Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 38

thirst for learning more about computers. This all led to me receiving
my B.S. degree (1985) in mathematics and computer science at age 17
followed by an M.S. degree (1986) in
mathematics (specializing in numerical analysis) from Youngstown State
University in Ohio.
In 1986, I arrived at Brown University to study under my next role
model, Eugene Charniak. Under him,
I learned how deep introspection
about human thinking can be successfully combined with computational models to uncover basic truths
about intelligence. Most of all, he had
the amazing ability to instinctively
identify the next major research
problem and to contribute basic
research results that would shape the
area. Under his guidance, I earned an
Sc.M. degree (1988) and ultimately a
Ph.D. degree (1992) in computer science at age 24.
SMCM: How did you get started
volunteering with IEEE and elsewhere?
Santos: I was really interested in
outreach and helping the larger community. Societies, such as those in
IEEE, provided a welcoming structure and are a great gathering place
for this. IEEE is very open about volunteerism, and it has the resources to
help other folks. It further provides the
resources to help me as I help others.
Volunteering with IEEE really
appealed to me. Eventually I was
given a great opportunity to do work
for the SMCS. I was asked to help
organize the 2003 annual conference
in Washington, D.C. These conferences are exhilarating because there
are so many SMC people who get
together to network, discuss new
ideas, and form new collaborations.
Given the opportunity to not only
help arrange something like that but
also to help define the program was
a tremendous experience. As a program chair, this was a very fulfilling
and rewarding experience.

38

SMCM: What are the most chalSMCM: Please tell us about your
lenging aspects of being an ediearly work for the SMCS.
tor-in-chief?
Santos: In terms of my earliest
Santos: The most challenging
major work for the SMCS, I started by
aspect of being editor-in-chief for
serving as an associate editor for IEEE
the transactions was selecting the
Transactions on Systems, Man, and
best papers to publish from a colCybernetics: Part B under the electronlection of already strong submisics submission editorial board in 1999.
sions. How do you choose which
This predated the ScholarOne era, as at
papers should be
that time there were
there when everyno electronic submisthing is very good?
sions in place for the
Santos learned
That wa s a diffitransactions. Larry
cult decision, and
Hall was the editor
to code on the
it was something
responsible for leadearly computers
I had to face over
ing this initiative,
using both BASIC
a nd ov e r a g a i n .
and I learned a great
and assembly
It was one of the
deal from him. I still
re a l it ie s of r u n use his knowledge,
language.
ning a journal like
which continues to
IEEE Transacserve me exceedingtions on Systems,
ly well.
Man, and Cybernetics: Part B-
The next major work I did for
you only have so many pages you
SMCS was the 2003 conference in
can print. This was particularly
Washington, D.C., where, as I mendifficult when it was a paper that
tioned earlier, I was a program
was extremely interesting, and I
cochair. In 2007, I was then given
thought was extremely novel, but it
the great opportunity to help lead
was just a little bit outside the "trathe SMC conference in Montreal as
ditional" scope of what the transacprogram chair. Of course, here, I
tion is about. Sometimes I had to
got to work very closely with you
decide if I should push the boundand Ferial (El-Hawary) as the genary of the transactions knowing
eral chairs.
full well that it meant that some
other strong paper in scope would
SMCM: Why did you volunteer to
likely be pushed out.
serve as editor-in-chief?
Santos: I saw the position of ediSMCM: What is your view of the
tor-in-chief for IEEE Transactions
SMCS of the future?
Systems, Man, and Cybernetics: Part
Santos: The SMCS has been
B as an opportunity to help shape
around for a long time. Its vision has
the direction and philosophy of the
always been very broad from the
research and technology for which
sense of trying to encompass all the
the SMCS stands. It was an incredible
possibilities of where things/techhonor to be considered as a candinology could go. To me, today, the
date for the editor-in-chief position.
SMCS is an evolving vision focusing
The SMCS transactions have long
on where and what the next generabeen at the forefront of research, as
tion is and how things change over
evidenced by the numerous semitime. I see the SMCS of the future
nal papers. To be able to foster new
as continuing to be an incubator of
research areas and to see them from
these ideas.
their inception I considered an incredible experience, something I really
wanted to be involved in.

IEEE SyStEmS, man, & CybErnEtICS magazInE A pri l 2015



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Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - Cover3
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