Young Scientists From Around the Globe Gather in Singapore

How would you like to pick the brains of thirteen Nobel Laureates, three Fields Medalists, winners of the Millennium Technology Prize, and recipients of IEEE’s own Medal of Honor? In Singapore, at the second installment of the Global Young Scientists Summit (GYSS) in January, five hundred attendees were given the opportunity to do just that. Of these attendees, 350 were PhD and postdoctoral researchers under the age of 35 nominated by universities, research institutes, and corporate laboratories around the world, while the remaining 150 were invited guests from Singapore’s tech community.

The GYSS, organized by the National Research Foundation of Singapore, is inspired by the annual Lindau Nobel Meetings but features a greater focus on participation from the Asia-Pacific region. Singaporeans comprise 19% of the participants, Asians and Australians 47%, the US and Europe 20%, and researchers from multinational corporations make up the remaining 13%.

The theme of the Summit was “Advancing Science and Creating Technologies for a Better World” and the speakers discussed a wide variety of topics, including biochemistry, physics, medicine, mathematics, and engineering. Some told stories of the discoveries they were most recognized for, while others shared their latest research. With some of the lectures making deep dives into specialized disciplines, sometimes it was a challenge to keep up. Notably, the audience members were not shy about asking questions even if they were not experts in the topic at hand.

In one of the talks, IEEE’s 2013 Medal of Honor winner, Dr. Irwin Jacobs, shared his experience transitioning from academic to entrepreneur, first founding Linkabit, then Qualcomm. Qualcomm has grown to prominence as the world’s largest semiconductor supplier for wireless products and for 15 consecutive years was included in Fortune’s list of 100 Best Companies to Work For. Not bad for a company started because he was bored three months into early retirement!

The organizers also held several panel discussions on topics such as challenges in a STEM career, the role of science in society, technology entrepreneurship, and the relationship between science and the arts. Some of these sessions were open to the general public as well.

A design competition called Singapore Challenge was held in conjunction with the GYSS. The participants were invited to submit proposals that addressed challenges related to urban development. The theme of this year’s competition was “From Sensing to Solution: Leveraging ICT to Build Sustainable Cities,” resulting in a grand total of 35 proposals submitted. Among the 10 finalists was IEEE member Jason Gu, whose proposal is an open platform called “the Idea Store” which facilitates contributions from both city planners and residents. The intent is for the platform to integrate raw data sensing, data processing, and big data analytics with built in block programming functionality, so even an average resident without prior programming training would be able to use it.

We spoke to Jason in more detail about his Singapore Challenge proposal and how IEEE has played an important role in his career development so far. This interview will appear in Part 2 of this series in GOLDRush.

To learn more about the GYSS and find out how you might be able to attend in the future, visit the official GYSS website.

To see photos from GYSS 2014, visit the IEEE Region 10 Facebook album.

Article contributed by Helene Fung, Senior Strategy and Business Development Manager, IEEE Singapore

Webinar on Leadership Excellence: 16 Feb 2PM EST

Greetings, IEEE Young Professionals! Please mark your calendars and join us on February 16th at 2:00 PM EST for Part 1 of our 6 part webinar series on Leadership Excellence. This webinar will share a road map for how to build trust and strengthen both your personal and organizational leadership skills. Corey Atkinson, our presenter, has over 10 years of experience in numerous for-profit and non-profit organizations, and now offers interactive workshops for clients to enhance and strengthen business relationships. This 30-minute webinar will provide unique insight into how to be a great leader.

You can join the webinar through this link:

IEEE EDS Seeks Nominees for PhD and Masters Fellowships

The IEEE Electron Devices Society is seeking nominations for its 2014 PhD and Masters Student Fellowships. These awards are presented annually to promote, recognize, and support graduate and masters level study and research within the EDS field of interest. For both Masters and PhD, it is expected that at least one fellowship will be awarded to a student in each of the following geographical regions: Americas, Europe/Middle East/Africa, and Asia & Pacific. Please visit the links below to learn more about these fellowships.

EDS Masters Student Fellowship
: US $2,000 and an award plaque
Submission Deadline: May 15, 2014

EDS PhD Student Fellowship
US $5,000 and travel funds to attend the IEDM for presentation of an award plaque
Submission Deadline: May 15, 2014

Announcement contributed by Kellie Gilbert, IEEE Electron Devices Society Committee Administrator

Fine Arts and Four Presidents at the R10 SGW Congress

This article is part I in a two-part series on last year’s Region 10 Student/WIE/GOLD Congress.

A performance in the Kuchipudi art form by the Pallavi Academy of Fine Arts at the 2013 IEEE Region 10 Student / WIE / GOLD Congress

A performance in the Kuchipudi art form by the Pallavi Academy of Fine Arts at the 2013 IEEE Region 10 Student / WIE / GOLD Congress

Young volunteers from Hyderabad, India teamed up to organize Asia Pacific’s largest gathering of leaders, the Region 10 Student/WIE/GOLD Congress from July 11th, 2013 – July 14th, 2013. The goal of this volunteer team was to create a platform for conversations and partnerships through a curated set of sessions, designed around the theme  “Empowering Women and Youth to create a better tomorrow.” It took eight months of meticulous planning and effort to realise the final result.

The core objective of the Congress was to gather IEEE volunteer leaders from the Asia Pacific region to network, share best practices, and learn about what’s new in IEEE. A diversified mix of 250 delegates attended the Congress. Notably, the event was distinguished by the presence of 4 IEEE Presidents, a first for any regional Congress: 2013 IEEE President & CEO, Peter Staecker; 2014 IEEE President, Roberto De Marca; 2011 IEEE President, Moshe Kam; and 2006 IEEE President, Michael Lightner.

The first day brought the Congress to order and created a networking-friendly environment for the delegates, featuring a team activity to acquaint attendees with each other. Day Two started with the Congress co-chairs (Prashant Venkatasubban and T L Prasanna Venkatesan) addressing the audience on the what and why of the conference, including a brief overview of the schedule for the next 3 days. Then the formal sessions began with Peter Staecker (2013 IEEE President & CEO) presenting the opportunities & impact created by being a volunteer and explaining the four priorities for IEEE discussed by the Board of Directors. Michael Lightner (2006 IEEE President & 2013 VP EAB) followed with a lively session that included a survey to understand the current educational system and live questions from the audience on the subject of educational activities taken up by the IEEE. John Day (IEEE Staff Director of Member Engagement) gave an overview of the IEEE Member and Geographic Activities (MGA) from a member engagement perspective. There were parallel sessions by various student, GOLD, and WIE (SGW) groups highlighting their plans and talks from leaders of the individual tracks.

Later that evening, the delegates dressed in their best for the Awards Ceremony and Gala Night dinner, which commenced with a welcome message by the Congress Chair Prashant Venkatasubban and Co-Chair Prasanna Venkatesan followed by a scintillating talk by Moshe Kam (2011 IEEE President) on “the top seven reasons to be proud you’re an IEEE Member.” A topnotch performance in the Kuchipudi art form by the Pallavi Academy of Fine Arts took the audience’s breath away with a beautiful showcase of local culture. The evening ended with the awards ceremony and requisite photo sessions.

The second day began with a keynote session by Professor D. B. Phatak of IIT Mumbai, leader of the Aakash Tablet project. Later, along with Michael Lightner, Dr. Attendees at the 2013 IEEE R10 SGW CongressPathak announced an app development competition for Aakash tablets, followed by another exciting announcement: the Aakash Tablet project presented a tablet to every student delegate participating in the Congress to help them participate in the competition and test the apps they develop. Following Dr. Pathak’s talk, Dr. Moshe Kam delivered a keynote session on humanitarian activities and challenges. A technical poster competition was organized in parallel, sponsored by the Lab X Foundation and judged by the IEEE presidents. The top five winners shared a cash prize of US $1000.

The Congress also emphasized active participation from societies by providing a platform for collaborative discussions between experts. The societies represented were the Computer Society (by Aditya Rao), EMBS (by Subhamoy Mundal), PES (by Mini Thomas), and HKN (by Douglas Graham). These sessions included a focus on Educational Activities. Additionally, a TISP workshop was hosted by Douglas Graham and a WIE workshop by Sandhya Kode. For the WIE track, Nita Patel (IEEE WIE Chair) outlined the challenges and opportunities for Women in Engineering in IEEE.

Attendees at the 2013 IEEE R10 SGW CongressOn the third day, the Congress was inspired by the warm personality of IEEE Region 10 Director Toshi Fukuda, an author of more than 200 technical papers and books. His talk on Multi Scale Robotic Systems included a few lively anecdotes about Japanese anime, manga magazines, and his pet dog. That evening, the delegates arranged a spectacular display of native traditions and cultures during the Multicultural Night. All the delegates dressed in their ethnic attire and organized stalls with local artefacts and food items to reflect their country’s heritage.

The last day began with a keynote by Roberto De Marca (2014 IEEE President) on IEEE Technical Activities, followed by a second keynote session by Raju Pandeya, Senior Project Executive of the Gujarat Energy Development Agency. After this came the highlight of the day: the presidential forum moderated by T.L.Prasanna Venkatesan, where the four IEEE presidents took to the stage to provide their insights on IEEE and address questions from the audience.

As the day drew to a close, the stage was set for the closing ceremony with final remarks by the 2013 IEEE R10 Director Elect, Ramakrishna Kappagantu. The Attendees at the 2013 IEEE R10 SGW Congressawards for all the competitions hosted during the Congress were presented during this ceremony. A remarkable and emotional expression of thanks was presented by the Congress Chair, Prashant Venkatasubban. The crowd broke into huge applause for the entire Congress team as they congregated onto the dais.

More photos from the event are viewable at

Article contributed by Prashant Venkatasubban (Chair, R10 SGW Congress)
and Preeti Kovvali (Secretary, R10 SGW Congress)

Webinar Announcement: Basics and Benefits of STEP, 12 December 1500 UTC

New to STEP? Want to learn more? Join us for a webinar discussing the Student Transition and Elevation Program (STEP) on 12 December at 10:00AM EDT (1500 UTC). This webinar highlights the elements of STEP and its benefits to graduating students. Please register to attend the webinar here:

Santa Clara Valley GOLD Launches New IEEE YP Brand at the GHTC

GHTC Team and Sponsors

GHTC Team and Sponsors

In March of 2013 the Santa Clara Valley (SCV) chapter of GOLD was asked to help plan a session at the Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC). We recognized this as a great opportunity for SCV GOLD and accepted the challenge. At the same time, our local chapter for Women in Engineering (WIE) was being re-established. In a bid to create a strategic partnership and help the WIE chapter build their membership and exposure, we asked WIE to plan the session with us—naturally they agreed.

The GHTC has historically run a substantial deficit, so we were given the tough challenge of finding funding for the event. We sought funding from a number of industry and IEEE sources; in the end, our sponsors were IEEE WIE, IEEE Region 6 Young Professionals (YP), IEEE Santa Clara Valley Section, and IEEE YP. IEEE YP also asked us to do the honor of announcing their name change from “GOLD” to “YP” and launching their new logo. We were truly honored to be able to do this.

GHTC LogoOur event took place on October 20, 2013 starting at 19:00 at the San Jose Airport Garden Hotel in California. We were fortunate to have 97 attendees from over 25 countries attend this event, creating a truly diverse atmosphere for discussing ways to use technology to improve humanity.
The GHTC is truly aligned with the IEEE’s tagline, “Advancing Technology for Humanity.” There are many sessions offered at this conference and I urge you to consider attending next year. It’s truly inspirational to see how engineers around the world use their skills to better humanity!

Thomson Nguyen speaking on Data Science for Good

Thomson Nguyen speaking on Data Science for Good

Thomson Nguyen, CEO of Framed Data—a company which helps non-profits receive the benefits of data analytics—was our speaker. Framed Data is building a general-purpose data science platform which will provide analysis for multiple non-profits, greatly reducing the cost for each organization. Thomson’s talk was entitled Data Science for Good: Using Engineering and Machine Learning to Affect Societal Change. He gave specific examples of how he had used data science to solve problems in the non-profit world. One example was a model he created to help medical doctors determine whether to hospitalize a patient or not, based on a number of variables. This model was shown to greatly reduce improper hospitalization.

One of the most important things demonstrated in this talk was that we can use our skills to improve the lives of others. It’s important for us to think about the impact our skills can have, and how they can improve the effectiveness of non-profits around the world; however, our skills as engineers are prohibitively expensive for most non-profits to afford. (SCV YP recently ran a separate Volunteer Information Evening where non-profits came to discuss opportunities for engineers to improve their causes. For example, there were requirements for hardware engineers helping build systems to protect endangered wildlife, for software engineers building apps to improve literacy, and opportunities to speak in classrooms to give hope to our future generations. Think about how your engineering skills could improve the efficiency of a non-profit and better people’s lives in your community!)

SCV YP Team and cake with new IEEE YP logo

SCV YP Team and cake with new IEEE YP logo

After the speaker, we had offered an hour-long open bar where participants could relax with a drink and discuss the topics at hand. There were many interesting projects discussed, such as a crowdsourcing platform to employ people in the third world. We also had two delicious cakes sponsored by IEEE YP featuring the new YP logo. The night was a huge success that not only provided global visibility for YP and WIE, but also laid the groundwork for a number of strategic partnerships for our chapter.

GHTC Website:
SCV YP Website:
GHTC Blog:
YP/WIE Session Post:

Article contributed by Tim Worboys, IEEE SCV YP Chair