IEEE Central Texas Section


Volume 52-12

December 2008

Newsletter of the Central Texas Section of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, Inc.

Published monthly. Deadline for inclusion is the 25th day of the previous month. Send submissions, comments, questions to Kevin Nickels, Editor,


1. Section Activities

2. Chapter Activities

3. News & Information

4. Local Conferences

5. Other Conferences


Your IEEE -
IEEE Region 5
IEEE Central Texas Section

IEEE Conferences - Calls for Papers
IEEE Xplore - fulltext access to IEEE Publications
What's New at IEEE
Society News from IEEE
IEEE Standards Association
The Spectrum Online - The Magazine for Technology Insiders

1. Section Activities

Chairman's Column


Here's hoping everyone had a grand Thanksgiving and is enjoying the start of the Holiday Season.

Your officers held an exciting planning session in Austin at the beginning of November. In addition to receiving a synopsis of activity in the DC area by one of the two IEEE Congressional Fellows, our very own Emily Sopensky, we also discussed budget preparations and planning activities for 2009. Moreover, we started on the challenging task of strategic planning for the section, beginning with some vigorous discussion about the CTS vision and mission and their relationship to the vision and mission of the larger IEEE. Needless to say, much work remains to be accomplished on this task.

Congratulations to those newly elected chapter officers within CTS. We'll look forward to hearing from them at our spring planning meeting in San Marcos in late January.

Thanks also to all who have been providing their budget estimates for next year to the CTS leadership. Your officers will be scrubbing the section budget over the next few weeks as we prepare for our many activities in 2009.

Finally let me wish every CTS member a safe and joyous Holiday Season.

Garrett Polhamus
Chairman, Central Texas Section

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Membership Development

Have you been renewed your IEEE membership for 2009?

Don't know? Check it out though your MYIEEE account. Login at: or simply call 1 800 678-4333.

Recognizing New Senior Members in the Central Texas Section

As the 2008 year comes to an end, we at the CTS, want to acknowledge those IEEE members who have been recognized for their outstanding performance. This recognition comes in the form of membership upgrade to IEEE Senior Member (SM). Details of becoming an IEEE SM are found at:

As a note, the CTS hosts SM Events where CTS members can get begin the process of upgrading their membership. Watch the Analog this spring for announcements for the next CTS SM Event.

During 2008 we had 27 members upgraded to IEEE Senior Member status. Of those 14 were supported by the CTS though a SM Event.

New CTS Senior Members for 2008:
DavidArcturRyan DanielLamm

CTS 2008 Fellows will be announced in December 2008. At least one CTS member will be on the list. Watch for the announcement in the January Analog.

Congratulations to the new CTS Senor Members and Happy Holidays!

Joe Redfield
CTS Membership Development Chair

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Section & Chapter News

CTS IEEE is invited!

Sponsor Central Texas Section of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Topic/Title Tour of new Biomedical Building
Speaker Dr. Kenneth Diller, chairman of the department
Date/Time 7 PM on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2009
Reservations Contact
Location UT Biomedical Engineering Building
Notes The charge for parking is $3

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Continuing Education

Register for Dec 4th webinar: Mobile WiMAX-Ready to Rumble

Mobile WiMAX-Ready to Rumble
Thursday, December 4, 2008
2:00 PM ET / 11:00 AM PT / 18:00 GMT (Duration: 1 hour)

The commercial debut of Sprint's WiMAX high-speed mobile data network in Baltimore will be followed by many other cities in the fourth quarter and beyond. Intel is becoming a leading force behind WiMAX technology with lots of support from Google, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and others. WiMAX is set to expand into a full range of mobile devices. The wildcards will be adding WiMAX capability to a range of new and evolving mobile devices, and with that will emerge very low-cost laptops.

How will Mobile WiMAX develop as a device-based technology in the U.S.? How are chip suppliers and test gear companies responding to the rollout of Mobile WiMAX? How will WiMAX help push the next generation of Internet-based communications devices? And what must service providers do to make Mobile WiMAX the success market analysts are projecting it to be? Learn answers to all these questions and more in IEEE's WiMAX webinar.

Register now for this Webinar!

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Student Branches

Branch Liaisons Needed
We are looking for volunteers to expand our contact with student branches and tomorrow's engineers. We would like one liaison per school that can attend two or three meetings per semester as a conduit to the section and the profession itself. Interested members should contact for more information.

St Mary's University- San Antonio (
Faculty Adviser: Djaffer Ibaroudene, Email:
Branch President: Joseph Campbell email:

Trinity University - San Antonio
Faculty Adviser: Farzan Aminian, email:
Branch President: Jonathan Simpkins, email:

University of Texas at Austin (
Faculty Adviser: Sriram Vishwanath, email:
Branch chair: Austin DeHart, email:

University of Texas at San Antonio (
Faculty Adviser: Yufang Jin, email:
Branch chair: Philip So, email:

Student Member News

Central Texas Section award $4000 in grants to UT-San Antonio, St. Mary's University and Trinity University.

This was a competitive process where the schools submitted proposals for projects to be funded. Robotics projects were popular as they are a fun way for students to practice what they learn in the class room. It also gives a leg-up on Region 5 robotics competition where UTSA finished in 2007. Community outreach was another popular project where students take design kits into K-12 schools to demonstrate what engineers do. On behalf of our section schools, thanks to CTS for their continued support.

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Calls for Volunteers

Subject: Natl Engrs Week Future City Competition - Need your help, support

We are in earnest need of your help. Through mentoring, judging, or sponsorship of the 2008-09 National Engineers Week Future City Competition, you and your colleagues can make all the difference. Middle-school students with a keen interest in engineering and those committed to helping them realize their dreams are now preparing for the North Texas Regional event. All are in need of any assistance you can provide, no matter how great or small.


There are a number of different ways for you and your organization to become involved in this year's North Texas Regional Future City Competition ( ):
  • VOLUNTEER: Become a Mentor. Mentors work directly with the student teams and are involved in all phases of the competition as an advisor. He/she provides technical assistance and real-life experience as the students work on the competition. .
  • VOLUNTEER: Become a Judge. Interacting with the kids as they present their innovative ideas for the future. We need dozens of judges for a variety of deliverables, now through January. .
  • SPONSOR: Sponsor a special award. With a contribution of $200-$500 your organization can provide a special award that promotes your particular interest and increases the opportunity for every student to be a winner. .
  • SPONSOR: Underwrite the entire program by becoming a general sponsor. Join Shell, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, IEEE, UT Arlington and others to ensure this program continues to provide educational opportunities for students in North Texas.


The Future City Competition is the nation's largest not-for-profit engineering education program. Its purpose is to encourage students to pursue a technical career, to address important environmental issues in our world, and to realize their vision of a city of the future. The winner of our regional event will go on to compete in Washington, DC during National Engineers Week. All of it is possible only through the combined efforts of volunteers and sponsors.

The students are challenged in a series of fun, hands-on applications to present their unique set of solutions to the real-world problems of creating a livable city. To do so, they will adopt the principles of every branch of engineering to support their assertions. Each competing team is asked to first generate a computerized design of a future city, then build a scale model of that city using as many recycled materials as possible. Additionally, they will research and write a paper - this year's challenge is water conservation. The students must create a home system that minimizes (or eliminates) the use of municipal or externally supplied water for daily requirements. Finally the teams will publicly present their projects to a panel of judges.

However you decide to help us, we thank you for your consideration. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to contact me. My information is provided below. You can also visit the official web site at to learn more on how you and your organization can make a difference to the next generation of engineers.

Jean Eason
N TX Regional Coordinator
National Engineers Week Future City Competition

IEEE Seeks Volunteers for Humanitarian Technology Challenge

The Humanitarian Technology Challenge (HTC) is a partnership between IEEE and the United Nations Foundation designed to bring together technical professionals and humanitarians to develop technological solutions for pressing challenges facing humanity.

A small number of IEEE members are needed to help shape the early stages of the program, working with humanitarians to further detail challenge definitions and outline a solution process. This is a unique opportunity for IEEE volunteers experienced in systems engineering to work directly with prominent humanitarian volunteers.

The following initial challenges were identified by focus groups composed of representatives from ten humanitarian organizations:

  • Reliable Electricity - Availability of power for electronic devices
  • Data Connectivity of Rural District Health Offices -- Capability of exchanging data among remote field offices and central health facilities
  • Local Management and Tracking of Supply Distribution - Ensure that supplies are getting to the people that need them in order to maximize the impact of assistance
  • Incident Tracking - Determine locations and extent of medical problems in order to focus resources
  • Patient ID and Tie to Health Records - Maintain consistent patient records, including when patients visit different clinics and when they relocate.

IEEE volunteers should be experienced in the application of technology to solve humanitarian issues and be willing to commit approximately two to four hours per week to the project. A conference call/webcast for early stage volunteers is scheduled to take place in late November, 2008. This will be followed by an in-person conference scheduled for the first quarter of 2009, where additional volunteers will be needed. For more information, visit the HTC Web site. Interested volunteers should contact Harold Tepper, IEEE HTC Project Manager.

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2. Chapter Activities

Multiple Chapters

Sponsors SID, IEEE Consumer electronics and SMPTE
Speaker R. Scott Evans
Date/Time December 3, 2008
Agenda 6:15-7:00 Registration, meet and greet, demo center rooms Q&A, snacks/refreshments
7:00-8:30 Presentations
7:00-7:15 Welcome remarks from the IEEE, SID, TI
7:15-7:45 DLP Catalog applications Thompson
7:45-8:15 DLP Cinema(R) 3D Werner
8:15-8:30 Q&A
Speaker 1 Jason Thompson, DLP Catalog Products - Program Manager, Texas Instruments
Presentation title : "DLP(r) Technology, the Next Generation: going places no MEMS has gone before..."
Short description : This presentation will provide an overview the many exciting new applications that are being enabled by DLP technology.
Speaker 2 Bill Werner, Program Manager, DLP Cinema(r) Products, Texas Instruments
Title: The New Dimensions of 3-Dimensional Digital Cinema Technology
Description: This presentation will discuss, compare and contrast the various 3-D imaging techniques being used in digital cinema applications today.
Notes Please inform your colleagues who may be interested in this event. This is an SID, IEEE, SMPTE joint event but non-members of these organizations are also welcome to attend.
RSVP Please RSVP to Carol Wilson @ or 214 567 0073

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Joint Circuits and Systems/Solid-State Circuits

Topic/Title High Performance Low Power VLSI Circuit Design
Speaker Professor Mircea R. Stan of the University of Virginia
Date/Time Tuesday Dec 9th, 630pm
Cost none
Reservations not required
Location UT Campus - ACES 2.402
Notes Pizza and beverages will be provided.
Abstract This talk will start by analyzing the trade-offs between the two key metrics, power and performance, in modern digital circuits, and offer insights into ways to optimize the design by the proper setting of various design "knobs" such as Vdd, Vth, and sizing. The two-metric sensitivity-based optimization will then be expanded to multiple metrics, such as reliability, thermals, area, cost, etc., and will be followed by specific design methods for multi-threshold and multi-voltage circuits, adaptive circuit design using body biasing, temperature-aware design, optimal voltage scheduling, and bus encoding. The multi-threshold design methods will include a novel sleep mode state-preserving flip-flop, the multi-voltage circuit methods will include a single threshold high-performance low leakage circuit solution, the adaptive circuit design methods will include body-biasing schemes to compensate for thermal and aging effects, the optimal voltage scheduling scheme will explain why procrastination can actually save power for tasks with uncertain finishing times, while bus encoding can save power by reducing switching on global interconnect. This talk is the result of more than 100 publications, 6 patents, 8 PhD and 12 MS students, 12 years of academic and 8 years of industry experience.
Bio Mircea R. Stan received the Ph.D. (1996) and M.S. (1994) degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and the Diploma (1984) in Electronics and Communications from "Politehnica" University in Bucharest, Romania. Since 1996 he has been with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Virginia, where he is now full professor. Prof. Stan is teaching and doing research in the areas of high-performance low-power VLSI, temperature-aware circuits and architecture, embedded systems, and nanoelectronics. He has more than eight years of industrial experience, has been a visiting faculty at UC Berkeley in 2004-2005, at IBM in 2000, and at Intel in 2002 and 1999. He has received the NSF CAREER award in 1997 and was a co-author on best paper awards at GLSVLSI 2006, ISCA 2003 and SHAMAN 2002. He was the chair of the VLSI Systems and Applications Technical Committee (VSA-TC) of IEEE CAS in 2006-2007, general chair for ISLPED 2006 and for GLSVLSI 2004, technical program chair for NanoNets 2007 and ISLPED 2005, and on technical committees for numerous conferences. He has been an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems Systems I in 2004-2007 and for the IEEE Transactions on VLSI Systems in 2001-2003. He has also been a Guest Editor for the IEEE Computer special issue on Power-Aware Computing in December 2003 and a Distinguished Lecturer for the IEEE Solid-State Circuits Society (SSCS) in 2007-2008, and for the IEEE Circuits and Systems (CAS) Society in 2004-2005. Prof. Stan is a senior member of the IEEE, a member of ACM, IET (former IEE), and also of Eta Kappa Nu, Phi Kappa Phi and Sigma Xi.

The joint Circuits & Systems/Solid State Circuits Societies normally meet on the 2nd Tuesday of every month. This meeting is open to the public and interested parties. Additional details will be posted at the website. If you have any questions about this meeting or this group, please contact or

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Components, Packaging and Manufacturing Technology

Topic/Title Administrative Meeting
Date/Time Thursday, December 4, 2008, 6:00-7:30pm
Cost None.
Location Freescale Semiconductor,
Long Canyon Conference Room in Bldg C
7700 Parmer Lane
Austin, TX 78729

Chair: Om P Mandhana, Freescale

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Computer Society - Austin

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Computer Society - San Antonio

The Computer Society will not be meeting in December. Happy Holidays!

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Consultants Network

The Consultant's Network will not be meeting this December.

Do a friend a favor. Bring your colleague to grow the Consultants Network attendance.

The Consultants web directory is to be found at

Do the Consultants Network a favor. Give a talk or get a speaker for one meeting this year. Email the bio and summary to the Chairman.

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Electromagnetic Compatibility Society

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Electron Devices Society

There will be no meeting in December 2008.

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Engineering in Medicine and Biology

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Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLD)

For more Information contact Jason Polendo

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Laser and Electro Optics Society

For more information, contact Ray Chen

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Life Members Affinity Group

Planning Committee Members Needed

We are looking for a few more volunteers to round out our Chapter's planning Committee. We currently have three, Scott Atkinson, Bob Harris and Ernest Franke. We meet monthly for lunch to review IEEE, Central Texas Section and Chapter activities. Interested folks should contact or 210-481-4932.

If a Life Member is not receiving email from our Chapter, please contact Scott Atkinson at or 210-481-4932.

For more information, contact Scott Atkinson

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Power and Energy Society - Austin

Topic/Title Active Power - Presentation and Tour. Through the courtesy of Active Power, Inc., the Austin Power and Energy Society has planned a Barbecue, presentation, and tour of the Active Power manufacturing facility in north Austin. David Perkins, Chief technology officer, and Jim Andrews, will be learning about Active Power's flywheel energy system and how it can provide more efficient, more reliable, more cost effective and more "green" power. The level of detail depends on the desires of the members who participate.
Date/Time Tuesday, December 2, 2008
6:00 PM BBQ Dinner and Presentation
Tour afterwards
Location Active Power main entrance
2128 West Braker Lane, BK12
Austin, TX 78758
Dinner Dinner is complements of Active Power. Active Power has invited spouses, teenage children, college students, and significant others.
Reservations If you plan to attend, please notify Mike Noth at as soon as you can so that sufficient Barbecue can be ordered.
Hosts David Perkins, Chief Technology Officer and Jim Andrews, Principal Engineer, Active Power Inc.

David Perkins is Chief Technology Officer for Active Power, Inc. and has been involved in the development of high-power electric machines and power conversion for more than 22-years. He joined Active Power in 1996 and has led several design teams during development and commercialization of the company’s DC flywheel, integrated flywheel UPS systems, and Thermal and Compressed Air Storage technology. Prior to joining Active Power, Mr. Perkins was a Research Engineer with The University of Texas at Austin Center for Electromechanics and was involved in numerous development projects for commercial and military applications. He holds BS and MS degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and six patents with several patents pending.

Jim Andrews holds the title of Principal Engineer at Active Power. He joined the company in 1993, and is one of four original inventors of Active Power’s patented flywheel technology. He has been a key technical contributor or project manager on several other development efforts, including a novel fully-passive magnetic bearing system and a highly integrated backup power system featuring kinetic, thermal, and compressed air energy storage technologies. Prior to joining Active Power, Mr. Andrews spent six years as a research engineer at The University of Texas at Austin Center for Electromechanics, where he primarily worked on advanced coaxial accelerator projects for the US government. He received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla (now Missouri S&T) and an MS in Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. He also holds seven patents, with several patents pending.

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Power and Energy Society - San Antonio

No meetings in December for SA PES

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Product Safety Engineering Society

Topic/Title Field Evaluations
Speaker Charles Goertz, TUV America
Date/Time December 2
Cost none
Reservations Call Dale Ritzen (512) 651-5338 for details and directions.
Location Dell, Parmer Campus, Parmer South Building 4, Victoria Conference Room.

Mark Your Calanders -- January topic is TBD, in February Dale Ritzen will be speaking on the safety of amusement park rides, and we have scheduled a talk by someone who has come through fireman training in March.

We encourage you, others in your organization, or other interested parties to participate in our meetings. The PSES meets on the third Tuesday of every month at 6:30, with the program starting at 7pm. For further information about the PSES, please contact Dale Ritzen at (512) 651-5338 or Gary Schrempp at

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Joint Signal Processing/Communications Society

No December SP/ComSoc Meeting. Happy Holidays!

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Technology Management Council - Austin

The IEEE Technology Management Council (Austin Chapter) is embarking on a year-long series: "Effective Engineering Leadership." This series of events is designed to help engineers and engineering managers develop the skills they need to become more effective, with take-away that they can implement immediately.

We will meet on the 2nd Tuesday of each month, beginning in October (October 14) at Amplify, 2608 Brockton Drive (Brocton and Burnet) at 6:30pm-8:30pm. Drinks and snacks will be provided.

Topics we will cover, over the course of several months, include:

  • Leading Teams
    • Rewards, recognition and pitfalls
    • What is the future environment for teams? (for example, virtual)
    • How to increase productivity for your team
    • Managing Difficult People, Managing High Achievers
  • For 2009 meetings:
    • How to get things done without blowing up your career
    • Choosing winners: how to pick initiatives and objectives for your team
    • Risk management
    • What your management really wants
    • How to negotiate for the resources your team needs

Contact Leslie Martinich ( for more information about the Austin TMC.

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Technology Management Council - San Antonio

Please send your nominations for 2009 TMC-SA Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer to by December 15th. You may nominate/volunteer yourself.

Contact Nils Smith ( for information about the San Antonio TMC.

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Women in Engineering

Women in Engineering has been an Affinity Group of the Central Texas Section since the Fall of 2002.

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3. News & Information

Marketplace of Ideas: A Virtual Strip Search?

The European Union has voted to block the installation of new scanners that allow airport security personnel to see through passengers' clothes to detect concealed objects, though their bodies are blurred. Critics say the scanner, already in use at several airports around the world, is the equivalent of a virtual strip search and could make many travelers feel violated. But after the machines were installed in an airport in Amsterdam last year, airport officials said they had few complaints and that most travelers didn't mind because security lines moved faster.

How would you feel about going through such a scanner? Weigh in at

And read responses to August's question on how you feel about using the Internet at work to take care of personal matters. Some members say it helps them concentrate on their job, while others think time at work should be dedicated solely to work. Check out members' responses at

IEEE Milestones Celebrate Edison's Lab, Japanese Word Processor

Two momentous events in the history of electrical engineering were acknowledged in separate IEEE Milestone dedications recently. The first honored the establishment of Thomas A. Edison's most comprehensive laboratory and factory complex, and the second commemorated the unveiling of the first practical Japanese word processor. Learn more about the Milestones at

Multicore Is Bad News for Supercomputers

Engineers at Sandia National Laboratories, in New Mexico, have simulated future high-performance computers containing the 8-core, 16-core, and 32-core microprocessors that chipmakers say are the future of the industry. The results are distressing. Here's an explanation of the problems ahead and where solutions may be coming from. Read on at

Understanding Failure by Examining Success

We all know things are different in the military, and spending is no exception. In the high-tech world that underlies defense acquisitions, success is an aberration, while failure is the norm. To understand why defense programs routinely fail, it's instructive to study those that have succeeded. Read on at

IEEE-USA Winning Entry in Video Competition Featured on "Design Squad" Web Site

The winning entry in the 2008 IEEE-USA "How Engineers Make a World of Difference" Online Engineering Video Scholarship Competition can be seen on the PBS "Design Squad" Web site at .

Engineering Undergraduates Ben Toler and Emile Frey of Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, La., split the IEEE-USA competition's $2,500 first prize. Their entry was deemed most effective in reinforcing for an 11-to-13-year-old audience how engineers improve the quality of life and how engineering can be a creative and rewarding career.

Lifesaving Devices for First Responders

Members at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and elsewhere are working on systems for tracking first responders in burning buildings and monitoring their vital signs so that they can be brought out safely before conditions turn deadly. Read about their work at

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4. Local Conferences

  • The IEEE IPCCC (international Performance, Computing and Communications Conference) will be held in Austin December 7th to 9th, 2008 at the Marriot Renaissance hotel at the Arboretum. Details are at

  • 2009 IEEE Avionics, Fiber- Optics and Photonics Technology Conference (AVFOP) will be held September 22-24, 2009 in San Antonio, TX. For more information, contact Christine Bluhm at
  • 2009 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics will be held October 10-15, 2009, in San Antonio, TX
  • 2009 IEEE Systems Man and Cybernetics Conference will be held October 11-14, 2009 at the Hyatt Regency Riverwalk in San Antonio. Paper deadline is March 15, 2009.
  • 2009 Frontiers in Education Conference will be held October 18-21, 2009, in San Antonio, TX. Abstracts are due January 14, 2009. More information, including the call for papers, can be found at
  • International Conference on IC Design & Technology will be held May 18-20, 2009 in Austin, TX. Paper deadline is February 16th, 2009. The venue of 2009 ICICDT will be Freescale Semiconductor at 7700 W Parmer Lane, Austin, Texas, 78729, U.S.A. More information can be found at
  • IEEE Conference Search can be found at
  • See also - A place to organize and share Calls for Papers

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