IEEE extends its leadership role in technical and social areas.
IEEE entered 2011 as a strong and vigorous association, with more than 400,000 members around the world. We serve society and the profession energetically and indefatigably in several key technical and social areas. Among them are dissemination of knowledge in key technologies, development and distribution of major standards, and technical education. We give voice to the engineering, computing, and technology professions. We promote civic duty and engagement of professionals in improving human welfare and expanding educational opportunities. We help protect the environment. We convene major educational and planning forums worldwide. These forums connect and invigorate decision makers, innovators, inventors, developers, practitioners, students, and educators.
From this position of influence and professional authority, we strive to guarantee IEEE’s future leadership role in all major fields of technology and key emerging areas. In 2011, we launched new initiatives at the intersection of electrical engineering, computer engineering, computer science, and the life sciences. We intensified our already-growing activities in all aspects of energy generation, development, and use—promoting and facilitating new ideas on sustainability, green energy, smart grids, and new energy sources. We instigated new initiatives on cloud computing and smart vehicles. Groups within IEEE put effort and collaborative thinking into new and emerging (or re-emerging) areas ranging from quantum communications to wireless transmission of electricity and from personalized medicine to crowdsourcing. Never have the three-million-document archives of IEEE—our journals, transactions, conference proceedings, standards, and online courses—been so comprehensive, accessible, exciting, and useful. Never have the legions of IEEE volunteers who support them—the authors, reviewers, editors, and developers of standards—been more involved, enthusiastic, and productive.
2011 was also a year of increased engagement of our members in the societal betterment of their communities. Our activities ranged from field projects in Haiti, India, Ghana, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Nicaragua, and Bangladesh to well-attended conferences with decision makers in major capital cities. We developed cooperative efforts with governments, United Nations agencies, and not-for-profit organizations from Philadelphia to Pretoria to Bangalore to Dubai. No less important, we have started an organizational effort to systematize and support these societally focused activities with proper budgeting and permanent organizational structure.
As part of our community outreach efforts, in 2011 we have forayed into museums of technology that serve large populations of pre-university students. We completed two large pilot museum projects in Montevideo, Uruguay, and Hyderabad, India, where IEEE volunteers created and installed new state-of-the-art exhibits for young visitors. These exhibits demonstrated the potential, usefulness, and beauty of new and emerging technologies. In addition to the benefit that the new displays provided to student audiences, they also fostered cooperation among volunteers from multiple countries and continents. Collaborative design and implementation of museum shows energized our volunteers and strengthened ties between members from different parts of the world.
In 2011, we continued our quest to make IEEE a major resource for members in their professional activities and career development. Our efforts include new continuing education opportunities, new subscription models in developing countries, and improved access to IEEE publication resources by all users. We developed better portals and user interfaces, conducted usability studies of existing assets, and adopted state-of-the-art support infrastructure. This is a never-ending improvement campaign in the service of our members and customers.
Finally, we continued to highlight past achievements of our community, honor leaders of our profession, and mark historical milestones. Among the individuals we recognized with major honors in 2011 were Morris Chang, Marcian Hoff, Ingrid Daubechies, and APJ Abdul Kalam. 2011 Milestones in Electrical Engineering and Computing commemorated the innovations of Thomas Alva Edison, Guglielmo Marconi, and Heike Kamerlingh Onnes. We also paid tribute to the engineers who developed the Mercury Spacecraft MA-6, the first broadcast satellite service, and the Apollo Guidance computer. Recognizing these discoveries, breakthroughs, and intellectual giants is done with the conviction that, as it has in its first 127 years, IEEE will continue to be the professional home of the brightest minds in technology—the Edisons, Marconis, Popovs, Kilbys, and Hoffs of the future.