This proposal requests support for student travel to the 50th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control (CDC), which will be held in Orlando, Florida, December 12-15, 2011. The IEEE CDC is the annual flagship conference of the IEEE Control Systems Society and one of the premier international conferences in the field of control theory and applications. The funds will provide partial support for up to twenty students from US colleges and universities to attend the conference and present their research results. INTELLECTUAL MERIT: Control theory is ubiquitous in modern, complex, technological systems, from automotive to aerospace systems, biomedical systems, industrial automation systems, robotics, and a host of other systems. It is increasingly evident that current research on many technological frontiers is heavily influenced by foundational ideas from control and system theory. The recent 49th IEEE CDC received over 2100 submissions and accepted around 1100 for presentation, many of which are co-authored by students together with their faculty advisers. The intellectual merit of the proposed use of funds is that graduate students will see first-hand how the foundations of control and systems are evolving and shaping the frontiers of research in many applications domains. BROADER IMPACT: With over 1200 anticipated research presentations, including several plenary lectures, workshops and exhibits the CDC provides attendees with exposure to the state-of-the-art in emerging areas of control research and technology. The broader impact of this travel support is that it will help train the next generation of control researchers and practitioners. The future security and well-being of the United States relies on maintaining pools of trained scientists and engineers in critical areas such as control technology. Moreover, the 50th CDC will be held jointly, for the second time, with the European Control Conference, further enhancing the broader impact. The students to be supported under the proposed project represent the future technological leaders of the IEEE Control Systems Society, which is the world's leading professional organization in the discipline.
The Joint 50th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control (CDC) and European Control Conference (ECC) was held December 12–15, 2011, in Orlando, Florida. This conference was different. It might well have been the most unique conference of its kind in our lifetime: (1) CDC celebrated its 50th birthday, (2) ECC celebrated its 20th birthday, and (3) this was only the second time the CDC was held jointly with the ECC. The IEEE CDC is the annual meeting of the IEEE Control Systems Society (CSS) while the ECC is organized every two years under the auspices of the European Union Control Association (EUCA). These conferences are conducted in cooperation with the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), and the Japanese Society for Instrument and Control Engineers (SICE). We had a record-breaking 1620 registrants, including 551 student registrations. Overall, about 50 of these students were supported to attend the conference from funds from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the IEEE Control System Society (each provided US$10,000 for student travel support). We are grateful to Dr. Kishan Baheti, Program Director at NSF, for his continued support for students to participate in our conference. In total, we received approximately 2300 submissions: 2024 regular paper submissions and 45 invited sessions with 268 invited paper submissions. Each submission was assigned multiple anonymous peer reviewers by an associate editor in the Conference Editorial Board, led by Professor Alessandro Astolfi. A total of 1354 papers finally appeared in the proceedings. The acceptance rate was 59%, consistent with historical numbers for CDC. The four-day technical program, starting on Monday, December 12, comfortably accommodated all the papers within 22 parallel tracks. Each track consisted of three sessions daily, with six papers in the morning session and two five-paper sessions in the afternoon. Each paper was allotted 20 minutes. Each session was assigned a chair and a co-chair to introduce each speaker. Eligibility criteria and selection process for NSF student travel support The following eligibility criteria were used: 1) At the time of application, the student must be enrolled at an institution of higher learning in the United States. 2) The student must be an author or co-author of a paper accepted for presentation at the CDC-ECC 2011. 3) The student must register for the CDC-ECC 2011 and present the paper. To apply, the student and his/her advisor provided the following information via the conference management system PaperPlaza to Professor S. Hirche, Student Activities Chair for CDC-ECC 2011 and Chair of the CSS Student Activities Committee: Name (First Name, Middle Initial, and Last Name) Institutional Address Phone/Fax/E-mail Advisor's Name Advisor's Phone/Fax/E-mail Session/Title of the Paper to be presented Amount of support requested (actual support will depend on the number of applicants and funds available) A paragraph of justification for the request of financial support An email of certification and support from student's academic advisor stating that he/she is currently enrolled as a student and is planning to attend and present a paper at the CDC-ECC 2011. Selection committee and process The selection committee consisted of Professor Edwin K. P. Chong (CDC-ECC 2011 General Chair), Professor Sandra Hirche (Student Activities Chair), Professor Hong Chen (Student Activities Co-Chair), Professor Shuzhi Sam Ge (CSS Vice President for Member Activities), Professor Ann Rundell (Registration Chair), and Dr. Richard Hull (Local Arrangements Chair). The committee was responsible for identifying eligible applicants and selecting the appropriate subset, as well as determining the final support package. The selection criteria took into account the following factors: Number of presentations (and papers) by the candidate. Evaluation of the applicant and his/her contributions through the nomination letter. If more than 2 students from one lab applied, then only one could be awarded. Applicants who have not benefited from this support in the last two years have been preferred. Overall, 86 applications were submitted by the deadline, and 32 of them were eligible for NSF student travel support. Of those 32, a group of 24 students were selected to be supported by the NSF student travel support.