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Saifur Rahman Is 2022 IEEE President-Elect

He is a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Virginia Tech

2 min read
A man in a suit stands amidst a rooftop solar installation, with buildings behind him.
Virginia Tech

IEEE Life Fellow Saifur Rahman has been elected as the 2022 IEEE president-elect. He is set to begin serving as president on 1 January 2023.

Rahman, who was nominated by petition, received 13,296 votes in the election. Fellow S.K. Ramesh received 13,013 votes, Life Fellow Thomas M. Coughlin received 11,802 votes, and Life Senior Member Francis B. Grosz received 6,308 votes.

At press time, the results were unofficial until the IEEE Board of Directors accepts the IEEE Teller's Committee report in November.

Rahman is a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Virginia Tech. He is the founding director of the Advanced Research Institute at the university, which helps faculty members get access to research funding, government laboratories, and industry research centers. Rahman is also the founder and chairman of BEM Controls in McLean, Va., a software company that provides buildings with energy efficiency solutions.

He served as chair of the U.S. National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for International Science and Engineering from 2010 to 2013.

Rahman is the founding editor in chief of the IEEE Electrification Magazine and the IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy.

He served as the 2018–2019 president of the IEEE Power & Energy Society (IEEE PES). While president, Rahman established the IEEE PES Corporate Engagement Program, which allows employers to receive IEEE benefits by paying their employees' IEEE membership dues.

Rahman set up IEEE PES Chapters' Councils in Africa, China, India, and Latin America. These councils have empowered local leaders to initiate local programs. He also led the effort to establish the PES University, which offers courses, tutorials, and webinars to IEEE members.

Rahman was also the 2006 chair of IEEE Publication Services and Products Board and a member of the IEEE Board of Directors.

He is a Distinguished Lecturer for IEEE PES, and has given lectures in more than 30 countries on topics such as the smart grid, energy-efficient buildings, and sensor integration.

Rahman has received several IEEE awards including the 2000 IEEE Millennium Medal for outstanding achievements and contributions to IEEE, the 2011 IEEE-USA Professional Achievement Award, the 2012 IEEE PES Meritorious Service Award, and the 2013 IEEE PES Outstanding Power Engineering Educator Award.

To find out who was chosen as IEEE-USA president-elect, IEEE Technical Activities vice president-elect, IEEE Standards Association president-elect, and more, read the full annual election results.

The Conversation (1)
Raqibul Mostafa19 Oct, 2021
SM

As a Hokie I'm very delighted to hear this excellent news. I have known Prof Rahman since my VT days that started in 1993. Excellent leadership quality with profound depth in research. Looking forward to a vibrant year for IEEE.

With best regards, Raqibul Mostafa (PhD, ECE Dept., VT. Currently Dean, School of Science and Engineering, United International University, Bangladesh).

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How Duolingo’s AI Learns What You Need to Learn

The AI that powers the language-learning app today could disrupt education tomorrow

9 min read
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This playful illustration shows Duolingo’s owl mascot, cut away down the midline, showing hidden inside a high-tech skeleton suggestive of some sort of AI robot.
Eddie Guy
Blue

It’s lunchtime when your phone pings you with a green owl who cheerily reminds you to “Keep Duo Happy!” It’s a nudge from Duolingo, the popular language-learning app, whose algorithms know you’re most likely to do your 5 minutes of Spanish practice at this time of day. The app chooses its notification words based on what has worked for you in the past and the specifics of your recent achievements, adding a dash of attention-catching novelty. When you open the app, the lesson that’s queued up is calibrated for your skill level, and it includes a review of some words and concepts you flubbed during your last session.

Duolingo, with its gamelike approach and cast of bright cartoon characters, presents a simple user interface to guide learners through a curriculum that leads to language proficiency, or even fluency. But behind the scenes, sophisticated artificial-intelligence (AI) systems are at work. One system in particular, called Birdbrain, is continuously improving the learner’s experience with algorithms based on decades of research in educational psychology, combined with recent advances in machine learning. But from the learner’s perspective, it simply feels as though the green owl is getting better and better at personalizing lessons.

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