Tuesday, 7 August 2018

5 Minutes with Prof. Alice Smith


5 Minutes with Prof. Alice Smith

IEEE CIS Student Activities Subcommittee invites you to get to know the pioneers and experts in the Computational Intelligence. This month "5 minutes with..." focuses on Prof. Alice Smith.
  1. What is your title, full name, and place of work?
    Alice E. Smith, Ph.D., P.E., Joe W. Forehand/Accenture Distinguished Professor, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering and Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering, Auburn University, USA.
  2. What grade of member in CIS are you?
    Fellow.
  3. How long have you been a member of CIS?
    Not sure – maybe 20 years or more.
  4. One reason why you are a member of CIS
    My research focus and passion has always been computational intelligence!
  5. What was your service pathway in the Computational Intelligence Society?
    I can’t remember exactly but I met the Fogel brothers long ago at conferences and symposiums and were (and still am) inspired by their devotion and service to CIS. Below are the more important roles I have held:
    IEEE CIS Distinguished Lecturer, 2018-20
    IEEE CIS Administrative Committee (elected position) (2016-18)
    IEEE Evolutionary Computation Technical Committee Chair (2016-17)
    IEEE Women in Computational Intelligence Committee (2016-present)
    IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering Associate Editor (2015-present)
    IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation 2011 General Chair
    IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation Editorial Board (1998-present)
  6. What is your typical working day?
    I don’t have a typical days. Some days I teach (undergraduate and graduate courses) and many days I have research meetings often with collaborators in other countries (right now I have projects going on with scholars in Turkey, Chile, Colombia, Mexico). I meet with my PHD students (I have 7 current students who are originally from the U.S., Colombia, Mexico, Turkey and Thailand).
  7. What is your ideal weekend?
    Spending time outside, shopping (!), cooking on Sunday evenings, and drinking some good wine…
  8. Give one interesting fact about yourself:
    I am currently studying Spanish as an non degree seeking undergraduate at my university (Auburn University). I never thought I would be an undergraduate student again! And, Spanish is so hard for me! Before Spanish, I studied Turkish but remain at a grade level of functionality.
  9. What are you reading, watching or listening to at the moment:
    I just finished a book on the history of archaeological travel and I am also reading a spy thriller. On Netflix, I am working my way through Peaky Blinders. I generally listen to Tom Petty radio.
  10. Favourite place:
    Central Anatolia, somewhere remote with ruins that are aged more than 1000 years.
  11. Person you would most like to meet – past or present, real or fictional:
    Shakespeare. Because he is very mysterious and wrote the most glorious lines in the English language.
  12. What items would you take on a desert island and why:
    Coffee, chocolate and wine. My three daily necessities.
  13. Can you share with us one success story that will motivate young members and provide useful guidelines for their careers?
    I met the luminaries in evolutionary computation, including the legendary John Holland, at an intense week long, invitation only symposium on the future of EC that I was invited to when I was a very junior assistant professor in the mid 1990’s. This was sponsored by the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications located at the University of Minnesota. I felt intimidated by the set of some 25 world class scholars in EC and felt I had been invited by mistake. But they all were so friendly and encouraging. They accepted me as an equal that week and many remain friends and colleagues even today. In fact, I saw Dr. Holland at breakfast alone at the hotel and introduced myself and joined him for some one-on-one time. So, be bold and seize opportunities.

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