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IEEE ComSoc Fellow Evaluation Committee

Sherman Shen

Xuemin (Sherman) Shen

President

2022-2023

Sumei Sun

Sumei Sun

Chair, IEEE ComSoc Fellow Evaluation Committee

2022–2023

The IEEE Fellow grade recognizes the extraordinary contributions and accomplishments by our members in the IEEE fields of interest through the Fellow recognition program. Elevation to the grade of IEEE Fellow is one of the highest honors that can be bestowed upon a member by our Society. The IEEE Communications Society (ComSoc) Fellow Evaluation Committee (FEC) is responsible for the Society’s evaluation of Fellow nominations under consideration by the IEEE Fellow Committee (IEEE FC). The FEC conducts and provides IEEE FC with a critical technical evaluation and an assessment of the degree of qualification of IEEE Fellow nominees referred to ComSoc FEC by the nominators, in compliance with the IEEE FC Operations Manual and the ComSoc Policies and Procedures (P&Ps). The FEC completes the evaluation by completing an Evaluation Form for each referred nominee and then forwarding it to the IEEE FC before the deadline.

In this issue of the President’s Page, I am pleased to introduce Dr. Sumei Sun, the Chair of the ComSoc FEC for 2022–2023, to share with you the details.

Sumei Sun [F] (sunsm@i2r.a-star.edu.sg) is a principal scientist, Deputy Executive Director (Research), and head of the Communications and Networks Department at the Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R), Agency for Science, Technology, and Research (A*STAR), Singapore. She also holds a joint appointment with the Singapore Institute of Technology as a full professor and head of the Future Communications Translation Laboratory, and an appointment with the National University of Singapore as an adjunct full professor. Her current research interests are in next-generation wireless communications, joint sensing-communication-computing-control design, and Industrial Internet of Things. Dr. Sun has been a long-term volunteer in ComSoc serving in different roles, including a Globecom/ICC Management and Strategy (GIMS) Standing Committee member (2018–2020), the Asia Pacific Board (APB) Director (2020–2021), Editor of IEEE Wireless Communications Letters (2011–2016) and IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials (2015–2019), Steering Committee Member of IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications (2018–2021), Steering Committee Chair of IEEE Transactions on Machine Learning in Communications and Networks, a Member-at-Large (MAL) on the Board of Governors (2021–2023), and Chair of the Fellow Evaluation Committee (2022–2023).

ComSoc FEC Organizational Structure and Roster

The ComSoc FEC has one Chair and 18 members who are leading experts to cover the variety of ComSoc’s technical areas, ranging from communication theory, communication technologies, wireless, optical and satellite communications, to networking and protocols, security, the Internet, and communication processor or hardware design, to name a few. The FEC also aims to include members with diverse backgrounds and balanced representation from different geographic regions, academia and industry sectors, and gender. The roster is managed to ensure smooth renewal, succession, and continuation of good practices. The FEC Chair serves a maximum term of two years, while the FEC members serve staggered maximum three-year terms. The FEC Chair and the FEC members are all IEEE Fellows.

While serving on the FEC, the FEC Chair and members are not allowed to serve as a nominator, referee, or endorser for any Fellow nomination. They cannot be a member of the IEEE FC or the IEEE Board of Directors (BoD).

The 2022 FEC roster is given in Table 1. The members’ appointment terms are only indicating the status for 2022 and onward. It is also available at the IEEE ComSoc FEC website.

Chair: Sumei Sun (2022–2023)
Members:
2022: Pooi-Yuen Kam, Angela Yingjun Zhang, Ekram Hossain,
Murat Uysal, Kai-Kit Wong, Yan Zhang
2022–2023: Ann C Von Lehmen, (Joseph) Bryan Lyles, Brian Classon,
Ismail Guvenc, Osvaldo Simeone, Witold Krzymien
2022–2024: Romano Fantacci, Peiying Zhu, Ranjan Mallik, Kui Ren,
Zhensheng Zhang, Dusit Niyato
Staff: Vinoo Mathew

 

Fair, Professional, and Transparent Evaluation Process

Coordinated by the FEC Chair, the FEC members perform their duties in a fair and unbiased way. Upon formation, the FEC Chair conducts a briefing with the FEC and provides the guidelines on the evaluation in the IEEE FC Operations Manual and the ComSoc P&Ps. As soon as the nominees’ information is received, the FEC Chair will organize the FEC members to complete the conflict of interest (CoI) declaration, such as being colleagues in the same organization, research collaborators, or coauthors of a publication. Accordingly, when each nominee is assigned to at least five FEC members for detailed evaluation, CoI will be avoided. The technical fields and other diversity factors are also important when assigning the FEC members to each nominee. For open and fair assessment subject to the aforementioned exception of CoI, all nominations, evaluation assignment, and evaluation are made available to all FEC members.

In 2022, close to 120 nominations have been received and evaluated by ComSoc FEC.

The FEC evaluates the Nominee’s contributions, role, and impact according to the evaluation principles specified in the IEEE FC Operations Manual:

  • The contributions by practitioners in the application of engineering, science, and technology shall be accorded equal recognition with theoretical developments.
  • The Nominee must have made substantial individual technical contributions.
  • The impact of the Nominee must have already happened, and there should be no speculation on potential future impact.
  • Specific outstanding technical accomplishments of the Nominee are identified.
  • The innovation, creativity, importance, impact, and degree of acceptance of the contribution(s) are critically assessed.
  • The Nominee’s individual role in the contribution(s) is critically assessed.
  • The FEC critically verifies the evidence provided, performing due diligence on the basis of publicly available information.
  • The FEC critically compares impact of contribution(s) with that of other Nominees.

It is worth pointing out that the Technical Society/Council FEC, such as ComSoc FEC, provides only a technical assessment, disregarding any service the Nominee may have provided to ComSoc or IEEE.

The FEC Chair is the primary point of contact between the ComSoc FEC and IEEE FC. The main responsibilities of the FEC Chair are to coordinate the process, ensuring transparency and that the parliamentarian procedures are properly followed, providing guidance to FEC members in the evaluation process, helping the FEC reach consensus, and meeting deadlines set by the IEEE FC.

All of the documents, information, discussions, debates, voting, and final results associated with the evaluation work are kept strictly confidential by the FEC members and the Chair.

Some Observations from the Evaluation Process

It is widely known to the community that a candidate can be nominated to one of the four categories: Application Engineer/Practitioner, Educator, Research Engineer/Scientist, and Technical Leader. The category of nomination should be decided based on the nature and characteristics of the nominee’s contributions. The FEC focuses on identifying the actual technical contributions made by the nominee and their impacts as well as the evidence provided to support the claim of contributions and impacts. It is therefore important for the nominator to choose the right category, articulate the contributions and impacts, and provide the evidence accordingly.

Over the years, ComSoc has accumulated best practices and exerted its best efforts to correctly recognize and fairly assess the extraordinary achievements of Fellow candidates. For a nominee in the category of research engineer/scientist, the actual research contributions and their impacts form important factors in the evaluation, for example, introduction of a new research topic or framework, or invention of new techniques or technologies for solving a significant technical problem. The ComSoc FEC uses the nominee’s Scopus citation record for reference. Scopus, instead of Google Scholar or Web of Science, has been chosen for a few considerations. First, Scopus allows exclusion of authors’ self-citations; second, Scopus data include both journal and conference publications; third, Scopus has been managed more rigorously and eliminated the erroneous inclusion of publications from authors with the same initials. Specifically, the FEC Chair will tabulate the nominee’s total citation counts and the top five most cited research publications, both excluding the authors’ self-citations, as well as the h-index, and share that information with the FEC. It is important to highlight that the nominee’s tutorial and survey papers are only taken as reference, but not as research impacts. It is also worth noting that citation count is important, but not everything. The impacts will best include, if applicable, influencing the research direction in the fields, widespread use of new technologies in engineering practices, adoption of the results in industrial standards, and so on.

Finally, in the nomination package, although not mandatory, up to three endorsement reports could be submitted. Endorsements allow the presentation of additional evidence, and hence can be very helpful to nominees. The endorsement, when applicable, should be well planned to strengthen the nomination by providing supplementary evidence to the Nomination Form about the nominee’s achievements and their impact.

Closing

It is a challenging task to recognize and assess the accomplishments of so many candidates with extraordinary portfolios. Over the years, ComSoc has accumulated best practices and exerted its best efforts to correctly recognize and fairly assess the remarkable achievements of Fellow candidates. Nevertheless, it is a continual process for us to add new learning and findings every year and improve the practice. If you have any actionable suggestions for improvement, please contact Dr. Sun. Thank you.