Brief History of SIGs

Historically, SIGs were self-organized using sign-on sheets posted on conference hallways at the first INNS meeting in Boston and in consequent INNS and IJCNN meetings. SIG-related evening gatherings, end of the day's talks with informal contributions, short set pieces, and dinners have been colorful activities at most conferences. From the early days through the late 90's they were very active at every IJCNN, across a broad range of NN subjects.

The first SIGs were initiated and motivated by Harold Szu who was the first secretary & treasurer of INNS. At a later stage also Dan Levine has been responsible for SIG activities. Earlier in 2005, Robert Kozma has been named to overview SIG activities.

There has never been a formal by-law for SIGs. However, SIGs were formally recognized by all INNS meetings and minutes. SIGs even endorsed INNS Governors representing them (e.g. Biomedical SIG, Nonlinear and chaos dynamics, etc).

SIGs appeared in organizing sessions and publishing newsletters. Some geographical SIGs have been formed, as JNNS, CNNS, KNNS, Singapore, New Zealand, Italy, etc. The current tri-society newsletter, in certain sense, is an outgrowth of these geographical SIGs.

In recent years, SIG activities have contracted, partly due to the downward erosion of membership, compounded by a lacking of formal replenishment of resources. Detailed overview of present activities, both topical and geographical, is given in the next section.