February 2020 From the IFAC President

Plenary Speakers WC 2020 and late breaking results

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Do you have that friend that is always late? Or are you at loggerheads with deadlines? Do you know that feeling of accidentally breaking great auntie Barbara’s best crockery piece? You think late and breaking is bad? Well, not this time, we’ve got you covered.

For the IFAC World Congress, you can submit your late breaking results even until February 28. So, this means that if you have missed the deadline in November or you have this other exciting idea worth discussing, you still got the chance. The late breaking results are actually a whole different submission category and come with their own advantages (so you can sell this to your advisor or boss as a strategic move instead of a missed deadline!).

First, let me quickly explain how it works: For the late breaking results category, you can submit 2 – 4 pages. Your submission will then be reviewed (of course, the content needs to be correct and satisfy a certain quality standard). The most important difference to the standard submission is that, if accepted, the paper will not be uploaded and published in the conference proceedings on PapersOnLine – but information about your paper will appear in the preprints, i.e. on the USB stick that every participant receives. In fact, you as author can decide during the final submission what should appear in the preprints: your paper or only the title, authors, keywords and abstract.

So, why might this submission category be interesting for you? First of all, the obvious case: You simply missed the deadline of the IFAC World Congress for standard contributed papers but in the meantime, you have some interesting results that you would like a broad audience to be aware of. This is your second chance to actively contribute to the largest control conference in the world. Secondly, by removing the necessity of publishing anything, the late breaking results submission might also be a great option for engineers, scientists, and researchers in industry who often have the problem that some results or data cannot be published, for example, due to secrecy agreements – but some ideas or problems are well worth exchanging and discussing. Another way to exploit the advantages of the late breaking results is if you’re very excited about your new idea which is – as some say – ‘journal material’. With the late breaking results category, you can discuss your ideas and even advertise your approaches without publishing, with the goal to submit them to a journal afterwards. And one can think of many more scenarios where the late breaking results submission might just be the ideal option.

To add one more argument for submitting to the world congress, and to live up to my promises made in the last column to my regular readers, let me announce the plenary speakers of the 2020 IFAC World Congress in Berlin. I am happy and excited to announce that Alin Albu-Schäffer (TU Munich, Germany), Ben Recht (UC Berkeley, USA), Jay H. Lee (KAIST, Republic of Korea), Jing Sun (University of Michigan, USA) and Marc Raibert (Boston Dynamics, USA) are our plenary speakers. I could fill the whole column if not the whole newsletter by introducing these outstanding researchers and their exciting and stimulating topics – but today I am obviously already overreaching the space limitation of this “column”.

So whether the plenary speakers convinced you that the World Congress in Berlin is a must, or you just had this exciting idea that you want to discuss, or you’re from industry waiting for the right format for exchanging ideas, or you’re the strategist thinking about a journal article,… late breaking results is just the right format for you and one more reason (out of the thousand reasons which would really blow this column) to start planning your trip to Berlin now!

I hope you had a good start into the new year 2020, and I send you the very best wishes from Stuttgart

Frank Allgöwer

PS: In the next column (which will already be my second to last president’s column – can you believe how time flies?), I will announce our extraordinary semi-plenary speakers!