News & Events: Press Releases

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PISCATAWAY, N.J., USA, 18 October 2013 IEEE, the world's largest professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for humanity, today unveiled its co-curated lineup of keynote and featured speakers for the 2014 South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference and Festival, scheduled for March 7 – 16, 2014 in Austin, Texas. Following its well-received SXSW 2013 “Open Future Series”, IEEE will once again bring a diverse roster of creative visionaries and technology innovators to the annual interactive, film, and music event. The 2014 IEEE Speaker Series includes global leaders spanning a variety of disciplines including entertainment, technology, healthcare, and music.

“In this era of convergence, we believe it is essential that developers and innovators are afforded a chance to learn more about the relevant and valuable professional, networking and technology development opportunities that IEEE offers,” said Konstantinos Karachalios, managing director, IEEE Standards Association. “It is important that audiences like those at SXSW hear the same inspiring – and often uplifting – stories that we hear from our members, about how technology innovation is enabling them to create a better world. In turn, we hope this inspires others to join our efforts in advancing those technologies that will benefit us all.”

Executive Producer and TV Show Co-Host Adam Savage leads IEEE’s lineup as a Keynote Speaker at SXSW Interactive. As Executive Producer and co-host of Discovery Channel’s “Mythbusters” television series, he has been an instrumental force in science education. Mr. Savage has a unique and diverse background as a special-effects artist, fabricator, model maker, and visionary. He has worked on award-winning feature films such as The Matrix sequels, Star Wars Episodes I and II, Space Cowboys, and A.I. Collectively, his inventive and creative approach to engineering promises to inspire and entertain SXSW audiences. "I'm crazy excited to be coming to SXSW,” said Mr. Savage. “That I'm coming with a partner as committed to innovation and wonder as IEEE is seems a perfect fit. A match made in heaven.”

Returning to SXSW with IEEE is renowned inventor and humanitarian Dean Kamen, Founder of DEKA Research and his non-profit, FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). As one of the most prolific inventors of our time, Mr. Kamen has been compared to Thomas Edison for his contributions to humanity. As a featured 2014 SXSW Interactive speaker, he will highlight his cutting-edge inventions designed to elevate living standards for underserved people around the world. He will also showcase FIRST® and how this incredible program is inspiring young people around the world to become the science and technology leaders of tomorrow.

Also appearing at SXSW Interactive is Dr. Leslie Saxon, professor of clinical science, Keck School of Medicine, and founder, Center for Body Computing, University of Southern California. A foremost expert in the burgeoning field of body computing, Dr. Saxon’s work focuses on accelerating the cross-disciplinary development of innovative products in the mHealth, wearable and embedded device space. Her research spans health and sports monitoring, chronic disease management, gaming, entertainment, and more. As an IEEE Featured Speaker for SXSW 2014 Interactive, Dr. Saxon will discuss her research and the power of a billion heartbeats, painting a picture of a future marked by improved medicine and improved communication in a networked universe of people and things.

Rounding out IEEE’s speaker line-up is Senior IEEE Member, James Williamson. As Vice President of Technology Standards at Sony Electronics, he served as part of the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) Corporate Advisory Group and the IEEE-SA Board of Governors until 2010. That same year, Mr. Williamson rejoined proto-punk rock group, Iggy and the Stooges, as a guitarist, songwriter, and producer. Having achieved critical acclaim with the group’s classic album, “Raw Power,” along with several subsequent albums, Mr. Williamson continues his successful career as a member of the reunited Iggy and the Stooges. The band has performed more than 100 shows worldwide since 2010, including SXSW 2013. In 2010, the original members of Iggy and the Stooges, including Mr. Williamson, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In February 2014, Mr. Williamson will also be inducted into the Engineering Hall of Fame at California Polytechnic University Pomona. A featured speaker at SXSW 2014 Music, he will share reflections on and experiences gained from his work within the growing intersection of music, sound, and technology.

Now in its third year at SXSW, the IEEE Speaker Series actively showcases the IEEE’s focus on emerging technology and development in areas such as robotics, augmented reality, healthcare, Internet of Things (IoT), privacy, and security. Additional information about all IEEE SXSW-related events, including details of two much-anticipated meetups, will be provided in forthcoming announcements found at

"Leveraging the power of the community, as well as the power of community-focused organizations, has helped to make SXSW programming stronger and stronger," said Hugh Forrest, festival director, SXSW Interactive. "We are particularly excited about our ongoing relationship with IEEE, and the quality of speakers that they are helping to bring to the 2014 event in Austin." While IEEE plays an active role as a part of the SXSW Community, the two organizations remain distinct.

“IEEE is dedicated to improving our world through technology innovation and advancement. By working collaboratively across markets and geographic boundaries, our community of technical innovators is able to take nascent concepts and turn them into constructive real-world technologies that have the power to effect positive change in the lives of millions of people,” said Mary Ward-Callan, managing director, Technical Activities, IEEE. “The speakers IEEE has helped bring to SXSW 2014 reflect this mission – these are individuals who dare us to think more creatively, change our perceptions, and find new ways of solving challenges. We’re very pleased to be working in partnership with this unique group of people.”

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About SXSW Conferences & Festivals
The South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conferences & Festivals offer the unique convergence of original music, independent films, and emerging technologies. Fostering creative and professional growth alike, SXSW® is the premier destination for discovery.

Year after year, the event is a launching pad for new creative content. New media presentations, music showcases and film screenings provide buzz-generating exposure for creators and compelling entertainment for audiences. Conference panel discussions present a forum for learning, business activity thrives at the Trade Shows and global networking opportunities abound. Austin serves as the perfect backdrop for SXSW®, where career development flourishes amid the relaxed atmosphere. Intellectual and creative intermingling among industry leaders continues to spark new ideas and carve the path for the future of each ever-evolving field, long after the events' conclusion.

About IEEE
IEEE, a large, global technical professional organization is dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. Through its highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities, IEEE is the trusted voice on a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics. Learn more at the IEEE Web site. external link