March 2020 Newsletter

Madison Section Newsletter

Vol. 23, No. 3           Serving IEEE Members of South Central Wisconsin               March 2020
Newsletters are archived online at IEEE-Madison Web Site.


Upcoming Meetings

IEEE Madison Section Meetings are cancelled due to ongoing pandemic. 


We hope you are healthy and safe during this current outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Please follow CDC guidelines to protect yourselves, your families, and your communities.


Past Meetings

February Meeting in Fond du Lac

February ECN Meeting




  • Volunteers:   We need volunteers for:  YP, ECN, LMAG, PES/IAS, Section and EMB.  Please contact one of our officers for more information, or see us at an upcoming meeting.
  • Joint meeting with the IEEE-North Eastern (Greenbay) Wisconsin Section:  On Thursday, February 6th, the IEEE Madison Section will hold a joint meeting with the IEEE North Eastern Section in Fon du Lac that will feature futurist Tom Triumph.  The meeting will include dinner, the talk, and an opportunity to network.  The IEEE Milwaukee members have been invited as well. Tom's video describing the talk is available at this link.
    - Ride Share: This meeting will be an opportunity to meet some members of the other two IEEE sections in Wisconsin.  Because of the commute to Fond du Lac, I will help coordinate ride-sharing.  If you can drive, or are interested in riding along with someone, please email me:
  • February ECN:  Is being scheduled now as a visit to 100State co-working space for a talk by 5nines and a tour of their facility afterward.  Stay tuned for the details.
  • March Life Member Affiliate Group: Jack Kisslinger will give a talk on the history of some of Madison's significant computers, theNicolet 1070/PDP-8, the Nicolet 1080 and the Department of Defense SAGE computer.  It will be held at UW-Space Place on March 19th in the evening
  • Volunteers Needed: Are you interested in volunteering?  If so, IEEE Madison is looking for a few people interested in a few exciting new volunteer positions.First, the Executive Committee is looking to fill a new position of auditor.  This position will work with the Treasurer and the Executive Committee to review all expenditures and ensure that IEEE Madison remains compliant with all IEEE policies and procedures, as well as applicable laws.  The auditor will also serve on the Finance and Audit committee.  If you are interested and wondering how much time this volunteer position will require, it is estimated that it will be at most a couple hours per month.  If you are interested, please contact Nathan Toth, IEEE Madison Section Chair, at

    Secondly, IEEE Madison will be forming an Ethics Committee.  The purpose of the Ethics Committee will be to foster awareness of ethical issues, promote ethical behavior among members of IEEE Madison, and advise the Executive Committee on IEEE Ethics policy and concerns.  The Ethics Committee will consist of 3 or more members of IEEE.  For those interested in volunteering for the ethics committee, please contact Nathan Toth, IEEE Madison Section Chair, at  The time commitment for this committee will be approximately 2 hours per month.
    Volunteering for IEEE Madison helps to grow a community of engineers, scientists, and technologists in the Madison area.

    If you are interested in any of the above positions or are interested in volunteering for any other position or task, please contact Nathan Toth at

  • Renew your IEEE Membership:  It is that time of year to renew your IEEE Membership and help support the Madison Section.  A portion of your dues goes to financially support the Section, allowing us to host events with little or no cost to members.  To renew your membership, click on this RENEW NOW link.

Reviews of Past Meetings

  • February Meeting in Fond du Lac: Three members of the Madison section attended the meeting and heard a well-received presentation by Tom Triumph.   Tom used a number of video clips and props to make his point.  I enjoyed the opportunity to meet other IEEE members from outside of the Madison area.
  • February ECN Meeting: On 1/27/20, the Madison IEEE ECN hosted a tour of the 5nines data center and the 100state coworking facility.  Emily Volland lead the tour of the 100state coworking facility.  100state has a fairly large space with meeting rooms, space for drop in coworking, dedicated desks, offices, and various meeting rooms.  They have quiet areas but also host regular social and networking events for their members.  Emily mentioned that they are the largest coworking space in Madison and are a locally owned non profit organization.

    After the 100state tour, Eric Mansfield lead us on a tour of the 5nines data center.  Eric is the CIO and one of the founding members of 5nines.  He was a last minute substitute for Macrus Cota who was originally scheduled to present.  Eric talked about the various services that 5nines provides including virtual machine space, dedicated server space, wireless internet service, IT service, and more.  From humble beginnings, 5nines has grown substantially over the years.  They are currently expanding to add space for 5G providers.  They are a major hub for the internet, hosting the intersection of the Minneapolis, Chicago, and Milwaukee fiber interconnections.  Their location was originally a POTS hub for ATT.  The name 5nines reflects their commitment to reliability (99.999% uptime) and they have various redundant systems and power feeds.


IEEE Madison Leadership

  • Section Chair – Nate Toth
  • Section Vice Chair – Hugh Schmidt
  • Section Treasurer – Tom Kaminski
  • Section Secretary – Mike Stemper
  • Webmaster – Nate Toth
  • PES/IAS Chair – Mike Stemper
  • PES/IAS Vice Chair – Dan Ludois
  • PES/IAS Secretary/Treasurer- Don Neumeyer
  • EMB Chapter Chair – Dennis Bahr
  • Life Member Affinity Group Chair – San Rotter
  • Life Member Affinity Group Vice Chair – Charles Cowie
  • ECN Chair – Matt Nowick
  • Young Professionals Chair – Nate Toth
  • Members at Large: Clark Johnson, Craig Heilman, Dennis Bahr

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 via email at cj(at) 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 thinformal 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 Eye-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. Discover what IEEE Member Discounts can offer you. The Member Discounts portfolio consists of insurance products and programs for the home, office and travel, all at excellent group rates and reduced pricing. Visit IEEE Member Discounts to see what’s available in your location and enjoy the savings. For more information, please visit: IEEE.ORG.