IEEE, the world's largest technical professional association, is celebrating its 125 anniversary this year with events commemorating "125 Years of Engineering the Future." One anniversary celebration will take place today from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, where SRI (formerly the Stanford Research Institute) will be presented with an IEEE Milestone for the ARPANET.
IEEE's rich history includes the founding of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers by early industry giants including Thomas Alva Edison and Alexander Graham Bell; the introduction of the Wi-Fi standard in 1997 and local contributions such the HP-35 Scientific Calculator, the Random Access Method of Accounting and Control (RAMAC), the Integrated Circuit (IC) and the Stanford two-mile accelerator to name a few. IEEE Milestones are administered through the IEEE History Center to honor significant achievements in electrical, electronic, and computer engineering and the associated sciences. Milestones recognize the technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity found in unique products, services, seminal papers and patents.
The Internet had its beginnings in the late 1960s as the ARPANET. Started by the U.S. Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (now DARPA), the entire network consisted of just four computers linked together from different sites to conduct research in wide-area networking. SRI, then known as the Stanford Research Institute, hosted one of the original four network nodes. The very first transmission on the ARPANET, on October 29, 1969, was from UCLA to SRI. A milestone dedication also will take place at UCLA on that date to mark ARPANET'S 40th birthday.
"For 125 years IEEE and its members have influenced the creation of nearly all the technologies we now tend to take for granted," said 2008 IEEE President Lewis Terman. "Historically, Silicon Valley has been a hotbed of technological development. Today, more than 12,000 IEEE members live and work in the greater Santa Clara Valley area -- engineering the future in communications, clean energy technology, computer hardware, semiconductors , software and defense technologies, among others." The San Jose event is one of a series of eight key IEEE 125th Anniversary celebrations in technology hubs around the world, including Austin, Bangalore, Beijing, Munich, London, Boston, and Tokyo. These events will honor IEEE and its members for its 125 years of fostering technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity.
"As IEEE honors its past, these events highlight today's technologies and focus on what's to come," Terman said.