Friday, November 30, 2007

Special Event -- Electro-Music Concert on December 15th!


The Electro-Music Chamber Orchestra Comes to Princeton

December 15, 2007 Sarnoff Corporation Auditorium

              7:30 PM 201 Washington Rd
              Princeton NJ 08540-6449

Admission $10 per person at the door

For information: 609-734-2636

It’s the time of year when the streets and houses glow and twinkle with festive lights. Everything’s wired and bright, including the Electro-Music Chamber Orchestra, the sonic ensemble that’s more plugged in than a city block.

The Electro-Music Chamber Orchestra brings its arsenal of synthesizers, keyboards, and bizarre machinery to the David Sarnoff Library Auditorium On Saturday, December 15th for an evening of truly electrifying and sonorous musical mischief. Doors open at 7:00 PM for this rare event, with refreshments on hand provided by Grovers Mill Coffee and McCaffrey's bakery, thanks in part to the support of the Princeton ACM/IEEE-CS under the initiative of Dr. Rebecca Mercuri. Admission is $10.00 for the general public; online advance purchases can be made via Paypal at For more information, please call 609-734-2636.

On the roster for the orchestra’s evolving membership are Howard Moscovitz, Greg Waltzer, and Bill Fox. As a trio in their own right, they’re known as Xeroid Entity, creators of rhythmic and ambient otherworldly soundscapes.

Joining them will be special guests Brainstatik, featuring Robert Burger, Ken Palmer, Mike Hunter, Jim Silvestri and Glenn Robitaille. Combining ambient, world, progressive rock, and space music, Brainstatik takes audiences on uncharted improvisational journeys,shifting and mixing genres within each piece.

Any self-respecting electronic chamber orchestra would be incomplete without the granddaddy of all electronic instruments: the theremin, the only instrument that’s played without being touched. Thereminist Kip Rosser will be on hand to weave the theremin’s haunting and beautiful voices into the mix.

Taking the stage first will be Brainstatik, each member a certified electronic gear junkie. Guitars can sound like drums, keyboards can imitate guitars and drums can play keyboards. The resulting performance often sounds rehearsed and composed, but in reality it happens in the moment. Brainstatik thrives on taking its music to the edge every time they perform.

During the second set of the evening, Moscovitz, Waltzer, Fox, and Rosser will complete the ensemble. The full Electro-Music Chamber Orchestra will perform a collaborative exploration of the vast territories of harmony, rhythm, melody and silence. Think Vangelis meets sci-fi with a dash of Brian Eno.

The evening will be set against the stunning visual backdrops of video artist Hong Waltzer, who will bridge sight and sound by creating her fluid and colorful “living paintings” that respond to the music in real time. Expand your ears, eyes, mind, and your definition of music–get really wired on the sight and sounds of the Electro-Music Chamber Orchestra.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Cognitive Radio Networks at Sarnoff!

What happens when you crossbreed computers and radios? Professor Narayan B. Mandayam of Rutgers University will explain in a free lecture at Sarnoff Corporation's auditorium next to the David Sarnoff Library Thursday, December 6, at 6:30 p.m. If you thought satellite radio was the last word in audio or video delivery, think again! Sponsored by the IEEE Princeton Section's Communications and Consumer Electronics Chapter, Dr. Mandayam's talk covers not only the technical requirements for software-defined radio networking but also considers the implications for broadcast and spectrum regulation and the future of the wireless internet. Here's his abstract, with his bio further below:

Recent advances in programmable integrated circuits have created an opportunity to develop a new class of intelligent or “cognitive” radios which can adapt to a wide variety of radio interference conditions and multiple protocol standards for collaboration between otherwise incompatible systems. Such a cognitive radio would be capable of very dynamic physical layer adaptation via scanning of available spectrum, selection from a wide range of operating frequencies (possibly non-contiguous), rapid adjustment of modulation waveforms and adaptive power control. In addition, a suitably designed cognitive radio with a software-defined physical layer would be capable of collaborating with neighboring radios to ameliorate interference using higher-layer protocols. Perhaps for the first time in the short history of networking, cognitive radios offer the potential for organic formation of “infrastructure-less” collaborative network clusters with dynamic adaptation at every layer of the protocol stack including physical, link and network layers.

While the development of cognitive radio hardware and software, especially at the physical layer, has received considerable attention, the question of how one transforms a set of cognitive radios into a cognitive network is much less well understood. This talk will present an overview of cognitive radio network research from the points of view of information and coding theory, game theory, collaborative and cooperative communications. The implications of such cognitive radio networks to spectrum policy as well as the design of the future internet will also be highlighted.

Narayan B. Mandayam is Professor at Dept. of Electrical & Computer Engineering,Rutgers University. He also serves as Associate Director at WINLAB. His research interests are in various aspects of wireless data transmission ncluding system modeling and performance, signal processing and radio resource management with emphasis on techniques for cognitive radio technologies. Dr. Mandayam is a recipient of the Institute Silver Medal from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur in 1989 and the National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 1998. He was selected by the National Academy of Engineering in 1999 for the Annual Symposium on Frontiers of Engineering. He is a coauthor with C. Comaniciu and H. V. Poor of the book "Wireless Networks: Multiuser Detection in Cross-Layer Design," Springer, NY. He has served as an EditorWireless Communications (2002-2004) and as a guest editor of the IEEE JSAC Special Issue on Adaptive, Spectrum Agile and Cognitive Radio Networks. He is currently serving as a guest editor of the upcoming IEEE JSAC Special Issue on Game Theory in Communication Systems.

Library Gains Public Charity Status from IRS

It took five years to prove it, but the David Sarnoff Collection, Inc., which does business as the David Sarnoff Library, has been redefined as a public charity rather than a private foundation. This essentially means that we rely on contributions and grants to support our mission, instead of fulfilling our mission by making contributions and grants, The Internal Revenue Service backdated this status to January 1, 2002, based on our activities and sources of funding in that time. The most important consequences of this redefinition are that contributions, bequests, legacies, transfers, and gifts are all deductible for Federal purposes according to Sections 170, 2055, 2106, or 2522 of the Internal Revenue Code. In addition, the Library is now eligible for matching gifts from corporate and other foundations.

We'd like to thank our accountant, Kenneth Ditmars, CPA, of Ditmars Perazza, and the good and friendly people of the IRS in Cincinnati and Dallas for their help in guiding us through this process!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Executive Director named to IEEE History Committee

Our executive director, Alex Magoun, has just received word from IEEE president Leah Jamieson, that at its November meeting, the IEEE Board of Directors confirmed his appointment as a member of the 2008 IEEE History Committee. The term is for the calendar year 2008. The committee promotes the collection, writing, and dissemination of historical information in the fields covered by IEEE technical and professional activities, as well as historical information about the IEEE and its predecessor organizations. It also works with institutions of a public nature such as the Smithsonian Institution and with the Trustees of the IEEE History Center in recommending historical projects to be carried out by or under the direction of the Center.

The IEEE is the world's largest professional engineering organization, with over 370,000 members around the world involved in electrical and electronic technologies. David Sarnoff was one of the charter members of the Institute of Radio Engineers in 1912, and this pioneering group eventually merged with the American Institute of Electrical Engineers in 1961. Its operations center is located in Piscataway, New Jersey, and the IEEE History Center is located just down the road on Rutgers University's campus in New Brunswick.

Having assisted in the nomination process and ceremony arrangements for two IEEE Milestones conferred on the site of the RCA Laboratories, Alex is well familiar with the work of the History Committee and History Center. "I'm honored that the committee and the IEEE's executive board offered me this opportunity to help the IEEE promote its rich heritage in innovating the technologies that help shape our lives," he says. "This is another partnership that signals a rising interest in where we've come from as we head into an even more technologically complex future."

Alex also recently joined the board of the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame to help promote the remarkable record of technical creativity that runs throughout the state.

Friday, November 09, 2007

The DSL and the NJ Science Convention

Having staged our first field trip program to great acclaim, the next step is to publicize it! In mid-October, thanks to the support of board member and Plainsboro library director Jinny Baeckler, executive director Alex Magoun promoted the Library at the New Jersey Science Convention in Somerset, New Jersey. There he set up in his booth across from Arbor Scientific with the Library's new poster display and glossy color flyers to alert the state's science teachers and coordinators about the Library's activities and resources. Those who understood the power of the past to inspire the future paid attention, and the Library looks forward to following up with them!