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
Nature of the IEEE GHN Content
The IEEE GHN page
This is where the current version of the content appears. Any changes made under the edit tab are reflected here. This is what non-editing visitors to the GHN see.
This is where the content of the article is displayed in an editable text box. For more information on editing pages see the help pages “Entering an Article” and “Editing an Article”
This is where you can comment on and make suggestions for articles.
Attachment tabs for pdf, additional images, and other media types that will not be displayed in the page, but act as an additional resource for readers.
What is a first-hand account?
A first-hand account is written in the first person, using the pronouns “I” and “we.”
When writing a first-hand account one must be careful not to write a history or something that would better suited as a “topic article.” If you think more background/historical information is necessary, link to the relevant “topic article” to explain things that fall outside of your personal memory to the reader.
Why are first-hand accounts important to understanding history of technology
Who can make changes to a first-hand account
Only you can make changes to your own first-hand account. When you enter an item as first-hand account, GHN knows to block editing for all user accounts except yours.
Likewise, you cannot edit another user’s first-hand account. If you have a problem with or question about part of someone else’s first-hand account, let them know in the “comments” tab.
Articles on specific topics
Difference between First-hand account and Article
A “topic article” is a third person description of a person, place, thing, or idea. A first-hand account is the recollection of an event, as seen through one person’s eyes. Articles need research and citations, first-hand accounts do not. Articles should be written with a neutral point of view.
What is an IEEE Milestone
An IEEE milestone is a “significant achievement that occurred at least twenty-five years ago in an area of technology represented in IEEE and having at least regional impact.”
This is where the list of all the officially approved IEEE milestones goes. If there is an article about a particular milestone, it will be internally linked in the list. Once the article for an approved milestone is set; it cannot be edited.
The nomination processes for milestones is going digital! New milestone submissions should be made as pages in the GHN. When a milestone submission is made, it will appear as a “nominated milestone” until it gets approved by IEEE. You can edit your nominated milestones up until it is approved by IEEE. You can use the IEEE GHN to get feedback on your milestone article and improve it. The better and more complete that a milestone submission is, the better its chance of being approved.
Difference between an oral history and a first-hand account
An oral history [link to page describing oral histories] is an interview with someone with historical knowledge conducted by someone with historical training, in order to convert memory into a formalized historical document. In the case of the IEEE Oral History program, the oral history is an official interview with a significant figure in engineering or science conducted by specially trained IEEE staff and volunteers. Its contents are set by what was discussed at that interview. A first-hand account is one person’s or a group of people’s memories about something that he, she, or they experienced, without recourse to an interlocutor. First-hand accounts can be updated, but only by its author or authors, but an oral history is fixed by agreement of the interviewer and interviewee (although the same person can be the subject of multiple oral history interviews).
Archival Texts, images, audio, and video
Published material cannot be edited. A published materials page contains a short description of the material and a link to a pdf document containing the article.