process continues, motivation is further strengthened for participating in other meetings and mutual visits may even result. Lucy Pao and I have placed in this newsletter an article on the Japan-USA-Vietnam RESCCE Workshop. Before I was involved in this Workshop, I had no idea about control research and education in Vietnam. During the planning stage, I became acquainted with several colleagues in Vietnam, and I finally met them at the Workshop. It was such a wonderful experience to meet people with whom I had extensively worked for the same goal without knowing their faces. You may have experienced such a feeling if you have been involved in similar projects. Similarly, the ACC has been an international conference, with international participants not only attending but providing valuable inputs to the ACC organizers: nearly 25% of respondents to the 1997 ACC survey were from non-US participants.

The year 1999 will be a busy year for us, with the 1999 ACC being held in San Diego in June and the 1999 IFAC World Congress in Beijing, China in July. I look forward to seeing you at both conferences.

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