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Revision as of 19:17, 14 August 2008

What is IEEE?

Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) roots go back 125 years to the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE) and the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE). A non-profit organization, IEEE is the world's leading professional association for the advancement of technology, with over 375,000 members in more than 160 countries. Comprised of 38 Societies, IEEE’s membership spans every technical facet of electrical, electronic, and computer engineering. 

The IEEE name was originally an acronym for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc., which described its scope. However, over time the organization's scope of interest has expanded into so many related fields, that it is simply referred to by the letters I-E-E-E (pronounced Eye-triple-E). IEEE today is a leading authority on cutting- edge sciences and technologies ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics among others

What is the IEEE Global History Network (GHN):

Electrical, electronic, and computer technologies have dramatically transformed the world during the 19th and 20th centuries. Today they are the cornerstones of humanity’s material existence, and these technologies will continue to be powerful forces shaping life in the 21st century.

The IEEE Global History Network (GHN) strives to be the world’s premier site for the documentation, analysis and explanation of the history of electrical, electronic, and computer technologies, the scientists, engineers and business people who made these technologies happen, and on the history of the organizations to which these men and women belonged.

Put simply, the IEEE Global History Network’s objective is to offer the broadest, most in-depth, and accurate information on the histories of electrical, electronic and computer technologies. To meet this objective, the IEEE GHN uses a wiki-based web platform to foster truly collaborative online environment that taps into the collective memories, experiences, and knowledge of IEEE’s worldwide membership – the men and women who provide the imagination, creativity, and know-how to sustain the progress in electrical, electronic, and computer innovations.
Through this global collaboration, the IEEE GHN fosters the creation of narratives that not only document the history engineering practice but also explain when, how and why these myriad of technologies developed as they did. In time, this site will serve as a central historical repository of all the achievements, ideas, and first-hand knowledge of IEEE members, societies, councils and technical communities. In addition to being a platform for sharing experiences and discussing ideas related to the history of technology, the IEEE GHN will also provide a central location for all materials related to IEEE’s organizational history.
The IEEE GHN invites all professional historians to share their expertise and to collaborate with others on this site in constructing the histories of electrical, electronics, and computer technologies.
Although the contributions to this site are restricted to registered users, the IEEE GHN is also dedicated to making the social, economic, political, and technical aspects of the history of technology accessible to all. The general public is invited to come, explore and learn about the history of the technologies that have shaped, and will continue to shape their lives.

What the IEEE GHN is not

The IEEE GHN is not a “how-does-technology-work” site. The IEEE GHN is not an encyclopedia of the history of technology. Although it does contain Wikipedia-like “topic articles” that cover general subjects within the broader context of technological history, it also contains the full range of materials that relate to the legacy of science and technology, including personal accounts, documents, and multimedia objects. In that sense, it is a combination reference guide, blog, virtual archive, and on-line community.
The historical and technological scope of the IEEE GHN
The registered users of the IEEE GHN, who are IEEE members and historians, will ultimately determine the historical breadths and depth of the site by their writing and editing. The admissible range of technologies for historical presentation within the IEEE GHN is very wide – anything that involves electricity, electronics, and information processing. Examples, to mention just a few, range from microelectronics, giant electric power stations, bio-medical applications, the internet, space travel, ocean engineering, geosciences, video games, to music and movies.

As far as how old event have to be to be considered suitable for the IEEE GHN, historians have developed various guidelines for how far in the past an event must have occurred for the passage of time to allow. The IEEE Milestones program, for example, requires 25 years to have lapsed, and that will be reflected on the Milestone portion of the IEEE GHN. Other archival functions may be similarly restricted. However, because of the preservation function of the IEEE GHN and the fact that it is a repository of data for future historians, general articles and first-person accounts are allowed to cover right up until today.
Nature of the IEEE GHN Content