The Distinguished Visitors Program is accepting Nominations for 2019

POSTED BY on 11.15.2018

In the past three years, the IEEE Computer Society’s Distinguished Visitors (DVs) have visited more than 67 chapters and reached more than 14,000 academics, representatives of industry and students in 30 countries through presentations at Computer Society sponsored conferences, chapter-hosted events and student chapter/university events. Distinguished Visitors are more than just speakers. They provide an opportunity for one-on-one interaction and a chance for students to sit down and talk to a leading thinker in the field.

The Distinguished Visitors Program (DVP) has offered a broad range of high-quality speakers over the past 45 years. From 1998 to 2000, famed professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Berkeley, Lotfi Zadeh, spoke on “The Roles of Soft Computing and Fuzzy Logic in the Conception, Design, and Deployment of Intelligent Systems,” and “From Computing with Numbers to Computing with Words.”

Today the program still attracts some of the brightest minds in the field. David West, founder of SCRUM, is a Distinguished Visitor in Regions 1–7. He presents on “Building High Performance Teams with Scrum,” “Scaling Agile Product Delivery with Nexus – It is Turtles all the way down,” “Scrum Turns 21: Are We Done Yet?” and “Who Is the Product Owner Anyway?”

In August, Dr. Mark Paulk, professor of software engineering at the University of Texas at Dallas, consultant and author, spoke to members in Denver on project management. The chapter chair, James Gowans, had this to say: “Everyone who saw Dr. Paulk’s presentation was impressed. I wish we could get him every month.”

Region 10 Distinguished Visitor Dr. Andre Gradvohl from UNICAMP in Brazil, presented four lectures in the Bahia section on “Technologies, Research and Challenges for Distributed Systems for Data Stream Processing” and “The Convergence between Computing and Astronomy: the Case of Space Weather Forecasting.” Dr. Gradvohl also sat down with students after the event to talk about his lectures and IEEE Computer Society Activities.

Professor Fabricio Carvalho, chair of the joint IEEE Computer Society and IEEE Communication Society chapter in the Bahia section, noted, “Dr. Andre Gradvohl’s presentation was excellent.” Professor Carvalho further said, “The joint chapter C16/COM19 from IEEE Bahia section is very thankful to Professor André Gradvohl for his availability to visit our region and to share his technical background with us. The chapter also recognizes and appreciates the support from IEEE Computer Society by approving this Distinguished Visitor and providing such a high-quality presentation in our region, as well as all the remarkable work from the volunteers in Natal-RN and João Pessoa-PB.”

The Program

Dr. Stephen Yau initiated the program in 1973 to provide professional and student chapters with direct access to top technology leaders and innovators from every sector of the computing industry.

Since its inception, the program has sought to balance its representation from industry and academia to meet the needs of the Society’s broad constituency. Dr. George Proeller, DVP committee chair and DV explained, “Both provide necessary perspectives: academia provides insight into theory and what might be regarded as a preparation phase while industry provides insight into the practical, applying theory and reacting to and overcoming obstacles, the unknowns, to bring the idea to reality.”

Continuous Program Improvement through Chapter Feedback

The DVP surveyed professional and student Chapters in July, and will use the information gained from that survey to initiate improvements in 2019.

The DVP Committee also offered responding chapters an opportunity to win a fully funded presentation from a speaker of the chapter’s choice.

As a result, the Chicago section chapter and the Moi University student branch chapter in Kenya were randomly selected from among the respondents to receive presentations. Dr. Bruce McMillin, professor of computer science, associate dean of engineering and computing, director of the Center for Information Assurance and co-director of the Center for Smart Living at the Missouri University of Science and Technology will present in Chicago on November 27 at the Oak Brook campus of Lewis University. He will be presenting on “Fog Computing for Smart Living,”

In 2019, the Distinguished Visitors Program will draw on the feedback from chapters in the survey to inform its improvements. Look for an announcement of these improvements over the coming months.

Nominations for 2019–2021 Distinguished Visitors

If you are a professional and believe you have something to offer your peers, you can become a Distinguished Visitor. Alternatively, if you know someone you think would be a great Distinguished Visitor, submit a nomination. The deadline for nominations is November 30.

If you have any questions about the program or the process of nominating yourself or someone else, contact Kerry Cosby at

If you would like to request that a Distinguished Visitor present at your chapter event, fill in the Distinguished Visitor Request Form. You can find a list of speakers in your region on the DVP web page.



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