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2018 President-Elect Candidate Vincent W. S. Chan

Vincent Chan

Candidate's Statement

My most important goal as ComSoc President is to build and broaden its membership base and technical activities to revitalize ComSoc. The viability of ComSoc as one of the IEEE leading societies and serving it members well is critically dependent on this vision. I want to substantially improve the involvement of industry with the society in their participation in conferences, publications and governance. It is vitally important that ComSoc has a balanced representation so the academics and practicing engineers can exchange research ideas and cross-pollinate. There are many fast developing research and development areas in communications and networking, many involving multi-disciplinary research. ComSoc has started a number of new journals under my tenure as VP Publications and we need to continue to build on our initiatives and evolve and occupy substantial leadership roles in network, wireless/optical communications and applications, incorporating data analytics, cognitive techniques, signal processing, and other network sciences. Another goal will be to engage multi-national government funding agencies and policy makers in future research direction discussions, leading to exciting new research programs. The health of our society will significantly improve if more dialogues and interactions among such diversified groups occur in the future under ComSoc’s strong leadership. We also need to grow the ComSoc volunteer base, paying attention to geographic, gender and cultural diversity. Within the Society we need to cultivate and mentor new blood helping their career development and grooming our future leaders. ComSoc needs a balanced multi-national representation and a transparent, globally-beneficial agenda for its path forward. 


Vincent W. S. Chan, the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Chair Professor of EECS, MIT, received his, received his B.S. (1971), M.S. (1971), E.E. (1972) and Ph.D. (1974) degrees from EECS MIT. From 1974 to 1977, he was an assistant professor, EE, at Cornell University. He joined MIT Lincoln Laboratory in 1977 and was Head of the Communications and Information Technology Division until becoming the Director of the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems (1999–2007) at MIT. He founded and is currently a member of the Claude E. Shannon Communication and Network Group at MIT’s Research Laboratory of Electronics

In July 1983, he initiated the Laser Intersatellite Transmission Experiment Program and in 1997, the GeoLITE Program. In 1989, he led the All-Optical-Network Consortium (1990-1997) formed among MIT, AT&T and the Digital Equipment Corporation. He also served as PI of the Next Generation Internet Consortium, ONRAMP (1998-2003) formed among AT&T, Cabletron, MIT, Nortel and JDS, and a Satellite Networking Research Consortium funded by NSF formed among MIT, Motorola, Teledesic and Globalstar. He has served in many U.S./non-U.S. government advisory boards/committees and the Board of Governors of the Communication Society including VP of Publications, and is currently chairing the ComSoc Strategic Planning Committee. He also has participated in several start-ups and was a director of a Fortune 500 network company and chaired its Technical Advisory Board. He is a Member of the Corporation of Draper Laboratory and is a Life Fellow of the IEEE and the Optical Society of America. Throughout his career, he has placed his research focus on communication and networks.