This proposal requests support for student travel to the 52nd IEEE Conference on Decision and Control (CDC), which will be held in Florence, Italy, December 10-13, 2013. 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 systems and control, featuring both theory and applications. The funds will provide partial support for up to thirty students from US colleges and universities to attend the conference and present their research results.
Intellectual Merit: Systems and 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 51st IEEE CDC received over 2300 submissions and accepted 1262 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 Impacts: With over 1000 anticipated research presentations, including 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 system and 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, systems engineering and automation. 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 U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the IEEE Control System Society (CSS) provided financial support for some students to attend the CDC. The selection committee, process, and results are described in the following. Selection Committee: The selection committee consisted of Kirsten Morris (Chair of Member Activities of IEEE CSS), Sandra Hirche (Chair of Student Activities Committee of IEEE CSS and CDC 2013 Student Activities Chair), Ann Rundell (CDC 2013 Registration Chair), Laura Giarre (CDC 2013 Registration Co-Chair), Luigi Chisci (CDC 2013 Local Arrangements Chair), Thomas Parisini (IEEE CDC 2013 General Co-Chair), and Roberto Tempo (IEEE CDC 2013 General Co-Chair). Selection Process: The deadline for application for student travel support was set to August 15, 2013. Beforehand the eligibility conditions as well as the application requirements were published on the conference website: www.ieeecss.org/CAB/conferences/cdc2013/stud_support.php . Overall, 91 applications were submitted by the deadline. We received 2 more requests after deadline, which were not considered. Of the 91 applications received on time: 5 of the 91 applications were incomplete and excluded from the selection process; 1 applicant failed eligibility (no IEEE student member) and excluded from the selection process due to the high number of applications compared to available funding we excluded all applications from students who have received an award in CDC or MSC in the past two years, amounting to an additional 15 applicants being excluded; and, As a result there were 70 eligible applications to be considered further. The strategy for selection was to provide the maximum number of students with a reasonable level of support. Student travel support funding was available from NSF and CSS. Therefore, we tried to optimally distribute the students between the two sources. Of the 70 eligible applications, 44 were eligible for NSF Student travel support Selection criteria: Applicants were prioritized according to the following criteria: Preference to applicants who have not benefited from this support in the last two years, Demonstration of active participation in CSS, Preference to applicants who will present more than one paper at the Conference. Specifically, the selection has been made according to the following objectives and rules: maximize number of students that receive funding maximize number of presented papers if more than 2 students from the same lab applied, then likely only one could be awarded. The last rule applied for 9 applications, leaving 61 applications for further consideration. Among those 61 a ranking has been made giving the highest scores to the applicants with a large number of papers (max has been 2), and ranking the remainder according to their relative authorship, i.e. favoring those with first authorship and low number of coauthors. According to this ranking we selected 25 for the NSF student travel award and 24 students for the CSS student travel award. As reasonable level of funding the student registration was waived (EUR280) and 3 nights in a hotel (EUR159) paid. With an exchange rate of 1.3809USD per EUR (from April 1, 2014), the overall amount of EUR439 corresponds to USD606,22. The 25 NSF awardees were waived student registration (EUR280) and 3 nights in a single room in a hotel (EUR159), for an overall total expense of EUR10975 which corresponds to USD15155 (using the exchange rate of 1.3809USD per EUR, from April 1, 2014). The NSF was invoiced for USD15000 and the conference funded the USD155 difference. The 34 CSS awardees were waived student registration and 3 nights in a single room in a hotel. Unfortunately, because of visa problems 8 students had to decline the support. Of the 61 qualifying students, 2 students could not be funded. Decision notifications were sent out to the students on August 28, 2013. The number of applications decreased by 7% compared to 2012 (2012: 98 applications). In 2013, 11 applications out of the 91 are female and 7 out of the 59 awarded students (NSF+CSS) are female. Intellectual Merit: The travel support provided students an opportunity to attend and participate in plenary lectures, tutorial sessions, invited sessions, and contributed sessions by the leading researchers in the international control systems communities. Broader Impact: Students were provided with the opportunity to travel to gain an appreciation of the contributions by the international control systems community. Students, including those from underrepresented groups, were exposed to a potentially new culture and a showcase of the leading control systems research and technologies. This gained understanding can contribute to the students development as a researcher.