President's Corner President's Corner

It is with sincere pleasure and honor that I communicate with you here in my first column as AACC President. In the December AACC meeting held in Phoenix, Arizona, three major changes took place in the officers serving our control community: M. Tomizuka became AACC Past President, I assumed the presidency, and Christos Georgakis became the new Vice President (VP) for 2000-2001. Abe Haddad and Mal Beaverstock have agreed to continue their service as Secretary and Treasurer during my term as President. Their valuable experience and dedication are much appreciated.

Having served on the Council for about a decade, as the Society for Computer Simulation (SCS) Director, and most recently as VP, I would like to take this opportunity to thank M. Tomizuka for his efforts during the past two years, especially with regards to securing travel funding, supported by the National Science Foundation, for US authors who attended the 1999 IFAC Congress in Beijing, China last July.

The 1999 ACC was another success. Thanks to General Chair Steve Yurkovich, Program Chair P. Misra, and the members of the Operating and Program Committees for their dedication and service. A detailed report by Steve appeared recently in the IEEE Control Systems Magazine.

As you know, the 2000 ACC is scheduled from June 28-30 in Chicago, IL and the Program Committee has finalized its work efficiently. Since this is an historic (Y2K) meeting, a brief highlight of the work conducted by Professors John Zaborszky and Bill Perkins, on the History of AACC will be presented during the 2000 ACC Awards Banquet. Another unique feature is the NSF supported activity planned for High School teachers to attend a specialized workshop at the 2000 ACC.

As you know, the closed-loop communications channels between the AACC and the ACC attendees and authors include: the Pulse (survey) conducted during each ACC, a summary of which is presented (by the Vice President) to AACC, actions are proposed accordingly for implementation in future conferences, which we try to report back to you in the AACC newsletter (and on the web). With this in mind, I am pleased to let you know that the abbreviated version of the survey, used for the first time in the 1999 ACC, resulted in a few constructive points: i) more emphasis needs to be placed on the role of session chairs and their interaction with the authors in their sessions; ii) means of effective presentations will be communicated to authors who might have limited experience, etc; communication is planned between the conference Program Chair and all scheduled session chairs prior to the conference; and iii) improving the audio-visual aids available to future ACC authors.

AACC in recent years has put much emphasis on enhancing the bridge between theory and practice; since the 1997 ACC, we are witnessing more industry participation in terms of specialized sessions/tracks, reviewers, panelists, attendees and to some degree in exhibits. It is needless to stress that this is a goal that requires years of concerted efforts by future ACC General Chairs, Program Chairs, and Exhibits Chairs. Again your cooperation, feedback, and ideas would be helpful in this regard. In this same vein, an interesting issue of the PRISM (January 2000) of the American Society of Engineering Education has its focus on "Breaking Down Barriers: The Wall between Academics and Industry is Crumbling".

Let me address with you, at this point, a couple of items related to IFAC: first, on behalf of AACC, I want to thank Stephen Kahne, who served as the IFAC President between 1993 and 1996; his service to IFAC and his representation of the US control community in this international federation has been exemplary. While Steve continues to serve IFAC in several capacities, his role on the IFAC Council has been assumed by Mike Masten. Welcome, Mike. As reported by M. Tomizuka in the Fall 1999 newsletter (page 5), Mike has effectively addressed the concern of the no-shows of US authors in the 1999 IFAC congress by conducting a questionnaire to the no-show authors. We wish Mike the best in his service on the IFAC Council.

I am pleased to announce two recent appointments: David M. Auslander will chair the "Awards Committee", and M. Simaan will chair the "Education Committee". Also, Suhada Jayasuriya has been named the 2005 ACC General Chair.

Your officers, society directors, and I are always interested to hear from you. Please email your suggestions/comments to

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