History of IEEE 1963-1984
Establishing the Merged Organization
With the merger of AIEE and IRE to form IEEE complete, the organization spent much of the next few years working its various implications. The combined staff moved into the larger AIEE facility in the United Engineering Center. On the local level, sections merged, and on the technical levels IRE professional groups gradually incorporated the corresponding AIEE technical committees, under the aegis of the IEEE Technical Activities Board, which was created as part of the merger.
Social and Professional Concerns
But as the 1960s ended, so did the post-war boom in electronics. For the first time since the 1930s, significant numbers of Institute members faced un- and under-employment. In the tenor of the times, many people, including some IEEE members, began publicly questioning whether technology was always a force for the good. These issues led to a movement among IEEE’s U. S. members for the Institute to expand its scope beyond the technical and educational activities specified in its constitution to professional ones. The growing number of members outside the U. S. failed to see the need, in part because they typically also had national societies to deal with these issues. After considerable debate, some of it conducted in the pages of IEEE Spectrum, the IEEE first established a U. S. Activities Board in 1971 to address the professional needs of its U.S. members. In 1972, IEEE membership overwhelmingly approved amending the constitution to extend IEEE’s charter to “advancement of the standing of the members of the professions it serves.” The USAB, funded by U. S. members only, established its headquarters in Washington to be well positioned to work with the United States government to address these professional issues. In more recent years, it has become IEEE-USA.
Even through the social turmoil of the 1970s, IEEE’s fields continued to grow and expand into every corner of civilization. Transistors led to integrated circuits which in turn became increasingly complex and specialized. The mainframe computers that were standard business tools in the 1960s began to give way to ever smaller and more powerful personal computers. Copper and microwave communications circuits yielded to fiber optics. Medical applications of electrotechnologies expanded with innovations such as laser surgery and CAT scans. And IEEE kept pace; its societies published more journals with more papers and held more specialized conferences. Increasingly, it was becoming a transnational organization, rather than a U.S. organization with international members. IEEE restarted a student publication, IEEE Potentials, in 1982 to meet the needs of its younger members. By the time IEEE celebrated its centennial in 1984, membership had grown to 250,000, of whom 50,000 were outside the United States.
IEEE Chronology 1963-1984
Note: Much additional information on IEEE from the 1963 merger into the mid-1970s can be found in the two books that IEEE published in 1984 in celebration of its centennial (or more properly the centennial of its older predecessor institute, the American Institute of Electrical Engineers.) Both of these books are available on the GHN:
- A. Michael McMahon, The Making of a Profession: A Century of Electrical Engineering in America.
Also available on the GHN is a list of IEEE Presidents (with links to further information on these presidents).
- On January 1, the IEEE (the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) officially came into existence, as the merger between the American Institute of Electronic Engineers and the Institute of Radio Engineers became official. Ernst Weber served as IEEE’s first president.
- The first IEEE International Convention, successor to the IRE International Convention, was held in New York in March with four days of technical papers, a major trade exhibition and an awards ceremony.
- In April, The IEEE Board of Directors approved a standards policy stating that "Standards recommendations may be prepared by individual Professional Technical Groups, Technical Committees, or Technical Committees-Standards provided advance approval for each specific proposal is obtained from the Standards Committee to assure coordination.
- The IEEE created a new general magazine, Spectrum to go to all Institute members. In October, Editor J.D. Ryder presented a dummy of Spectrum to the Board of Directors and Executive Committee. Predecessor society AIEE had had a general member magazine, Electrical Engineering, but predecessor society IRE had not.
- President: Clarence H. Linder
- In January, the first issue of IEEE’s flagship publication, Spectrum, was published and mailed to all Institute members.
- 1964 IEEE International Convention drew an attendance of 66021 engineers and scientists to New York beginning March 26th. The conference encompassed the full scope of IEEE technical activities and featured a 20 percent increase in technical papers and exhibitors.
- In April the Board of Directors created a Committee on New Technologies "to study the question of emerging fields related to IEEE and what IEEE must do to stimulate their development."
- President: Bernard Oliver
- In February, the Institute completed the sale of its three buildings that had served as the headquarters of the IRE at the corner of 79th street and 5th avenue in New York City, following its move to the United Engineering Center on 47th street. The main IRE building, the Brokaw Mansion, was soon demolished and replaced with a residential tower.
- The IEEE International Convention and exhibition in New York attracted 58, 688.
- President: William Shepherd
- IEEE invited Soviet engineers to the November 1966 NEREN conference to foster "scientific exchange to the benefit of both the United States and the Institute.” However, U. S. State and Defense Department officials were concerned that the Soviets visitors would have access to classified information at panels and demanded that the Institute sharply restrict their freedom of movement and access to information. In response, the IEEE Executive Committee wrote: "as a society, [we] cannot restrict the activities of visitors because of their country of origin. Any such restrictions would be contrary to IEEE policy."
- In August, The Board of Directors approved a plan to investigate the secondary information needs of its members and secondary information services covering the field of electrical and electronic engineering including abstracting and indexing, selective searches, information and retrieval.
- Attendance topped 60,000 at the annual IEEE International Convention and Exhibition in New York.
- President: Walter MacAdam
- IEEE became joint publishers, with Britain's IEE, of Electrical Engineering Abstracts.
- IEEE established the Educational Activities Board.
- The IEEE began publishingIEEE Electrolatina, a Spanish-language quarterly publication for the Latin American region.
- To make it easier for persons in less populated areas, IEEE simplified its new membership process, reducing the number of references required.
- President: Seymour Herwald
- First Student Convocation held at the IEEE International Convention in New York.
- President: Karl Willenbrock
- The Institute produced the film "Engineering Challenges of the Future" as part of its pre-college guidance strategy, alongside the brochure "Your Challenge in Electrical Engineering." The Institute fulfilled 300 requests for the brochure every month.
- As the Institute continued its expansion beyond North America to Europe and the Middle East, it began a policy of accepting dues payment in foreign currencies paid into blocked accounts in some overseas locations.
- In March, IEEE established the Regional Activities Board to help coordinate cooperation between local IEEE groups and effectively allocate Institute resources. Previously, the Regional Directors, who were and continued to be members of the IEEE Board, met informally before board meetings to discuss matters of mutual concern.
- Over 60,000 people from more than 40 countries attended 1969 IEEE International Convention and Exhibition in New York City.
- IEEE published The first edition of the IEEE Standard Dictionary of Electrical and Electronics Terms.
- IEEE’s various technical groups were clustered into six divisions. Beginning in 1971, each of these divisions had one elected representative on the IEEE Board of Directors. These directors replaced a group of directors who had been elected at large.
- The boundaries of Regions 8 and 10 were adjusted so that Region 8 included all of the countries of North Africa and the Middle East.
- In August, IEEE formed an Ad Hoc Committee on Electrography. The Committee was concerned with the appropriate role for IEEE in support of technologies that combined electronics and the generation of hard copy. Because this was a rapidly growing and increasingly important field to IEEE members, the Ad Hoc Committee explored better ways in which members could be provided with up to date information, through publications, conferences, and meetings. The committee’s specific charge from the IEEE board was the "discovery, investigation, and encouragement of new electronic production methods, appropriate to the composition, printing and distribution of the IEEE technical journals and other publications."
- President: John V. N. Granger
- In his March report to the Board of Directors, IEEE President J. V. N. Granger noted, "We need not be embarrassed by our national character, but we must distinguish carefully between our role as a trans-national society and those situations in which our role is dictated by specific national character." Thus, the Institute had begun to conceive of itself as a trans-national organization, though with strong roots in its American founder organizations.
- The Institute began a partial move to a new headquarters in Piscataway, NJ due to the "high rental costs" in New York. The Institute had also acquired for $250,000 earlier in the year property opposite the AT&T facility in Piscataway to be used for the construction of a 50,000 square foot building.
- President: James Mulligan
- Several amendments to the IEEE constitution were passed by voting members of the IEEE, These dealt with various areas within governance of IEEE. Also, one amendment changed “nonnational” to “transnational” in all IEEE writings.
- The RAB (Regional Activities Board) Committee to Re-Evaluate IEEE Priorities issued a report calling on the Institute to "develop leadership at all levels to improve the image of the Institute," decentralize management and "expand tradesmanship activities to intensify the leader/follower syndrome."
- In March, the Institute adopted a draft policy on professional development focusing on improving working conditions, salary and benefits for all engineering professionals in all countries represented in IEEE.
- The Institute organized the IEEE Press to "conduct a self supporting, book publishing program." The first two books published by the press were on Applications of High Power Semiconductors and Digital Filtering.
- In November, IEEE formed committees on Professional Opportunities for Women and on Professional Opportunities for Minorities to expand the role of underrepresented groups in engineering.
- President: Robert Tanner
- The Institute began marketing microfilms of the back file of all IEEE Transactions, Journals and Proceedings.
- TheIEEE United States Activities Committee was formed to represent the professional interests of IEEE members in the United States. Among its first activities was to create a committee on pensions.
- In January, the board approved 4 new IEEE Societies, the Industry Applications Society, the Communications Society, the Magnetics Society, and the Systems, Man and Cybernetics Society. All had formerly been groups. Over a period of at least a decade, the technical groups transitioned into societies, as they met the IEEE criteria for societies.
- Executive Director Donald Fink recommended expanding the construction plans and consolidating staff operations in Piscataway, NJ. The expansion and staff moves happened gradually over the next six years.
- The IEEE membership approved a new constitution.
- IEEE presented the Haradan Platt Award for “outstanding service to the Institute to Dr. Alfred Goldsmith, co-founder of predecessor IRE, long time editor of the Proceedings of the IRE, and a member of the IRE board for its entire existence.
- President: Harold Chestnut
- The IEEE United States Activities Committee became the IEEE United States Activities Board, a standing board under the IEEE Board of Directors.
- The Institute established the IEEE Foundation to "advance the theory and practice of electrical engineering, electronics, radio, the allied branches of engineering and the related arts and sciences." It also handled gifts and donations and devote its funds exclusively to further the scientific and educational purposes of IEEE. The foundation’s charge included administering future gifts or bequests to establish new awards.
- The Board of Directors approved the move of much of IEEE’s operations to Piscataway, NJ, with a budget of $2.2 million.
- In January, the IEEE Congressional Fellow Program was established to send engineers to Washington for a year to be associated with the staff of a senator, congressman, or congressional committee as a resource person. Ronal Larson was been selected as the IEEE’s first Congressional Fellow later in the year.
- In March, The IEEE Executive Committee formed an ad hoc Committee on the Social Implications of Technology. The committee was intended as a forum for IEEE members concerned with the effects of technology on society as well as for non-technical experts from fields such as law, economics and the social sciences.
- The Board of Directors named two new societies, the Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society and the Engineering Management Society.
- The Educational Activities Board created a Minority Committee to "assure that IEEE on an institute-wide basis meets or exceeds the letter and spirit of the Equal Employment Opportunity Laws and Executive Orders and of national purposes relating to the education and upward mobility of minorities in electrical and electronic engineering-related occupations."
- President: John Guarrera
- The IEEE International Convention and Exposition and the Northeast Electronic Research and Engineering Meeting merged to form a major new Eastern Seaboard conference. This marked the end of IEEE sponsoring an overall international convention.
- In December, after much debate, IEEE adopted a code of ethics for engineers.
- A proposed amendment to the IEEE Constitution creating an elected paid president was rejected. 43,000 ballots were submitted, and 70 percent rejected the proposal.
- Donald Fink retired as IEEE Executive Director and General Manager. He had been General Manager since the creation of IEEE in 1963. He was succeeded by retired U.S. General Herbert A (Judd) Schulke, who served in the position until 1976.
- President: Arthur Stern
- The IEEE issued a statement opposing California’s moratorium on building nuclear power plants.
- As it continued to grow, Spectrum was established as a separate department within IEEE publications to "provide a better way of managing [it] from a business point of view and… tie together all aspects of that operation."
- The Institute established a policy on age discrimination. Noting that, with rapid technological change, industry often favored younger professionals, the Institute called on "industry, government and educational institutions to examine their practices to ensure the profession that such age biases do not exist in their endeavors."
- President: Joseph Dillard
- Following the transfer of much of IEEE’s support services staff (primarily office administration, data processing, and marketing functions), to Piscataway NJ, the New York headquarters offices were refurbished.
- IEEE established the Alexander Graham Bell Medal for outstanding contributions to the advancement of telecommunications to commemorate the centennial of the invention of the telephone. Amos Joel, William Keister, and Raymond Ketchledge won the first Alexander Graham Bell Medal. IEEE also discontinued the Marvin J. Kelly Award, established by Bell labs in 1959 to recognize outstanding contributions in the field of telecommunications. It had been awarded 16 times.
- Richard Emberson succeeded Judd Schulke as General Manager and Executive Director of IEEE. Emberson began his tenure in this position on an acting basis.
- Robert Saunders was elected 1977 IEEE president in the first contested election in IEEE history over two petition candidates, one of whom was self-proclaimed voice of the working engineer Irwin Feerst. This was the first of many unsuccessful campaigns by Feerst for the IEEE presidency.
- IEEE President Robert Saunders visited the People’s Republic of China as part of the first major technical exchange between the two countries.
- In July, The IEEE took a public position regarding the United States government's withdrawal from communications satellite research and development in 1973, "leaving a void which private industry has not been able to fill." The Institute noted that government support for satellite R&D was desperately needed to prevent other countries from overtaking the US's position of leadership in satellite communications.
- Together with the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the IEEE designated the Vulcan Street Plant in Appleton, Wisconsin USA a National Historic Civil, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Landmark.
- Together with the California unit of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the IEEE designated the Mill Creek #1 Hydroelectric Plant in Redland, CA as a California Historic Civil and Electrical Engineering Landmark.
- Responding to new intellectual property legislation in the United States, the Institute adopted new copyright policies that specified that all Institute copyrights were owned by the IEEE rather than individual units or individuals and requiring authors and their employers to transfer rights to the IEEE prior to publication in an Institute publication.
- A controversy broke out among IEEE members on IEEE Board of Directors Policy Statement 7.3 which called for engineers in the U. S. to be required to register with individual U.S. states. IEEE members who opposed the statement expressed concerns that included not wanting to be subjected to increases in fees and legislation that might, for example, require engineers to continually prove their competency or limit registrants to graduates of accredited programs only. As a result, of the controversy, the IEEE Board of Directors voted unanimously to suspend implementation the registration policy until the policy itself was reviewed by a special committee. Eventually, the proposal was simply dropped.
- Representatives of the IEEE Technical Activities Board, the IEEE United States Activities Board and federal government met at the Conference on U.S. Technological Policy issues. The conference's purpose was to learn how to interact with the U.S. government on influencing national policy and to determine IEEE policy lines on major public issues.
- Board-nominated candidate Ivan Getting defeated petition candidate Irwin Feerst to become 1978 IEEE President.
- Engineers who had been fired for publicizing their belief that "technical hazards" rendered San Francisco's newly built mass transit system (the BART train) unsafe sought help from IEEE. The scandal prompted the IEEE to revise its ethics code so that it could assist the terminated BART engineers while also maintaining a non-adversarial position. The IEEE CSIT committee honored the BART engineers who were fired for blowing the whistle on the BART system's safety hazards. The CSIT award recognized engineers who act to protect the public interest. The BART engineers' actions were an important factor in the debate that led to the establishment of IEEE Member Conduct Committee. In a separate case, IEEE took an official position in support of a member who was fired after submitting a report stating that there were serious problems with two computer buildings which could result in a person's/people's death.
- The Institute authorized the creation of a professionally staffed history center at IEEE for the purposes of identifying, preserving and disseminating historical information regarding the IEEE and its technologies. The center was to provide staff support for the work of the IEEE History Committee. In 1980, the Center for the History of Electrical Engineering was established in the New York offices of the IEEE. Dr. Robert Friedel was hired as the first director of what was originally called the IEEE Center for the History of Electrical Engineering, but later became known as the IEEE History Center.
- The Board of Directors passed a "Resolution on Minorities and Women in Engineering," pledging Institute support for the National Academy of Engineering in its efforts to dramatically increase the number of Black American, Chicano, Puerto Rican and American Indian students enrolled in the freshman class of U.S. Engineering schools by 1982 and in all classes by 1987as well as for the increase in the number of women in engineering.
- IEEE abandoned its controversial policy of urging the mandatory state registration of U.S. engineers with the hope of healing the two year rift in its membership. Instead, IEEE adopted a new policy affirming IEEE's commitment as a transnational organization to upholding ethical standards in the engineering profession, protecting the health, welfare, and safety of the public, and noting the need for legislation concerning licensure and registration of engineers in order to assure IEEE meets these obligations.
- Board nominee Jerome Suran defeated petition candidate Irwin Feerst in the election for 1979 IEEE president. Feerst garnered 40.6% of the votes.
- Early in the year, Dr. Leo Young filed a petition to run for the IEEE president. This made the election a three-way race against Burkhard Schneider, the Board-nominated candidate and perennial petition candidate Irwin Feerst. Young ran on the belief that elitism had displaced "democracy" within the organization, which he believed could be remedied by the IEEE's commitment to run according to Robert's Rules of Order like all other societies, barring present and former presidents from occupying seats on the N&A (nominations and appointments) Committee, and the election of a president, like himself, who was equally concerned with supporting members' technical and professional interests. It turned into a two way race in August when petition candidate Irwin Feerst withdrew for health reasons. Young defeated Board of Directors' Schneider in the fall election, garnering 55% of the votes, and thereby became 1980 IEEE President.
- Acting as an official representative of the IEEE, IEEE President Jerome Suran testified before members of Congress in favor of additional funding for nuclear power research. Suran said that nuclear fuel was required to meet the goal of lessening U.S. use of imported foreign oil. Also, The IEEE's Board declared its support for nuclear electric power, the use of uranium and coal, and atomic fusion research. The Board emphasized the need to prioritize public safety and environmental protections wherever nuclear energy is utilized.
- The IEEE joined the American Association of Engineering Societies.
- Eric Herz became Executive Director and General Manager of IEEE, succeeding Richard Emberson, who retired.
- IEEE suspended the yearly official exchange between the IEEE and the Soviet Union's Popov Society due to current world conditions. Board members who supported suspension buttressed their view by citing the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. IEEE President Leo Young noted that President Carter's Science Adviser Frank Press discouraged technological meetings with Soviet delegates. Opponents to suspending the IEEE-Soviet exchange stated that IEEE was a transnational organization that should not permit political issues to impact technical professional exchanges and that calling off a meeting with the Soviets was an overreaction. There was an additional underlying reason, a perception that while Popov Society representatives coming to the United States had full access to American technical information and facilities, IEEE representatives visiting the Soviet Union had very limited access at best.
- The U.S. State Department prohibited Soviet engineers and scientists from attending the IEEE Conference on Laser and Electro-optical Systems because of U.S. President Jimmy Carter’s policy of 'tightening' technological exchanges with the Soviet Union. Carter's policy was a response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
- the Center for the History of Electrical Engineering was established in the New York offices of the IEEE. IEEE had authorized this two years earlier. . Dr. Robert Friedel was hired as the first director of what was originally called the IEEE Center for the History of Electrical Engineering, but later became known as the IEEE History Center.
- The IEEE Computer Society governing board passed a resolution recommending that the name of the Institute be changed to the Institute of Electrical and Computer Engineers, but most of the rest of IEEE reacted negatively, and no change was made to the Institute’s name.
- IEEE membership voted in 1980 to amend IEEE’s constitution to create the office of president-elect, who would serve a year on the Board of Directors before becoming president. The amendment needed a two-thirds vote to pass. However, whether the amendment passed or not depended on how to count those ballots that were submitted, but left blank. After weeks of controversy, the IEEE Board of Directors ruled that blank ballots do NOT count. Therefore, the amendment received the two-thirds vote necessary for adoption. This new structure took effect with the election cycle of 1982.
- Richard Damon was elected 1981 president. He ran unopposed.
- IEEE began publishing IEEE Potentials, a new magazine for IEEE student members.
- Sub-Saharan Africa, which had been part of Region 10, became part of Region 8, giving the 10 IEEE regions the boundaries that they have held ever since.
- IEEE received a $250,000 grant from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to develop procedures for assessing reliability and risks at nuclear plants. As a result IEEE embarked on a program of accrediting test laboratories that qualified safety related-electrical equipment for use in nuclear power stations. However this proved controversial as the Atomic Industrial Forum drafted a report opposing IEEE accreditation of labs producing safety equipment for nuclear power plants, and some IEEE members argued that this was not an appropriate activity for IEEE, since nuclear power was itself a controversial activity, and IEEE should remain focused on the technical and avoid any appearance of advocacy.
- As a result of a constitutional ammendment passed in late 1980, in the fall of 1981 IEEE membership elected two presidents: One Robert Larson, to serve as 1982 president, and one James Owens to serve as 1982 president-elect and 1983 president. This insured that a president would have a year in office and on the board of directors before becoming the head of the Institute.
- For the first time, IEEE Board of Directors nominated two candidates for the office of President (or with the recent change, president-elect,) Richard Gowen and Donald King. With one exception, since this time the Board has always nominated at least two candidates, assuring a contested election. Gowen won the election and served as 1983 president elect and 1984 president.
- The continuing education program of the IEEE took its first step into the satellite age on Jan. 12, with the live broadcast across the U.S. of a short course entitled Introduction to Project Management.
- A position paper on exposure to microwaves, prepared by the Committee on Man and Radiation was adopted by the IEEE Executive Committee at its January meeting. The paper called for more research into the effects of microwaves on the body but stated that the IEEE believed safety guidelines proposed by the American National Standards Institute were adequate.
- A proposal to establish an IEEE Political Action Committee, originating from the U.S. Activities Board, was considered by the Board of Directors at its February meeting and referred to the IEEE Boards for comment prior to a decision. In the United States, Political Action Committees are organizations that raise money to contribute to candidates for political office.
- The IEEE Board of Directors decided to halt all activity involved with preparations to accredit the laboratories that test and certify safety equipment used in nuclear power plants.
- Dues increased by $3 to offset inflation and build reserves.
- Acknowledging the rapid growth of the 60,000 member Computer Society during the prior several years, the IEEE’s Board of Directors created a second Board division director position to be filled by a Computer Society member. This increased the number of divisions from seven to eight.
- For the second time, IEEE used a communications satellite for a broadcast. Using a communication satellite, the IEEE informed members across the United States of developments in an upcoming technology, this time robotics. One congressman and approximately 50 congressional staffers were among 2,500 participants.
- After several years of discussion, and a members’ petition drive to achieve equality in Board representation for technical and geographic representation. The IEEE Board of Directors voted to alter its own composition to provide an equal number of technical and regional seats. The Board voted to establish two new divisions (which are groupings of one or my societies for representation on the board), bringing the number of such technical divisions to 10. The Technical Activities Board then approved a proposed division structure that rearranged and grouped the societies into more technically compatible divisions. Ever since, the Board of Directors has had 10 District Directors, representing the 10 geographic regions, and 10 Division Directors. The new positions became effective in 1984.
- On the recommendation of its Long Range Planning Committee, the IEEE Board established an Ad Hoc Committee on Industrial Relations to develop Institute relations with industry on a more programmatic basis, so that industry would better understand the value of IEEE to industries and their employees.
- The IEEE History Committee initiated a program for the designation of “IEEE Milestones in Electrical Engineering” to recognize and encourage the preservation of sites of historic importance. By the end of 2009, IEEE had recognized 98 milestones around the world.
- IEEE established the IEEE Conference Board to serve as a point of consolidation for IEEE conference activities, and to facilitate the organization of IEEE’s 200+ annual conferences.
- Donald King defeated Hans Cherney and Jerry Haddad for the office of 1984 president-elect/1985 president.
- IEEE celebrated its centennial (or more strictly the centennial of its predecessor society the American Institute of Electrical Engineers) with a yearlong series of events, including a Centennial Convocation held in Boston 13-15 May to mark the actual founding of the Institute. This convocation included the first IEEE transnational sections conference which brought together IEEE members from the majority of IEEE’s 250 sections around the world. At another event during the convocation, IEEE presented IEEE Centennial Medals to 1984 outstanding IEEE members.
- IEEE held a Centennial Members’ Forum for Planning IEEE’s future in Toronto, Canada on August 12 and an IEEE-Franklin Institute Centennial Technical Convocation in Philadelphia in October. This last celebrated the actual 100th anniversary of the AIEE’s first technical meeting, which had been held in Philadelphia. Through satellite and telephone an estimated 5,000 IEEE members participated from 140 other sites. The final major centennial event, held in San Jose, California on 30 November, featured presentations of Centennial Keys to the Future by all 33 IEEE Societies to young engineers representing the Societies’ technologies.
- IEEE President Elect Donald D. King died in office on March 13, creating a vacancy in that office and in the office of 1985 President. The IEEE Assembly (consisting of those members of the IEEE Board who were directly elected by IEEE Members) selected former IEEE Executive Vice President Charles “Bud” Eldon to take King’s place as 1984 President-Elect and 1985 President. The IEEE Membership ratified the selection in the fall.
- In August, IEEE approved its first two Milestones in Electrical Engineering (now Milestones in Electrical Engineering and Computing), both in St. John’s Newfoundland, Canada— Heart’s Content where the first successful transatlantic cable was laid in 1866, and Signal Hill, where Guglielmo Marconi received the first transatlantic radio signal in 1901. In November, IEEE approved a third Milestone, the Westinghouse Atom Smasher.
- The number of members in China increased from 1 in 1979 to 35 in 1984. There was a parallel increase in the number of subscriptions to IEEE from China. A conference on Computers and Applications in the People’s Republic of China, co-sponsored by IEEE Computer Society and the Chinese Institute of Electronics was held in Beijing. It was IEEE’s first major conference in the country. It attracted over 250 specialists in computer science and engineering from 18 different countries.
- One hundred and ten colleges and universities received live satellite broadcasts of continuing-education courses provided by IEEE through an agreement with the National University Teleconference Network.
- In an effort to impose quality control, the IEEE Computer Society and the Association of Computing Machinery formed the Computing Sciences Accreditation Board to evaluate and accredit computer science programs in U.S. colleges and universities.
- Bruno Weinschel defeated Jose Cruz in the election for 1985 president elect/1986 president. Both candidates were board-nominated.
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