Category Archives: Educational Activities

IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference in Seattle October 8-11, 2015

GHTC 2015 Banner - Website



The 5th Global Humanitarian Technology Conference is in Seattle.  The details are at  Conference highlights include:

  • Maurizio Vecchione, Sr. Vice President of Global Good & Research – plenary
  • Major IEEE Young Professionals event on October 8.
  • “The Future of Humanitarian Technology” panel from NGOs, the UN and the Red Cross
  • “The Internet of Things (IoT) for Humanity” with a panel of industry partners
  • IEEE SIGHT Gaetano Borriello Memorial Symposium on Humanitarian Technology
  • UNESCO 70th Anniversary celebration
  • IEEE Smart Village workshop on Energy, Education, and Empowerment

Interactive special sessions that support in-field humanitarian efforts:

  • Open Data Kit Workshop –data services for humanitarian efforts
  • Entrepreneurship and Education workshops
  • Demonstrations and Exhibitions – water, sanitation, energy, communication and connectivity

Registration is at

ABET Summer Meeting – Apply to be an IEEE Program Evaluator

Each July brings the ABET summer meeting — this year, as for many years, it was in Arlington, VA — next year it will be in Baltimore, MD. Having served as an IEEE program evaluator for several years, I was honored to join the Engineering Accreditation Commission this year at the summer meeting.

ABET used to stand for the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology, but it’s name is now really just ABET. ABET is not an organization of individuals, but an organization of societies and IEEE has a vital interest in its activities. IEEE provides evaluators for programs in IEEE-related disciplines of engineering (electrical, electronic, and computer, among others). While most of the ABET-accredited programs are engineering programs covered by the Engineering Accreditation Commission, there are also three other commissions: the Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC), the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission (ETAC), and the Applied Science Accreditation Commission (ASAC) where IEEE members, depending upon their expertise and experience, may be selected to serve.

I would like to encourage interested senior members of IEEE to apply to serve as program evaluators. ABET – Volunteer! Become an ABET Program Evaluator   IEEE is particularly in need of volunteers from industry to help maintain the balance between industry and academic in its program evaluators. You can get more information from IEEE – Apply to Become a Program Evaluator.

Student success and transitions — it’s commencement time!

It’s the time of year when students, friends, family, and professors hear a lot of names after hearing “…all rights and privileges thereunto appertaining” which is our overly wordy way of telling students “you’ve graduated”.  I am particularly proud of the first graduating class of the new Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering at my own University of San Diego.  One of our grads is an IEEE student member (and veteran) featured here:   Class of 2014: Highlights of This Year’s Notable Graduates

Just before commencement, many of the new engineers were finishing their senior projects that were showcased at engineering schools across our region. The Innovation Showcase featured several of my own undergraduate students as they finished up their two semester senior design project.

R6 Northwest Area: “We’re the ones that do the magic.” – Seattle on April 26

Last weekend brought me to Seattle.  The voice of the northwest area: students, students, students.  Most of the candidate questions focused on how to draw students in to the transition from student member to member and how to draw pre-college students into the pipeline.

There’s no lack of interest in students – and truly no lack of member volunteers willing to work with students. There have been hackathons and app competitions that have been very effective and shown tremendous new vitality.  Programs that successfully combine hardware and design — a necessary element for electrical and computer projects – have lagged, though, and gotten stale.  One of the IEEE leaders at the meeting explained it very well –” we’re the ones that do the magic.” Outreach activities have been a commendable focus of effort but the quantity and quality of electrical and computer related activities is an area that needs more development. Civil engineering outreach has the popsicle-stick bridges – no magic, but great for a 1-hour hands-on outreach experience, down to pre-middle-school. Anyone have a magic bridge bridge to share?

Two other topics from this meeting I am saving for later posts: electronic communication and a distinguished lecture on “The Cloud Meets the Bluetooth Smart”.

Kathleen Kramer | Candidate for IEEE R6 Director-Elect

R6 Central Area Meeting: Focusing on Students – Berkeley on April 19

My big challenge was getting to this meeting after unexpected construction impeded getting through LAX the night before pushing me into a Saturday arrival at UC Berkeley for the Central Area meeting.  This meeting had by far the most students of any of the meetings so far.  The host student branch, UC Berkeley can boast 50 officers and an effective division of efforts into different types of activities.   The meeting also included a design competition — the only area meeting I have attended so far that did — and I was able to participate as a judge.  Kudos to Mostafa Mortezaie for his leadership in organizing the meeting and his work to ensure a fair competition that recognized and encouraged the design achievements of the students.

Ramesh and I were happy to be present together for the candidate presentations.  I was expecting the students to be at the soon-to-be-held micro mouse competition, but I would say that the students were often the focus of the session. One question was from a smaller student branch that lacks the wealth of surrounding industry, asking about how they could get more industry interaction.  Another student asked about leadership training and how to help student branches avoid the struggles they had experienced due to having to start fresh with a full slate of new officers.  These questions dovetailed well with the discussion earlier in the day when the student branches each gave their reports.  It was interesting also  that earlier in the day students were asked whether it would be bette for them to meet on the web, avoiding the travel, and not one student present expressed agreement with this idea, seeing the web as an option only for follow up.  The area meetings are intended to and do help students with issues like leadership training, but the lessons to be learned from the successful programs of individual branches often are not gathered in a form that would best help showcase them and motivate imitations that would spread the IEEE success.

Kathleen Kramer | Candidate for IEEE R6 Director-Elect