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The first ICASSP was held in 1976 with just a few hundred attendees. By the early 1980s more than 1000 engineers and educators were coming to ICASSP, and it had turned into a multi-day event with many parallel sessions. As the ICASSPs became larger, there was no way to see everything happening in the field and little time to interact with other investigators. Some remembered fondly ‘the early days’ when a few workshops with many fewer attendees were held at Arden House, a small conference facility at the Harriman estate in rural New York. Noting the value of this type of meeting, the DSP Technical Committee, the largest in the Society at the time, instigated the first ‘DSP workshop’ in October of 1984. It was held in Chatham Bar, Massachusetts, and established several precedents that continue to this day --- it was ‘small’ in the sense that only 100 or so folks attended, the number of parallel sessions was limited to at most two in order to encourage personal interaction, and it was held in a nice, but out of the way, place so that the attendees would be able to focus on each other and their work. A scan through the accompanying list indicates the range of locations and venues, all adhering to this approach.

The first workshop was adjudged a total success, which led to a second, and then one roughly every two years, through this one, the fifteenth. In 2000, for the first time, the scope of the workshop was extended to explicitly include Signal Processing Education, with the support of the SP Education Technical Committee. The workshops have continued jointly since then. As is typical in IEEE workshops, each one reflected both the character of the organizing committee and the ever evolving nature of field of signal processing. Featured at the first workshop in 1984 were plenary talks on speech recognition and noise cancellation in the cockpits of fighter aircraft. In 1990 the focus was on digital television and wavelets, and so it has gone of the years that the newest applications of signal processing, and the newest theoretical approaches are first aired at the DSP workshop.

The workshop is now ‘co-owned’ by the Signal Processing Techniques and Methods (SPTM) technical committee of the SP Society and the Education Committee, both direct ancestors of the technical committees that started and then evolved the workshop into its current form.

It would be nice to include pictures that attendees of the previous meetings might still have, as well as any thoughts folks might have about which workshops made particular contributions to the direction of signal processing theory and practice. If you have such thoughts or opinions, please send them to John.Treichler@ieee.org, as well as any pictures or other memorabilia you might be willing to share.
Workshop Dates Venue
1st DSP 1984: October 8-10 Chatham Bars Inn, Chatham, Massachusetts
2nd DSP 1986: October 20-22 Chatham Bars Inn, Chatham, Massachusetts
3rd DSP 1988: September 15-19 Stanford Sierra Camp, South Lake Tahoe, California
4th DSP 1990: September 16-19 Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, New York
5th DSP 1992: September 13-16 Starved Rock State Park, Utica, Illinois
6th DSP 1994: October 2-5 Yosemite National Park, California
7th DSP 1996: September 1-4 Loen, Norway
8th DSP 1998: August 9-12 Bryce Canyon, Utah
9th DSP, 1st SPE 2000: October 15-18 Hunt, Texas
10th DSP, 2nd SPE 2002: October 13-16 Pine Mountain, Georgia
11th DSP, 3rd SPE 2004: August 1-4 Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico
12th DSP, 4th SPE 2006: September 24-27 Teton National Park, Wyoming
13th DSP, 5th SPE 2009: January 4-7 Marco Island, Florida
14th DSP, 6th SPE 2011: January 4-7 Enchantment Resort, Sedona, Arizona
15th DSP, 7th SPE 2013: August 11-14 Napa, California