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CDC 2010 – Atlanta, GA
The Conference and Venue
Following two consecutive years outside the United States, the IEEE Conference on Decision and Control (CDC) will return to the U.S. in 2010. The 49th IEEE CDC will take place December 15-19, 2010, at the Hilton Atlanta, the first time the flagship conference of the Control Systems Society has been held in the State of Georgia.
The city of Atlanta, made famous in the classic civil war film, Gone With the Wind, is the state capital and largest city in Georgia with over half a million inhabitants. The twenty-eight country Atlanta Metropolitan Area has over five million inhabitants, making it the eighth largest metropolitan region in the United States. Atlanta is the fifth most popular convention city in the United States, after Las Vegas, Orlando, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., and the Hilton Atlanta is conveniently located within walking distance of many attractions, such as Centennial Olympic Park, the World of Coca-Cola, the CNN center, the Georgia Dome, Underground Atlanta, and the Georgia Aquarium. Hartsfield-Jackson International airport is only 11 km from downtown and is a major gateway for international flights, easily reached from most major cities in the world.
The 49th IEEE CDC will feature the presentation of contributed and invited papers, as well as tutorial sessions and workshops. In addition to the standard oral presentations, the conference will also feature interactive presentations in order to encourage an interactive exchange with the audience. Topics for the interactive sessions will be selected specifically to benefit from the time for interaction and discussion that are not available in a typical lecture session, and the authors will be encouraged to make creative use of poster boards as well as hands-on computer simulations and demonstrations.
Native American cultures were already present in Georgia at the end of the last Ice Age, over 12,000 years ago. The earliest known inhabitants belonged to the Clovis culture, named for the town in New Mexico where their characteristic projectile points were first discovered. By the time the European settlers arrived in North America, the Indians of Georgia and other areas in the Southeast were organized into chiefdoms and had attained the highest level of political organization in North America after the Aztec and Maya civilizations in present-day Mexico. The Cherokee and Creek Indians formed the most significant Native American groups and played significant roles in colonial history of Georgia.
Georgia was the last of the original thirteen American colonies to be founded – a full 50 years after the founding of the twelfth colony, Pennsylvania. As the youngest and least developed of the thirteen colonies, Georgia played a relatively minor role in the American Revolutionary War but by 1860 Georgia was the most populous southern state in the country, thanks to the development of the railroads, and was known as the “Empire of the South”.
Present-day Atlanta is located on the site of a Native American village called Standing Peachtree. Following the forced removal of the Cherokee Nation in the 1830’s, the Western and Atlantic Railroad was built to provide a trade route to the Midwest. The settlement around the eastern terminus of the rail line was name “Terminus” in 1837. The Chief Engineer of the Georgia Railroad suggested that the name be changed to Atlantica-Pacifica, which was shortened to Atlanta, and the city of Atlanta was incorporated on December 29th, 1847.
During the Civil War, Atlanta was an important railroad hub for the Confederacy. The city was burned to the ground by Union General William Tecumseh Sherman in advance of his infamous “March to the Sea”, which drove the final nail into the coffin of the old South. The rebuilding of Atlanta following the war was slow as Georgia itself was the last of the former Confederate states to be readmitted to the Union in 1870.
Today Atlanta boasts a thriving economy, ranking third behind New York and Houston in the number of Fortune 500 companies headquartered within the city limits. CNN, Coca-Cola, Home Depot, and United Parcel Service are among the largest and best known Atlanta-based companies. The largest employer in Atlanta is Delta Air Lines, which itself recently became the world’s largest airline company. As a result, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the world’s busiest airport and a key element in Atlanta’s economic growth.
Atlanta is also home to more than 30 colleges and universities, among them, the Georgia Institute of Technology, which is consistently ranked among the top ten engineering schools in the U.S., Georgia State University, Emory University, Morehouse College and Spelman College.
Slavery and Civil Rights
The history of Atlanta is intimately connected to the history of slavery and civil rights in the U.S. Ironically, Georgia was the only one of the North American colonies in which slavery was explicitly banned at the outset, along with rum, lawyers, and Catholics. The ban on slavery was lifted in 1751 and the plantation-based economy, based on the production of rice and cotton, rapidly expanded. It was during a visit to a plantation in Georgia in 1793 that Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin, which was responsible, more than anything else, for the perpetuation of the institution of slavery well into the 19th century. Although the American Civil War ended slavery, the economic plight and civil rights of blacks remained poor. In 1908 an amendment to the state constitution established literacy and property requirements for voting, which effectively disenfranchised many blacks and poor whites. This period of disenfranchisement, together with racial segregation of public facilities, was referred to as the Jim Crow era and lasted until the 1960s. Into this environment was born Atlanta’s most famous native sun, Martin Luther King, Jr., whose Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) was one of the first grassroots efforts to challenge and ultimately end racial segregation in the south.
Atlanta has a humid subtropical climate with hot, humid summers and relatively mild winters. December temperatures average around 55 ºF (13 ºC) although occasional warm fronts can bring spring-like temperatures in the 60s (teens) and 70s (20s) and Arctic air masses can result in temperatures in the single digits (-15C). Atlanta’s climate is generally milder than other southern cities at the same latitude due to its relatively higher elevation (1000 feet or 320 meters above sea level). Rainy days number around ten on average in the month of December.
What to do in Atlanta
Downtown Atlanta underwent a major revitalization as a result of the 1996 summer Olympic games and is now a major tourist destination as well as convention city. More than 37 million people visited Atlanta in 2007, according to Forbes Magazine. Near Centennial Olympic Park, a short walk from the Hilton Atlanta is the world’s largest aquarium, the Georgia Aquarium, which opened in 2005. Adjacent to the Georgia Aquarium is the World of Coca Cola, which opened in 2007. Underground Atlanta, a huge underground shopping and entertainment complex, and the CNN Center are also nearby.
Museums and attractions in the city include the Atlanta History Center; the Carter Center; the Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site; the Atlanta Cyclorama and Civil War Museum; historic house museum Rhodes Hall; and the Margaret Mitchell House and Museum. Children's museums include The Fernbank Science Center and Imagine It! Children's Museum of Atlanta.
Atlanta also boasts numerous professional sports teams, including the Atlanta Braves baseball team, Atlanta Falcons football team and Atlanta Hawks basketball team. Classical music and theater are also well represented by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Opera, Atlanta Ballet and the Fox Theater. Notable art galleries include the High Museum of Art, the Center for Puppetry Arts, the Atlanta Institute for the Arts, and the Georgia Museum of Contemporary Art.
Fine restaurants of all kinds abound in Atlanta. Within a short walk or a short taxi ride from the conference hotel are dozens of bars and restaurants of all types and price ranges. The Hilton Atlanta has one of the city’s best in Nikolai’s Roof on the 30th floor. Nikolai’s is the 2nd longest standing fine dining restaurant in Atlanta and has received the coveted AAA 4 Diamond Award for 20 consecutive years. Guests can dine on exquisitely prepared French and Russian dishes by Chef Olivier De Busscher while enjoying panoramic views of the Atlanta skyline. The Hilton also has a Trader Vic’s and several café’s and bar for the convenience of guests.
A good place to find a variety of fast food for lunch during the conference is The Mall at Peachtree Center, which is directly across the street from the Hilton. One can walk across a catwalk that leads directly to the food court.
New Georgia Encyclopedia http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Home.jsp
50 fun things to do in Atlanta http://www.atlanta.net/50fun/
Georgia Aquarium http://www.georgiaaquarium.org/
49th IEEE CDC webpage http://www.ieeecss.org/CAB/conferences/cdc2010/index.php
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Key dates (2010)