Archive for December, 2011

January Meeting



Thursday, January 26th, 2012


Raffel’s – 10160 Reading Road (see below for directions)


5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. –  Social Time


6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. –  Dinner


7:00 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. –  Presentation


$12- $20, See information in Reservations


Buffet Menu: Spinach  Stuffed Tomato, Pan Fried Tilapia w/Lemon Caper Sauce, Beef Stroganoff, Parsley Buttered Potatoes, Steamed Fresh Broccoli, Buttered Noodles, Tossed Salad, Dinner Rolls and Butter.

ABOUT THE MEETING:   (updated 12/31/2011)

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) has a long history of using quality improvement methods to improve patient outcomes.  The arrival of electronic health records (EHRs) has allowed these quality improvement methods to become more widespread in scale and more real-time in nature.  Over the past several years, CCHMC has implemented an enterprise-wide EHR, and as part of this implementation, has worked to develop screens that allow for the capture and eventual calculation of condition-specific outcome measures.  In parallel to the rollout of the EHR, CCHMC has also deployed a research patient data warehouse built upon an open-source informatics framework called i2b2.  Developers at CCHMC have extended this framework to make it suitable for storing outcomes data and also as a platform for research patient registries.  This talk will focus on the rationale and technical solutions that have made these efforts possible.


Keith Marsolo, PhD
Assistant Professor
Director, Software Development & Data Warehouse

Division of Biomedical Informatics
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Department of Pediatrics

University of Cincinnati College of Medicine

LOCATION:  Raffel’s is located at 10160 Reading Road, south of Glendale-Milford Road on the east side of Reading. Take I-75 to the Glendale-Milford Rd. Exit, go east on Glendale-Milford Road approximately ¾ of a mile to Reading Rd. and turn right on Reading.

RESERVATIONS:  (Please note New Procedure) Please make reservations for each meeting by going to:  Please click on the appropriate link and complete the reservation.  You may now pay on-line. 

Members: $12.00
Non-members: $15.00

Two ways to pay for dinner:
1) [Register and pay the fee now] using PayPal.
2) [Register and pay the fee at the meeting]. Check or cash; correct change appreciated.

Make checks payable to “IEEE Cincinnati Section”.
Those desiring to use their bank’s bill payer service to send a check, rather than paying at the meeting, should contact for details.

Reservations close at noon on Thursday, January 19th, 2012 (Updated).

An email to prior to the close of reservations is required to properly cancel your reservation. Failure to cancel does not eliminate your responsibility to pay for the dinner. Refunds for PayPal payments are more complicated, and we request that you leave the funds on deposit for a future meeting.

WALK-INS: Walk-ins are available for this meeting.

All Reservations must be made by noon, Thursday, January 19th, 2012 (Updated)

 PE CREDITS:  Depending on the subject matter, attendance at IEEE Cincinnati Section Meetings now qualifies the attendee for Professional Development Hours towards renewal of Professional Engineers Licenses. Required documentation will be available following the meeting!  The Section Meetings also provide a great opportunity to network with fellow engineers in the area.


Add comment December 15th, 2011

Scanning the Past: A History of Electrical Engineering from the Past

Submitted by Marc Bell, Editor

Copyright 1997 IEEE. Reprinted with permission from the IEEE publication, “Scanning the Past” which covers a reprint of an article appearing in the Proceedings of the IEEE Vol. 85, No. 8, August 1997.

Harold S. Black and the Negative Feedback Amplifier

Seventy years ago this month, H. S. Black (Fig. 1) of Bell Telephone Laboratories conceived the negative feedback amplifier while aboard the Lackawanna Ferry on his way to work. Thirty years later, M. J. Kelly, president of the Bell Labs, characterized Black’s invention as ranking with the de Forest audion “as one of the two inventions of broadest scope and significance in electronics and communications of the past 50 years.” Kelly credited the negative feed­back amplifier with having made possible the long-distance telecommunications networks that covered the country, as well as transoceanic telephone cables. He noted that by 1957, the application of the negative feedback principle had transcended telecommunications and had stimulated “the entire explosive extension of the area of control, both electrical and mechanical.”

Black was born in Leominister, MA, in 1898 and grad­uated in electrical engineering from the Worcester Poly­technic Institute in 1921. That year, he joined the Systems Engineering Department of the Western Electric Company in New York City, which became part of Bell Laboratories in 1925. He frequently came to the office on Sundays to peruse technical reports on projects covering the past two decades. His initial assignment was to investigate distortion in vacuum-tube amplifiers used as repeaters in telephonic carrier systems. He undertook a laborious analysis of distor­tion and linearity requirements as a function of the number of channels and designed various amplifiers in a quest for circuits suitable for multichannel amplifiers used in tandem over long distances. During the 1920’s, he worked closely with Kelly, who was in charge of vacuum-tube research.

In March 1923, Black attended an inspiring talk by C. P. Steinmetz, which, according to Black, provided a stimulus to his invention of a “feedforward amplifier.” This invention, which he patented in 1928, utilized biconjugate networks to isolate and cancel distortion. The technique proved fairly successful in laboratory tests but required frequent adjustment of the filament current and plate voltage and was too complicated to use commercially. Thus, it was in the context of a research effort extending over a number of years that Black came up with the negative feedback concept in early August 1927. He sketched out a preliminary design, including feedback equations, on a blank page of The New York Times and had it witnessed

and signed when he arrived at work (Fig. 2). By December 1927, he demonstrated a large reduction in distortion in an actual amplifier using negative feedback. Field tests were carried out in the vicinity of Morristown, NJ, during 1930-1931 using a nine-channel system with about 70 repeaters. These experiments proved highly successful and convinced even more skeptical engineers that the negative feedback amplifier was the long-sought solution to the problem of distortion in long-distance telephone networks where numerous repeaters were-needed.

Black’s classic paper entitled “Stabilized Feed-Back Am­plifiers” appeared in Electrical Engineering, a publication of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AJEE), in January 1934. He pointed out in this paper that the use of negative feedback in a high-gain amplifier enabled “extraordinary improvement in Constance of amplification and freedom from nonlinearity.” He reported the Mor­ristown tests and stated that results had been “highly satisfactory and demonstrated conclusively the correctness of the theory and the practicability of its commercial application.” He cited a related contribution made by his colleague H. Nyquist, who had developed a precise criterion for the stability of feedback amplifiers. Black concluded that vacuum-tube amplifiers “normally possessing good characteristics with respect to stability and freedom from distortion are made to possess superlatively good charac­teristics by application of the feed-back principle.” Black’s patent on the negative feedback amplifier featured broad claims and included 42 pages of text, 33 pages of figures, and nine pages of claims. Although he applied for the patent in August 1928, it was not issued until December 1937. It was required reading in at least one graduate course in electronics offered in the late 1950’s.During World War II, Black made important contributions to the theory and applications of pulse-code modulation. His book Modulation Theory was published in 1953. He was elected a fellow of the ATEE in 1941 and was awarded the Lamme Medal by the AIEE in 1957 as recognition for the invention of the negative feedback amplifier and other contributions to telecommunications engineering (Fig. 3). He also was elected a fellow of the Institute of Radio Engineers in 1948. He retired from Bell Labs in 1963 and then worked for about three years as a research scientist with the General Precision Company. In later years, he was an independent communications consultant. He was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1981. He did some preliminary work on an autobiography with the tentative title Before the Ferry Docked but it remained unfinished when he died in December 1983 at age 85.

James E. Brittain

Add comment December 15th, 2011


If you are interested in upgrading your membership to Senior Member, please contact any member of the Executive Committee.


The following individuals are IEEE members who are new to our Section:



Abdulla AL lbdah

Hussein Al Qurain

Abdulaziz Alanazi

Mishary Aldulaljan

Monther Aleisa

Hussain Alfakhr

Lbrahim Alhaik

Fawaz Alhajri

Hani Alharbi

Omar Alhelal

Ali Alkhumairi

Adnan Almuwallad

Mohammed Alnajrani

Abdullah Alshehri


Mubarak Alzahrani

Russell Banner

Edwin Craig

John Curran

Chunsheng Fang

Nathan Jaskowiak

William Manning

Oscar Moreno

Amr Najjar

David Pennington

Michael Sagan

Will Wallace

Rong Wang

Christopher Yazell




We wish to welcome these members to the Cincinnati Section!!!

Add comment December 15th, 2011


IEEE Green Technologies Conference Extends Deadline for Papers on Current & Emerging Renewable Energy Sources & Energy-Reduction Technologies
WASHINGTON (21 November 2011) — IEEE Green Technologies Conference organizers have extended the deadline for technical papers to 1 December.

Papers can be submitted at, and authors will be notified on 4 January 2012 whether their papers are accepted. For more information on the event, see

Accepted papers will be presented during the fourth-annual conference, 19-20 April 2012, at Oral Roberts University and the Hilton Tulsa (Okla.) Southern Hills. They will also be published in a conference proceedings CD and available through the digital library IEEE Xplore.

Contributed papers on topics related to current and emerging renewable energy sources and energy-reduction technologies are solicited in – but not limited to – the following areas:

* Energy generation and storage technologies, including nuclear, wind, solar, water, geothermal,
biomass, energy harvesting and storage
* Energy usage reduction and conservation, including energy management, planning and forecasting, home and commercial automation, innovative HVAC and lighting
* Architectural and engineering sustainable designs, including strategies for sustainability, performance evaluation, use of green building components and system management
* Environmental, legal, social, economic and political impacts, including emerging standards for
renewable and reduced carbon emission energy sources, safety and technologies for developed and underdeveloped countries
* Smart Grid communication and control, including evolution and integration of renewable and reduced emission energy sources
* Environmental protection, including oil spill prevention and control 
* Green IT and sustainable computing, including IT de-manufacturing and legitimate recycling; energy-efficient IT solutions; network concepts and architectures for lowering energy consumption; energy efficient algorithms; sensor networks for climate and disaster monitoring; and power-aware software design and development 
* Biofuels and emerging fuels technology, i.e. generating combustion fuels from renewable sources such as algae, non-food plants and vegetable oils

Because of increasing concerns about fossil fuel costs, supplies and emissions, scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs are more closely examining the commercial viability of renewable energy sources. The 2012 IEEE Green Technologies Conference aims to look at solar, wind, nuclear, geothermal, hydro and biomass technologies, among others, as well as alternative vehicle power sources such as fuel cells, gasoline and liquid natural gas electric hybrids and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

The event is sponsored by IEEE Region 5, the Tulsa Section, Oral Roberts University, IEEE-USA and the Boeing Co.

Questions can be directed to 2012 IEEE Green Technologies Chair Sophie Liu at

If you are interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at the conference, please contact Colonel Mason at 214-329-4949 or

Cornell University Student Chosen IEEE/IEEE-USA’s “New Face of Engineering College Edition”

WASHINGTON (8 December 2011) — Jeremy Blum, an electrical and computer engineering major at Cornell University, is the first IEEE student member to be recognized as the IEEE/IEEE-USA’s “New Face of Engineering College Edition.” IEEE is the world’s largest professional association for the advancement of technology.

Administered by the National Engineers Week Foundation, “College Edition” recognizes third-, fourth- and fifth-year students enrolled in a bachelor of science engineering program at an ABET-accredited college or equivalent international institution with a minimum 3.0 grade-point average. Winners are honored for academic excellence, leadership within student organizations, outstanding communication skills, non-engineering related community service and participation in the engineering industry.

Blum is the founder and director of Cornell University Sustainable Design (CUSD), an interdisciplinary 150-member team that pursues environmentally inspired design-build projects. One project was a schoolhouse in South Africa. Blum also built the control system for a solar-powered house that entered the 2009 U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon. He is leading an effort to build a sustainability research facility at Cornell. He has released hundreds of videos, tutorials and projects on his YouTube channel ( Between that and his blog (, the senior has tens of thousands of online followers.

Blum enjoys sharing his zeal for engineering with children. In November he and other CUSD students taught youngsters at the Brooklyn (N.Y.) Children’s Museum how to re-purpose soda bottles into hanging gardens. Last summer he taught several classes at the Harlem Children’s Zone about sustainable engineering and renewable energy.

“When I’m teaching young kids about engineering, I always start with this: ‘engineers change the world,'” Blum said. “I then go on to explain that electrical engineers are responsible for many of the things they likely take for granted, like iPods, computers, cell phones and more. I also tell them that engineers are problem solvers. When presented with information, an engineer’s job isn’t just to analyze it but to take that data and do something unthinkable and innovative with it.”

Blum thinks his IEEE membership has been greatly beneficial.

“Being a member of IEEE has been critical for expanding my network and meeting other amazing people whom I’ve been able to work with on various projects,” he said. “I’m consistently amazed by all the smart electrical engineering students and teachers at Cornell, and IEEE has been the ideal place to find them. I also think having access to IEEE’s vast network of technical papers has been invaluable in conducting my research.”

The IEEE/IEEE-USA portion of the “College Edition” contest was open to IEEE student members around the world. For more on all the winners, see

IEEE-USA advances the public good and promotes the careers and public policy interests of 210,000 engineering, computing and technology professionals who are U.S. members of IEEE. For information on the benefits of IEEE membership, see


Add comment December 15th, 2011

We’re Now Mobile Ready

Try on your tablet or smartphone and see our new mobile friendly layout. The website automatically detects your device and delivers the appropriate layout. Let me know if you have problems or questions.

Add comment December 7th, 2011


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