IEEE History Center Conferences


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IEEE History Center Conferences

sym-po-si-um [sim-poh-zee-uhm]

–noun, plural -si-ums, -si-a [-zee-uh]

1. A meeting or conference for discussion of a topic, especially one in which the participants form an audience and make presentations.

2. A collection of writings on a particular topic, as in a magazine.

3. A convivial meeting for drinking, music, and intellectual discussion among the ancient Greeks. *

Since 1991 (or 1995...see below) the IEEE History Committee and the IEEE History Center have sponsored an international conference approximately every other year on some aspect of the history of IEEE technologies.  These conferences uniquely bring together engineers and historians to discuss topics of mutual interest.  They are designed to be relatively small and intimate, with full participation by all attendees.  The conferences are often held in the summer on university campuses, which allows an intimate setting and inexpensive housing.  Here are the conferences held so far:

2009, IEEE Conference on the History of Technical Societies, 5-7 August 2009, Drexel University and University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Organized in conjunction with IEEE's 125th anniversary, and featuring, in addition to the technical program, an anniversary banquet at the Downtown Club.  The proceedings were published by IEEE and are available on IEEE Xplore.

2007, IEEE Conference on the History of Electric Power, 3-5 August 2007, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ, USA

With recent concerns about the state of the power grid within the United States and globally, this was a timely topic.  Thirty papers were presented in front of 62 attendees from 10 countries.  The proceedings were published by IEEE and are available on IEEE Xplore.

2004, IEEE Conference on the History of Electronics, 28-30 June 2004, Bletchley Park Trust, Bletchley Park, UK.

The profound role electronics have had in shaping the modern world, from the invention of the Fleming diode to the present, makes this an important topic of historical study. Forty-eight papers were presented in front of 100 attendees from 20 countries.

2001, IEEE Conference on the History of Telecommunications, 25-27 July 2001, Memorial University, St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada.

The extreme role telecommunications has had in shaping the modern world made this an important topic of historical study.Thirty-two papers were presented in front of 50 attendees from

2000, Singapore 2000: Promoting the History of Electrical Engineering, 24-26 January 2000, Singapore.

The meeting brought in engineers from numerous countries to discuss archives, oral histories, Milestones, museums and other historical activities.  This conference was held as a satellite of the IEEE Power Engineering Society's (now called Power & Energy Society) Winter Power Conference, and was held in conjunction with the Maui II meeting, sponsored by the IEEE and IEEJ History Committees.  Seven papers were presented in front of 19 attendees from seven countries (attendees of the Winter Power Conference were also encouraged to sit in).

1999, IEEE Conference on Women & Technology:  Historical, Societal & Professional Perspectives, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.

Uniquely, the History Center was a co-sponsor for ISTAS'99, the 1999 International Symposium on Technology And Society of the IEEE Society for the Social Impact of technology.  The History Center ran the history track, in which 15 papers were presented in front of 120 attendees from 10 countries.  A proceedings of the full conference was published by the Society.

1997, IEEE Conference on the History of Computing, June 1997, Williamsburg, VA, USA.

A book resulted from the conference, From 0 to 1: An Authoritative History of Modern Computing, Oxford University Press, 2002. It provides a masterful and up-to-date introduction to the history and development of modern computing.

1995, IEEE Conference on the History of Engineering, Williamsburg, VA, USA.

The first conference to be designated as a regular affair and organized around the principles that were to guide the series.  Many consider this to be the first IEEE Conference on the History of technology.  12 papers were presented in front of 25 attendees from five countries.

1991, Technological Competitiveness in Electrical and Electronics Industries:  Historical and Contemporary Perspectives, 10 -1 3 October 1991, Rutgers Umiversity, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.

Soon after moving to Rutgers in 1990, the History Center received a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to organize this symposium.  Thirty-two papers, all invited, were presented in fronto fo 50 attendees from nine countries.  Seventeen of the papers were subsequently published by IEEE Press in a volume edited by William Aspray.