Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

views updated

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE) is the world's largest technical professional association with more than 350,000 members in 150 countries. It is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to advancing the theory and application of electrical and electronics engineering and computer science. Through its members, the IEEE is a leading authority on areas ranging from aerospace, computers, and telecommunications to biomedicine, electric power, and consumer electronics.

The IEEE has served electrical and electronics engineers and scientists since 1884, when a group of inventors and entrepreneurs including Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell founded the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE). In 1912 radio technology practitioners formed a separate international society, the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE). In 1963 the AIEE and IRE merged to form the IEEE.

Today, the IEEE produces nearly 30 percent of the world's literature in the electrical, electronics, and computer engineering fields, and sponsors or cosponsors more than 300 technical conferences each year. It also has produced 900 active industry standards, more than one third of which influence the information technology and computer industries.

The IEEE consists of 300 local sections and 1,200 student chapters as well as 40 societies and councils that cover a wide range of technical interest areas. The largest of the institute's societies is the IEEE Computer Society.

The IEEE Computer Society

Tracing its origins back to 1946, the Computer Society is the leading provider of technical information and services to the world's computing professionals. The society's mission is to advance computer and information processing science and technology; promote professional interaction; and keep members up-to-date on the latest developments.

The growth of the IEEE Computer Society mirrors the growth of the computing profession. Society membership has expanded from less than 10,000 in the 1950s to more than 100,000 in 2002. About 60 percent of these members work in industry, with the rest in government and academia. They include computer scientists, computer engineers, electrical engineers, information scientists, software engineers, information technology managers, and practitioners in emerging classifications. Students comprise about 10 percent of the membership. With 41 percent of its constituents living outside of the United States, the society is truly a global organization.

To serve the profession, the Computer Society supports a variety of activities. It publishes a wide array of magazines and archival transactions and delivers more than 15,000 editorial pages in 20 titles every year. The society also is a leading publisher of conference proceedings, which contain peer-reviewed papers containing the latest technical information. These proceedings stem from the many technical workshops, symposia, and conferences the society sponsors or cosponsors each year. Additionally, more than 30 technical committees in specialty areas organize meetings, produce newsletters, and provide networking opportunities for Computer Society members.

Society Functions

The society is a leader in developing standards for the computing industry, supporting more than 200 standards development groups in twelve major technical areas. Among these standards are wireless networking, web page engineering, and software engineering. IEEE standards are widely adopted by industry to assure consistent operability and functionality. One example is the IEEE 1012 Software Verification and Validation standard, which, among other uses, helps to ensure airplane and nuclear power plant safety and provide consistent performance of cell phones, beepers, and video games.

In addition to these activities, the society develops curriculum recommendations for programs in computer science and engineering and related disciplines. The society has supported the major computer science accreditation board in the United States and has participated in international accreditation efforts.

Undergraduate and graduate students play an important role in the Computer Society's conferences, technical activities, and student chapter activities. Students receive significantly discounted rates for publications and conference fees, and several conferences offer student travel grants or opportunities to attend for free by volunteering to work at the conferences. Many conferences encourage student paper submissions and award a "best student paper" certificate.

Students create and support chapters of their own at academic institutions worldwide. The society currently has more than 150 student chapters. Student chapters sponsor a newsletter written by and for students which is distributed three to four times yearly with the society's flagship magazine, Computer, and is available under the name looking .forward on the society's web site at <>.

The society sponsors a program of student awards and scholarships. The IEEE Computer Society International Design Competition (CSIDC) is a computer science and engineering system design competition open to undergraduate teams around the world. The Richard E. Merwin Scholarship awards up to four annual scholarships for exemplary undergraduate or graduate Computer Society student chapter volunteers. The Lance Stafford Larson Outstanding Student Scholarship is given to a student submitting the best student paper on a computer-related subject. The Upsilon Pi Epsilon/ Computer Society Award was created to encourage academic excellence and offers up to four awards annually. Upsilon Pi Epsilon is the International Honor Society for the Computing Sciences.

see also Association of Computing Machinery; Computer Professional.

Guylaine M. Pollock

Internet Resources

IEEE Computer Society web site. <>

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. web site. <>

"looking .forward." IEEE Computer Society Student Newsletter. <>

Nearly 700,000 pages of IEEE publications published since 1988, and all current IEEE standards are available to members and others via the Institute's web site at <>

About this article

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

Updated About content Print Article


Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)