This week I went for my first IEEE Computer editorial board meeting to Long Beach. The meeting was held in the meeting facilities on the Queen Mary. I found this location very interesting and inspiring and at the same time a vivid reminder of changing times. The Queen Mary was an ocean liner - not a cruise ship - and its purpose was to get people quickly and comfortable between the US and Europe. With this regard I found the location very fitting when discussing the future directions of the IEEE Computer Magazine, the IEEE Computer Society's flagship publication, a magazine still printed on paper and distributed via traditional mail to most members. We all know that it will become digital - and many read it already in digital form. But the exciting and challenging questions are how a digital magazine will look like and it is hard to tell the timeframe in which the change is going to happen.
The discussions during the meeting and the expertise of the people on the board was for me reassuring that these massive transitions that are ahead will be mastered and that the publication will get even more exciting over the next years. I would expect within the next five years the way research results are presented, delivered, and discussed will change to a great extent. For me the assent the IEEE Computer Society is its base of experts and that it facilitates exchanges between these experts and the quality control it can provide in its top publications. Furthermore I think there is a great value in the editing of articles for the magazine. Articles become much more enjoyable to read after they are edited - this is especially valuable for authors who are non-native speakers like me, but I think it is beneficial to all articles!
Seeing companies moving into the space, such as Facebook (e.g. facilitating group communication and dissemination), Google and Microsoft (e.g. offering search in the academic space and analyzing relationships and citations) I would expect there is no reason to compete in these areas, but it should be figured out how to cooperate.
We had a long discussion focusing on the editorial direction for the next year and the number of ideas that can up for what type of content we should attract for the magazine and what topics to cover was amazing and motivating - and it showed me again how multi-faceted and exciting computer science is.
For 2011 the following topics will be included: cloud computing, Entrepreneurship, mobile computing, software, hardware, smart planet, Computational Archaeology and computing & arts (could be interesting for the TEI community!). If you have ideas what topic IEEE Computer should cover please tell me (e.g. by commenting or emailing me) or submit an article to the magazine! I would also hope to see a little more on user interfaces and interaction technologies.