June 97 FIE Steering Committee Meeting Minutes

FIE Steering Committee Meeting - Minutes
June 15, 1997
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

The meeting was called to order by Steering Committee Chair Bob Herrick.

Magdy Iskander was unable to attend the meeting, and hence there was no report on the 1996 FIE Conference in Salt Lake City. It was, however, observed that a preliminary final budget report had been recently circulated which showed a surplus in excess of $70,000.

Larry Shuman made the presentation for FIE 1997, to be held in Pittsburgh. The meeting is scheduled for November 5 - 8. 475 papers have been received and are currently being reviewed. Four time periods, each consisting of eight parallel sessions are scheduled for each of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Exhibits are planned for Thursday afternoon, Friday, and Saturday morning.

Major support has been received from the National Science Foundation, and the Sloan Foundation. Included in this support are provisions for a number of innovations, including grants to bring ten new faculty members to the conference. The Proceedings will include only the peer reviewed papers, with abstracts for poster sessions and works-in-progress.

A number of Industrial Sponsors have been secured. Hewlett-Packard will sponsor the Friday evening dinner, and sponsorship has been secured from Intel, Westinghouse, McGraw-Hill, and SGI. Additional Industrial Sponsors would be an very helpful to the conference. Members of the Steering Committee are encouraged to contact Larry Shuman with names of appropriate contacts. Industrial Sponsorship costs $2,500, and includes all the benefits of an exhibitor at the conference.

The conference budget (a copy was distributed at the meeting) has been approved. It includes a $34,926 contingency. As a special feature, the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING EDUCATION has agreed to publish the ten best conference papers, as identified by the program committee, as a special issue. The program committee has been very effective in using electronic communications for most of their work. Approximately 35 % of the papers submitted were rejected, or returned. There will be an opportunity, however, for these projects to be presented in poster sessions.

It was suggested, that the Ben Dasher Award Paper also be published in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING EDUCATION, but not necessarily in the FIE best paper issue. ACTION - Bob Herrick will approach the Journal editor about this.

An issue was raised by Alisha Waller regarding the review process. There is a concern that going to an electronic process may be excluding some individuals. It was suggested that we need to look at ways to involve such individuals in the future.

Another issue regarding the review process was how we can more effectively involve the reviewers in the second round operation. It was also suggested that double-blind reviewing be considered in the future. A note was made, however, that without a paid administrative staff, it will be difficult to add any additional level of complexity to the review process.

Continuing with the report on the 97 FIE, Larry Shuman reported that 12 - 14 workshops were being scheduled as part of the conference. These will be divided between Wednesday and Thursday evening. There will also be one special workshop. A few other surprises were promised.

The work on the conference has raised some issues that need to be addressed by the Steering Committee. The increasing size of the conference presents some concerns regarding the distribution of the work load. The Pittsburgh conference is anticipating more than 600 attendees. It is suggested that the program chairs for the upcoming year become assistants in the current year. This would both serve to provide aid to the current organization, and training for the upcoming group.

The question was raised as to whether we continue to need the submission of abstracts. There has been some confusion that has arisen over whether an abstract being accepted means that the final paper has been accepted. On the other hand, the abstracts have been helpful in organizing sessions and in lining up reviewers.

A number of items have been identified regarding the review process. There is a need for more specific criteria regarding acceptance and rejection. While the electronic review process has worked reasonably well, there are some remaining issues to be addressed. The two biggest problems are getting the papers in on time (as the conference grows this will become even more critical) and getting the reviews completed on time.

Additionally, it was noted that whoever processes papers should have a good virus scanning program. About 10 % of the submissions came in with some virus.

It was suggested that a post-mortem be held to review future practices based on the experience of the Pittsburgh conference. It was further suggested that this look at ways to insure reuse of effective parts of the reviewing system that was implemented this year.

Another issue for the Steering Committee that is developing with the expansion of the conference is how inclusive it should be. More papers are being submitted from outside the electrical engineering and computer science and engineering areas. Is this something to be encouraged? Discussion is needed with a smaller experienced group that should come forward with a more specific recommendation.

Larry Shuman concluded his presentation with some specific areas in which help is needed. (1) Identifying appropriate list-servers and addresses for email distribution of the program announcement. (2) Identifying publications (journals, magazines, trade publications, etc) willing to provide space for a program announcement. (3) Obtaining sponsors, (4) Obtaining exhibitors.

Don Evans gave the presentation for the 1998 FIE to be held in Tempe Arizona. The meeting is scheduled at for November 4 - 7 at the Mission Palms Hotel. A contract has been signed with the hotel by the Computer Society. Marriott is opening a hotel a couple of blocks away which will be used for overflow. The program co-chairs are Don Moore from ASEE/ERM, Jim Roberts from IEEE Education Society, and Dave Soldan from IEEE Computer Society.

The Computer Society will be contracted for the following services; registration, coordination of the call for papers, coordination of the advanced program, and local arrangements. Possible themes that are being considered are the following; (1) Moving From Teaching Centered to Learning Centered Education, (2) Teaching and Research: Must it be Either/Or, and (3) How Do I Know It Made a Difference? The preliminary budget for the conference was distributed.

Dan Budny discussed plans for the 1999 FIE to be held in San Juan Puerto Rico, November 11 - 13, 1999. The location will be the Condado Plaza Hotel. A contract between the Computer Society and the Hotel has been signed with a guaranteed room rate of $ 130. The conference will utilize the entire hotel. The tentative program structure was distributed and it calls for morning and evening sessions with afternoons free.

Dan Budny introduced Gilberto Velez, Dean of Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. The University will be one of the sponsoring organizations. Also assisting in sponsorship will be the University of Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rico IEEE Section, and the Professional Engineers Organization of Puerto Rico. At this time the three sponsoring organizations need to identify their program co-chair to Dan. ACTION - the program co-chairs should be identified by the end of July.

Jim Roberts discussed plans for the 2000 FIE to be held in Kansas City, November 8 - 11. Because of the size of the conference, it will be held on the Missouri side, with the Hyatt Regency the most likely hotel.

Ted Batchman presented a proposal for the 2001 FIE to be held in Reno, Nevada. The School of Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno will be the host. The Steering Committee agreed unanimously to accept this proposal.

Dan Budny indicated that everything regarding the Proceedings was currently on schedule. There is a need to line up a manufacturer for the CDs. There is also a need to finalize the program as soon as possible in order to set the final organization of the Proceedings.

Tim Skvarenina indicated that there was nothing additional to report regarding exhibits.

There was no old business. Under new business, Karl Smith indicated that the FIE Steering Committee should have a role in the FIE Awards process. ACTION - Bob Herrick will talk with each of the sponsoring Societies regarding the process. If at all possible, a new approach, using the sponsoring Societies will be implemented in Pittsburgh.

Dave Voltmer suggested that the Steering Committee look at the general question of the funding of the FIE. Some form of roll-over funds was suggested for consideration. It was indicated that this issue would come up as old business at the next meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 12:30 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Gerald L. Engel
Acting Secretary

FIE Steering Committee Meeting
June 15, 1997
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Attendance List

Steering Committee Members:

Jim Demetry Worcester Poly. Inst. jdemetry(a)
Gerald Engel Univ. of Connecticut g.engel(a)
Marion Hagler Texas Tech mhagler(a)
Bob Herrick Purdue University rjherrick(a)
Jim Roberts University of Kansas jroberts(a)
Steve Seidman Colorado State Univ. seidman(a)

Other attendees:

Tim Batchman U. of Nevada, Reno batch_t(a)
Dan Budny Purdue University budny(a)
Don Evans Arizona State Univ. devans(a)
Dan Moore Rose-Hulman Inst. Tech. daniel.j.moore(a)
Burks Oakley University of Illinois oakley(a)
Mike Pavelich Colorado School of Mines mpavelic(a)
Tim Skvarenina Purdue University tskvaren(a)
Karl Smith University of Minnesota ksmith(a)
Gilberto Velez Polytechnic U. of P.R. gvalez(a)
Dave Voltmer Rose-Hulman Inst. Tech. voltmer(a)
Alisha Waller Macalester College waller(a)
Karan Watson Texas A and M Univ. watson(a)
Mark Yoder Rose-Hulman mark.a.yoder(a)

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