Category Archives: News

IEEE Authorship Workshops

In keeping with IEEE mission to foster technological innovation, IEEE has partnered with leading academic institutions in developing a series of free live authorship workshops offering advice on everything from how the IEEE publishing process works to basic writing tips and submitting a manuscript. The goal of this series is to enable engineers, faculty, researchers, authors, and industry professionals to help advance technology and their careers by enhancing their ability to get published and share their research with the scholarly community.

Each event in this series of live workshops is intended to be free to all technology professionals with an interest in learning how to publish with the IEEE.

Topics include:

  • Benefits of getting published
  • How to choose where to publish a paper
  • What editors look for in a submission
  • Why editors and reviewers reject papers
  • Aiding discovery with the right title, abstracts, and keywords
  • Paper structure and organization
  • Ethics and avoiding misconduct pitfalls
  • Authorship tools available from IEEE

For more information please see the flyers and visit:

Milestone Dedication in Warsaw, Poland, August 5, 2014.

On August 5th 2014, the achievements by Polish mathematicians which could also be defined as a gift to the world in the time of World War II, was paid tribute to in front of the Mathematics Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, during the cutting of the “ribbon” by the IEEE President-Roberto de Marca to unveil the Milestone plaque. The writing on it reads as follows:

First Breaking of Enigma Code by the Team of Polish Cipher Bureau, 1932-1939. Polish Cipher Bureau mathematicians Marian Rejewski, Jerzy Różycki and Henryk Zygalski broke the German Enigma cipher machine codes. Working with engineers from the AVA Radio Manufacturing Company they built the ‘bomba’ – the first cryptanalytic machine to break Enigma codes. Their work was a foundation of British code breaking efforts which, with later American assistance, helped to end World War II.”

The highly impressive ceremony consisted of two parts:

- International Seminar „From First Breaking of Enigma Code to Modern Cryptography” which was

organized at the prestige Senate Hall of the Warsaw University of Technology, Warsaw, Poland;

- The IEEE Plaque Dedication Ceremony which took place on a square in front of the Mathematics

Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences.

Many distinguished representatives of IEEE participated in the ceremony: IEEE President J. Roberto de Marca, VP-Technical Activities Jacek M. Zurada, Director Div. IV Joseph Modelski, Region 8 Director Martin Bastiaans, R8 Director Elect Costas Stasopoulos and other IEEE members of the Poland Section with its Chair Ryszard S. Jachowicz.

The ceremony was attended by nearly 250 people, including IEEE members, inter alia Vice-President of Warsaw City Wlodzimierz Paszynski, President of Polish Academy of Sciences Michal Kleiber, President of Polish Federation of Engineering Associations – Ewa Mankiewicz-Cudny, President of Association of Polish Electrical Engineering (SEP) – Piotr Szymczak, Chairs de Affairs of Republic of France – Philippe Cerf and the First Secretary, Head of Policy Delivery Group, British Embassy Warsaw – David Wallace, as well as a significant number of high rank Polish army officers, family representatives of the awarded mathematicians and many others.


Fot.1. IEEE President Roberto de Marca [left] and (clockwise) Chair of IEEE Poland Section Ryszard Jachowicz, mathematician Rejewski’s daughter Janina Sylwestrzak and Vice Mayor of Warsaw Capital City Włodzimierz Paszyński unveil the Milestone plaque honouring Polish mathematicians for breaking the German Enigma ciphering machine codes (above in the English language and below in Polish).

Photo 2.

Fot.2. IEEE President Roberto de Marca in front of the Milestone monument.

Photo 3.

Fot.3. After the Milestone dedication

from left to right: J.Zurada, Marca, C. Stasopoulos, J.Modelski and M.Bastiaans

Photo 4.

Fot.4. The Milestone monument

Short history

Enigma is an electrically wired rotor machine; a sequence of ciphers is generated by the motion of rotors in the machine. It is one of several cipher machines that were developed for military use just after World War I. During the 1930s, a trio of Polish mathematicians Marian Rejewski (1905 – 1980), Henryk Zygalski (1907 – 1978), and Jerzy Różycki (1909 – 1942) resolved the German Enigma cipher machine and broke Enigma messages. Working with engineers from AVA Radio Manufacturing Company they built the “bomba” – the first cryptanalytic machine designed to attack Enigma.

Photo 5.

Fot.5. The Enigma cipher machine

The Reichsmarine of Germany began using Enigma cipher coding machines in 1926, and the Reichswehr began using it in 1928. The Polish Cipher Bureau had many successes during the Polish-Soviet War (1919 – 1921), and in the 1920s the Cipher Bureau monitored radio signals resulting from German military exercises. In 1928 the Poles were confronted by messages that – because of the randomness of letters in the messages – were thought to be generated by a cipher machine. The Intelligence Services of other countries believed after some trials that breaking of the Enigma codes was impossible.

By the end of 1932, Rejewski had determined the wiring of the rotors of the military version of Enigma. In 1932, the French gave Rejewski two German manuals that described the operation of military Enigma. He had managed to write a system of equations that modelled the permutations of the six indicators (which were used by the sending operator to transmit the message setting to the receiving operator) at the beginning of Enigma messages. In December 1932, Rejewski received from the French the setting sheets for September and October. This information allowed Rejewski to substitute for some of the unknowns in his system of equations and solve for the wiring of the rotors. The Polish codebreakers developed several techniques to determine settings. For example, Różycki developed the “clock method,” and Zygalski developed a set of perforated sheets. Two other methods resulted in the production of codebreaking machines – one machine to produce a catalogue of settings and their “characteristics” and another to determine the rotor settings. In 1934, Rejewski was able to exploit patterns, which he called characteristics, produced by the six-letter indicators at the beginning of Enigma messages.

Working with the engineers at AVA – Radio Manufacturing Company, Warsaw, one of the most famous codebreaking machines – the bomba – was produced. The six bomby (plural in Polish for “bomba”) searched through all 105,456 rotor settings for those that exhibited patterns that could be determined from the indicators after a sufficient number of messages were intercepted. As there were three rotors and three positions for rotors in Enigma, there were six possible rotor orders; therefore, six bomby were produced. In July 1939, as war with Germany loomed over Poland, the Polish codebreakers met just outside Warsaw with British and French codebreakers. During this meeting, the Poles described their achievements against Enigma. As a result of the meeting, both the British and the French received one of the Enigma doubles and information on the methods used by the Poles to solve daily keys. On September 1, 1939, Germany attacked Poland, and British codebreakers at Bletchley Park continued the attack on Enigma. British mathematicians such as Alan Turing and Gordon Welchman and engineers such as Harold “Doc” Keen and Thomas “Tommy” Flowers developed cryptanalytic machines to attack Enigma and other German ciphers. One of the machines to attack Enigma was the Turing-Welchman bombe. (IEEE Milestone, Bletchley Park, 1939 – 1945). Both the British bombe and the Polish bomba searched through all possible Enigma rotor settings for settings that produced patterns that had been noticed by the codebreakers.

The British bombe searched for patterns in Enigma messages, and the Polish bomba searched for patterns in Enigma indicators. After the United States had entered the war, US Navy mathematicians at Naval Communications in Washington, DC, designed cryptanalytic machines to attack Japanese ciphers and machines to assist the British with the attack on naval Enigma. These codebreaking machines were engineered by Joseph Desch and other engineers at the Naval Computing Machine Laboratory located at National Cash Register Company in Dayton, OH. One of the machines to attack naval Enigma was the US Navy cryptologic bombe. (IEEE Milestone, Naval Computing Machine Laboratory, 1942 – 1945).

Photo 6.

Fot.6. The IEEE Milestone plaque

TISP Workshop at SYP 2014

The IEEE Region 8 Student and Young Professional Congress took place from August 6th to August 10th in Krakow, Poland. On August 7 a Teacher-in-Service-Program Workshop was organized by Fabio Domingos and Ioannis Mousmoutis, Ad Hoc Members of the IEEE Region 8 Pre-University Works Sub-Committee.
At the beginning of the workshop Pre-University Activities and Teacher-in-Service-Program were presented and their benefits were discussed.


Afterwards, a hands-on workshop was delivered. The participants were divided into groups of 3-4 members and they were asked to build a tennis racquet using simple materials in 45 minutes.
All the teams presented what they build and explained what they discovered about engineering by doing this activity.



After the hands-on activity, a comparison between TISP and TISP 2.0 was made and guidance on how to organize a successful TISP workshop was demonstrated.
The participants seemed very interested and motivated and we expect them to organize TISP workshop in their local areas soon.

IEEE R8 Pre-University Works committee

How to get into Bioinformatics?

There are many times when I tell the people that I am doing a PhD in bioinformatics, they are looking at me a bit weird like they don’t even know what that means. The simplest reply that I usually give is the analysis of biological data using informatics.

Nowadays there is a vast majority of biological technologies and developments (Next Generation Sequencing technologies) to extract information (genetic data) from humans and other species. These technologies are improving and they are becoming cheaper, more and more every day. However, even if we have millions of data, if we are not able to analyze, handle and understand them, they are useless.

This is the exact point that bioinformatics, an interdisciplinary science that involves biology, informatics, genetics, mathematics and chemistry comes to solve this problem. Things in bioinformatics could be done fast compared to the wet lab experiments that could take ages to finish and even if they finish, sometimes you need to rerun them because something went wrong in the process. However, one may think that reformatting, analyzing the data and producing graphs could be a bit boring but the real fun comes when you do understand the graphs and you make the real connection with biology.

To give an example, one of the goals of population geneticists is to analyze the data (e.g. through statistics) that will provide information about specific regions in the DNA that have a story to tell us. Identifying regions and as a consequence genes and even further pathways (networks of genes) in controls (healthy people) and cases (diseased people) can help to the earlier diagnosis of a disease such as diabetes which is one of the leading diseases, the prevalence of which is increasing more and more.

From Biology -> Informatics or from Informatics -> Biology?

How to get there?

In my opinion pure bioinformaticians like me are the ones that have the real problem (gap). This is because they don’t have a deep knowledge neither in biology nor informatics. The work of a biologist can’t be completely done without the help of a (bio-) informatician or the other way around. The reason for this is the following: the biologist will produce the results in the lab, but once he has the data he is unable to analyze and interpret them. Computational modeling of a biological system or the statistical analyses of a large-scale datasets are of crucial importance to provide a more general biological overview rather than just an opinion on the specific experiment under the specific parameters, limitations and even environmental conditions of the lab.

The question or statement that is pointed out usually from students is “Bioinformatics seems really difficult! I really don’t know if I can manage”.

The main aspect that someone needs to think is what it is more on demand in the job market. Obviously the technical knowledge and expertise of a bioinformatician are the skills that are required the most, in positions both in academia and industry and most of the times with a very good salary. However, this is not a sufficient reason to follow bioinformatics. One should ask oneself what it is the reason that he would like to follow this field (a question that you will probably be asked in many interviews as well). As Galileo Gakilei said: “Passion is the genesis of genius”.

Now how you will realize that you like bioinformatics? Certainly, you can’t become passionate just from one course in the university. There are many things that you can do to help you understand this. The first and probably the easiest is to go to different conferences and seminars that will help you open your mind and see a different world. There you will have the opportunity to attend presentations from people with different backgrounds in the field of bioinformatics, each of who sees things from a little different perspective.

In the beginning of the conference you may feel that you don’t understand anything. However don’t get nervous or disappointed, this might be because the projects are too complicated with too much information. However, there is also the possibility that the speakers don’t explain their work well. Many researchers even though they are extremely intelligent, they find it amazingly difficult to describe their work to a third person. Have in mind that even if bioinformatics is an multidisciplinary field, in a presentation you need to keep as much as possible the parts of informatics, biology etc separately in order to give the opportunity to the others (informatician, biologists etc) to understand their part.

The most crucial point for you in such conferences is to meet these people, talk with them, get advice and feedback on the field: what you could follow exactly in bioinformatics (genomics, proteomics etc) according to your interests? information about well known universities and even possible scholarships for which could apply. Have in mind that fellowships and awards are things that will make your CV distinct among the million others that have applied for the same job.

There is also always google and books to get more informed about bioinformatics but it is less interesting rather than getting to know people or students that had these experiences themselves. You have fun, get informed and grow up your communicational circle, all at the same time.

What about Marie Curie?

Previously I talked about scholarships. Having the honor to be a Marie Curie ambassador, as a fellow of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions and more specifically of the Innovative Training Networks (ITN), I will talk a bit more about this. Marie-Curie scholarships named after the Polish-French researcher Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA), being the first woman that won a Nobel Prize is probably the best and the most well paid fellowship in Europe. Getting such a fellowship can be very difficult as it is a very competitive program

The goal of MSCA is to train researchers at all stages of their career, independent of nationality offering them experiences both in academy and private sectors not only on bioinformatics but training on organizational, communicational and diplomatic skills as well. The knowledge and the expertise that one will acquire from a MSCA fellowship will make him appealing and attractive in the long-term future.

I received my degree from Greece in the field of Computational and Biomedical informatics in the University of Central Greece, I was then awarded with a BBSRC fellowship to attend the Master of Research in Computational Biology in the University of York, UK and immediately after that I was awarded with the Marie Curie scholarship which will allow me to complete my doctoral in almost one year and half gaining experience both in academia (University of Joseph Fourier, Grenoble and University of St.Andrews, UK) and industry (Era7, Granada Spain).

As an IEEE member and Marie-Curie fellow, I support and encourage the students to think about bioinformatics. I am more than happy to give further advice and information from my small experience in the field


Alexandra Vatsiou

Dr Sven Olof Öhrvik (1928-2014)

Dr Sven Olof Öhrvik (1928-2014)IEEE Region 8 mourns the death of past Director Dr Sven-Olof Ohrvik. Dr Öhrvik, who was Professor Emeritus at Lund University, died at age 85 on April 15, 2014. With his quiet, unassuming manner, he led our Region from 1989 to 1990, at a time when the Iron Curtain was opened and the Cold War had come to an end. His leadership ensured that members from the former Eastern Bloc countries could obtain better service from IEEE with the development.of new Sections. He was the first regional officer to visit some of these Sections, such as Belarus, which was very much appreciated by the members. During his term as Director the Moscow Section (which is today the Russia Section) was formed. In 1990 due to his initiative the IEEE Board of Directors held its first meeting outside of North America in Brussels, Belgium. In the same year he organized the first IEEE Region 8 Meeting outside of Region 8, providing an opportunity for Section Chairs and volunteer delegates to attend the IEEE Section Congress in Toronto, Canada.

Before Sven-Olof Öhrvik was appointed as the professor in the Faculty of Engineering and the Department of Applied Electronics at Lund University he had an outstanding career as a Development Manager at Ericson Radio Systems in Kista, Sweden. He is regarded as one of the foremost pioneers and visionaries in mobile communication. In the 1980s he presented a paper in which he predicted an unbelievable reduction in the size of the mobile phone. His solid theoretical and practical knowledge was invaluable to him as an engineering educator and academic leader.

Dr Öhrvik started his career as an IEEE volunteer in 1983 when he was elected Chair of the IEEE Sweden Section. He held this office for four years until 1987, and in1985/6 he also was Chair of the joint VT/COM/IT Chapter. In 1988 he was elected as IEEE Region 8 Director for the term 1989 to 1990, and continued to serve as a volunteer on several IEEE committees and boards.

We mourn the loss of Sven-Olof, and share the grief of his wife Lotte and his daughters. He will be sadly missed.

Kurt R. Richter
1991-1992 IEEE Director Region 8

Charles W Turner
1993-1994 IEEE Director Region 8

IEEE Academic: Larry K. Wilson Award Recipient

Rui Miguel Costa received, this past April 5, in Budapest, IEEE’s Larry K. Wilson Regional Student Activities Award, “For an extraordinary accomplishment called: IEEE IST Academic”.

It was awarded in 2013 by IEEE’s region 8, which comprehends all countries in Europe, Africa, and Middle East.

IEEE-IST Academic was founded by Rui, at the Taguspark campus of Instituto Superior Técnico. The launch was on May 21, 2012.

In July 2012, at the region 8 student branch congress in Madrid, Rui proposed a global project, of which IEEE-IST Academic was a pilot. The project received a Seed Grant from IEEE Foundation’s New Initiatives Program and was officially launched in September 2013. IEEE Academic is an international project, with college students and professors creating free educational materials together.

It was created by students and it is mostly student-driven: students record and edit videos, take care of logistics, coordinate across local groups, maintain the website, and train new people. Working side-by-side with professors, they are creating new contents (that will be freely available to everyone, everywhere) and trying to create new tools to support teaching. Dozens of local groups from over 15 countries are involved, with more countries joining by the month.

In May 13 and 14, IEEE Academic will be at Collision Conf, in Downtown Las Vegas, as part of Collide, that selects 150 of the world’s most promising startups.

IEEE Academic

Having difficulties landing the right job?

Don’t be discouraged. Make yourself stand out among the crowd!

On 23 April 2014, at 1:00 p.m. EST, the IEEE Job Site will host a Webinar – Job Seeker or Opportunity Magnet? - to help you obtain all the necessary tools you’ll need to confidently go out into the job market and land your ideal job.

In this 45 minute presentation you will learn:

  • Why most job seekers waste huge amounts of time and what you can do differently
  • Where top companies hunt for talent and what you can do to help catch their attention
  • Three simple job search strategies that consistently deliver exceptional results
  • One powerful mindset shift that will set you up for lifelong career success
  • What really distinguishes an opportunity magnet from a job seeker – and how you can become one

The presenter – Michael Junge – is a recruiting, staffing and career expert who is an MVP and Top Producer award winner in the staffing organization at Google, a five-time Recruiter of the Year in a national recruiting firm and author of the #1 book in Amazon’s “Job Markets and Advice” category.

More information can be found on this Website –


Date and Time: Wednesday, 23 April 2014 1:00 pm, Eastern Daylight Time

Call for Nominations: IEEE MGA Leadership Positions: deadline 1 April

The IEEE Member and Geographic Activities (MGA) Nominations and Appointments (N&A) Committee is soliciting nominations for the following 2015 leadership positions:

- MGA Vice President/Board Chair
– MGA Treasurer
– MGA Vice Chairs

-Geographic Unit Operations
-Information Management
-Member Development
-Strategic Management and Analysis
- Committee Chairs
-Admission and Advancement (IEEE)
-Awards and Recognition
-Center for Leadership Excellence (IEEE) Advisory
-Life Members (IEEE)
-Member Benefits Portfolio Advisory
-Membership Recruitment and Recovery
-Potentials Editorial Board
-Student Activities
-Women in Engineering (IEEE)
-Young Professionals (IEEE), formerly GOLD

The deadline to submit nominations for the above positions is 1 April 2014.

A complete list of available MGA positions, committee descriptions, and information on the MGA Nominations and Appointments process are available.

Nominate yourself or a colleague now

IEEE Presidential delegation to Africa – November 2013.

In November 2013, the leadership of IEEE visited stakeholders in several African countries to develop a better understanding of key opportunities to expand engineering capacity on the continent. The trip –the second of its kind in 2013— was intended help IEEE to refine and develop emerging efforts that are being pursued with the goal to strengthen, support and advance the engineering ecosystem in Africa.

The trip was led by 2013 IEEE President Peter W. Staecker and included visits in Kenya, Ghana and Tanzania. The other members of the delegation werel be Prof J. Roberto de Marca, President Elect;  Prof. Michael Lightner, Director and Vice President Educational Activities; Matthew Loeb, Staff Executive; Eileen Lach, General Counsel;  Tara Wisniewski, Director, Corporate Development.

President's Delegation - Nov 2013

During the trip, the delegation met with various private and public sector stakeholders including local section members, national ministries of education, science and technology, industry regulators, engineering academia, IBM Research – Africa, Samsung Engineering Academy, WHO Africa, UNDP, GeSCI and others