March 2014

IEEE-MSN Newsletter


Madison Section Newsletter

Vol. 17, No. 2 Serving
IEEE Members of South Central Wisconsin
March 2014
  • Upcoming Events

    • IEEE Signal Processing Society Distinguished Lecturer Series


      • Date: 11:45 AM Friday,

        March 14th, 2014

      • Speaker: Dr. V. John Mathews of The University of Utah
      • Location: 

        Promega BioPharmaceutical Technology Center

        Room Number: 122

        5445 E Cheryl Pkwy

        Fitchburg,  Wisconsin

      • To sign up for this meeting, click

        Note:  Meeting is FRIDAY.

      Restoration of Motor Skills in Patients with Disorders of the
      Central Nervous System

      Recent technological innovations such as functional neural
      stimulation (FNS) offer considerable benefits to paralyzed
      individuals. FNS can produce movement in paralyzed muscles by the
      application of electrical stimuli to the nerves innervating the
      muscles. The first part of this talk will describe how smooth
      muscle movements can be evoked using Utah slanted electrode arrays
      (USEAs) inserted into the motor nerves of the peripheral nervous
      system. The standard 4 x 4 mm USEAs contain 100 electrodes of
      varying lengths. Implantation of a USEA in a peripheral nerve
      allows highly selective electrical access to individual and small
      groups of axons. We will review approaches for designing
      asynchronously interleaved stimulation signals applied via
      individual electrodes in the arrays to evoke smooth,
      fatigue-resistant force that closely resembles normal motor
      function. The second part of this talk will describe efforts to
      decode cortical surface potentials, recorded with dense grids of
      microelectrodes. Decoding human intent from neural signals is a
      critical component of brain-computer interfaces. This information
      can then be used to control the muscles in tasks involving
      restoration of motor skills or to control a robot that performs
      desired tasks. We will discuss recent work on decoding neural data
      collected from patients implanted with microelectrode arrays. The
      talk will conclude with a discussion of some of the current
      research challenges in this area.

      Biography: Dr. V. John
      Mathews is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at
      the University of Utah. His research interests are in nonlinear
      and adaptive signal processing and application of signal
      processing techniques in audio and communication systems,
      biomedical engineering, and structural health management. He
      chaired the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at
      the University of Utah during 1999-2003. Dr. Mathews is a Fellow
      of IEEE. He served as the Vice President (Finance) of the IEEE
      Signal Processing Society during 2003-2005 and the Vice President
      (Conferences) of the Society during 2009-2011. He is a past
      associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing,
      and the IEEE Signal Processing Letters and the IEEE Journal of
      Selected Topics in Signal Processing and currently serves on the
      editorial board of the IEEE Signal Processing Magazine. He was a
      recipient of the 2008-09 Distinguished Alumnus Award from the
      National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli, India, and the
      Utah Engineers Council’s Engineer of the Year Award in 2011. He
      serves now as a Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Signal
      Processing Society for 2013 and 2014.

  • Section News

    Chris Latimer Talk Review (Provided
    by Tom Kaminski): 

    Chris discussed

    research on understanding how anthropogenic factors affect the
    behavior, energetics and survival of wildlife.  He has
    installed RFID tracking devices on a number of bird feeders in
    both populated and unpopulated areas around the Madison
    area.  He utilized tiny RFID devices that were attached to
    the legs of wintering birds in the area.  The tiny devices
    had to be a small fraction of the weight of the birds, no small
    feat for chicadees weighing about 15 grams.  Under the
    assumption that one RFID tag hit represented a single seed removed
    to a surrounding tree to eat, he could estimate the caloric intake
    for the bird and relate it to survival.  He also reported on
    similar studies that identified social cliques among wintering
    birds.  Chris’s talk highlighted technology that is now
    commonly applied to wildlife studies and made it clear that the
    use of technology will increase in the future.

    Distinguished Lecturer Visit 

    V. John Mathews’ visit on March 14th is an opportunity for those
    Madison IEEE Section members interested in his research.  His
    lecture in Madison is the last stop on a tour that includes
    Minneapolis and Rochester, Minnesota and Ames and Iowa City,
    Iowa.  Because of his travel schedule, the meeting is the
    second FRIDAY,
    not our usual third-Thursday of the month.  Dr. Mathews’
    lecture series is in part sponsored by the IEEE Signal Processing
    Society through its Distinguished Lecturer Series.  His visit
    also coincides with a visit from Alkesh Patel, IEEE Region 4
    Central Area Chair.  Alkesh will be joining us at the meeting
    to learn about the IEEE Madison Section and to help us with IEEE
    Section management.  Alkesh has been an active member and
    officer for the IEEE Rock River
    adjacent to our southern border. 

    IEEE-Madison Section

    IEEE-Madison Section has been approached by 

    INCOSE (Link Here), the
    International Council on Systems Engineering, Chicagoland Chapter
    to participate in joint activities.   According to
    the web site, their mission is “to
    share, promote and advance the best of systems engineering from
    across the globe for the benefit of humanity and the
    planet”.   According to INCOSE members, the potential
    IEEE Societies of common interest are Aerospace and Electronic
    Systems, Circuits and Systems, Control Systems, Components,
    Packaging, and Manufacturing Technology, Engineering in Medicine
    and Biology, Intelligent Transportation Systems, Product Safety
    Engineering, Reliability Society, Systems, Man, and Cybernetics
    and Vehicular Technology.  Please contact Tom Kaminski (email
    address below) if you are interested in organizing joint
    activities with INCOSE.

  • Regular Meetings

    • Section Meetings

      The third Thursday of Jananuary through May and September through
      December is reserved for a meeting to provide recent research,
      developments, trends and/or innovations in one of our membership’s
      technical areas.

    • IEEE-MSN-ECN Networking Meetings

      • Purpose: Presentations, Discussions, networking
      • Date: First Thursday of even-numbered months
      • Time: 11:45 AM to 1:00 PM
      • Location: Sector67, 2100 Winnebago Street  (East Side of
      • Parking: Park in lot or on Winnebago Street.
      • Process: Members are encouraged to make introductions,
        describe endeavors, and make request for: contacts in target
        companies, needs, resources.
      • Contact: For assistance, call Tim Chapman 2 0 6 – 2 5 7 0
  • Membership Upgrades

  • Those interested in upgrading their IEEE membership level should send
    their resumes or other information showing five years of significant
    performance in an IEEE-designated field to Charles J Gervasi
    ( Madison Section Board will attempt to find Senior
    IEEE members knowledgeable in the applicant’s area of practice who may
    be able to provide references. You are invited to attend the informal
    networking portion of the monthly Section meetings (starting at 11:30am)
    to meet the Section Board members and discuss intentions.

  • About IEEE

  • The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers or IEEE (read
    I-Triple-E) is an international non-profit, professional organization
    dedicated to advancing technology innovation and excellence for the
    betterment of humanity. IEEE and its members inspire a global community
    through IEEE’s highly cited publications, conferences, technology
    standards, and professional and educational activities. It has the most
    members of any technical professional organization in the world, with
    more than 300,000 members in around 150 countries. The IEEE consists of
    38 societies, organized around specialized technical fields, with more
    than 300 local organizations that hold regular meetings. For more
    information, please visit: IEEE.ORG

  • Madison IEEE Section

    The IEEE-Madison Section of the IEEE is a section in Region 4 of the
    IEEE-USA organized to serve IEEE members in the Madison, WI area with
    over 600 members.  the 2014 Officers and Board Members are Tom
    Kaminski – Chair, Steve Shultheis, Vice Chair, Charles Gervasi –
    Treasurer, Brandon Zemlo – Secretary, Timothy Chapman – Webmaster, Tom
    Kaminski – ECN Chair, Members at Large: Mitch Bradt, Clark Johnson,
    Dennis Bahr, Craig Heilman, Sandy Rotter.

  • Job Openings

    Check out for
    electrical engineering jobs in Madison and the surrounding region.
    This site is maintained as a service for electrical engineers. Jobs
    are displayed starting with the most recent postings first. You can
    filter results by location and job type. If you are hiring an
    electrical engineer in our area, for full-time or contract work, you
    can post the job in the Contact Us
    section on the site.  Here is a sampling of the new job

    • Embedded
      Hardware Engineer in Neenah
    • Senior
      Software Engineer and Electrical Project Engineer in the Chicago
    • A
      Hardware EE and Embedded Engineer in Madison
    • RF
      Engineer in the Chicago Area
  • Contact Us

    The IEEE-Madison Section has a number of volunteer positions open if
    you are interested in helping out.  Please direct any questions
    or comments to Tom Kaminski via email to