As we close in on two months of shutdown and social distancing, we are reminded how valuable our interactions and associations are. The return to something resembling normal may not occur for some time and attitudes and interactions may change drastically. Given the status of Suffolk and Nassau as some of the most stricken areas of the state, Long Island Section still has no scheduled meetings on the calendar. However, the Awards Banquet was rescheduled for September 23, and the MTT Symposium is planned to return April 2021. Let’s hope the status quo at that time is something we all can accept.
Volunteers are still busy, however. A recent meeting of the Membership Development Committee proposed several ideas to try to invigorate the Section. One of the results of the committee’s efforts is the explication of member benefits referenced on page 6 of this issue. Perhaps we are not all familiar with them, or perhaps the word does not get out as widely as it should. To that end, the Committee made a commitment to boost the Section’s presence on social media, specifically LinkedIn, which would be a more natural site than others for the membership to visit.
The Section has also undergone a recent audit by the Internal Audit Department of the IEEE. This does not occur frequently and it is a bit of ill timing that it occurs this year, but Sandy Mazzola has been handling the details of our transactions and we expect a good outcome from the audit. Some policies on receipts and venue contracts may change, but those changes will become apparent as the Executive Committee takes up the audit results.
Given the nature of the times we are living in, it is heartening to know that the IEEE is providing some benefits that are normally not available. IEEE Explore is providing free access to Covid-19 related research, which may be inspiration for some of our members to investigate how the IEEE can be involved in providing solutions to problems faced by health care providers. It is quite possible that in the near term we might form an ad hoc group to investigate these areas further. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if interested. The Spectrum has a dedicated Covid-19 Resource List as well.
There are also international meetings that are now online. Most have been canceled, but some have not. A few of the upcoming online conferences are:
• The IEEE Blockchain conference
• The Wireless and Optical Communications Conference
• The International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing
Many more are on the IEEE Conference schedule calendar. The online presence of these conferences is actually an opportunity, since they normally would be scattered around the world.
All is changed, but all is not lost. Let us stay healthy and safe and pray for an effective end to this pandemic.
2020 IEEE Long Island Section 2020 Chair