Planning is now in full swing worldwide for IEEE’s 125th anniversary celebrations next year. The official anniversary date has been designated as 13 May 2009, which is the date in 1884 that IEEE’s first predecessor society, the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, was formed. Several societies have planned celebrations at their major conferences, sections are scheduling local events, student chapters are organizing activities at their schools, and students are registering for the IEEE Presidents’ Change the World Competition.
Information about these activities can be found on the IEEE’s 125th Anniversary website. From message boards where visitors can share their favorite memory of an IEEE event or post photos and videos of anniversary celebrations to a series of video greetings from members and some well-known technology leaders, the interactive site is a resource for anyone interested in the anniversary celebrations. There’s even a link to a Facebook page joining “fans” of the IEEE’s 125th anniversary from around the world.
“The website establishes a focal point for all 125th anniversary activities,” says IEEE President-Elect John Vig, chair of the 125th Anniversary committee. “It will keep visitors informed of how IEEE is celebrating around the world, and its interactive features provide an easy way for anyone anywhere to get involved. The anniversary gives IEEE a special opportunity to bring people together to celebrate and to promote contributions of members and the profession to the public.”
Societies, sections, and student branches can add their plans to the calendar of anniversary events. The IEEE Electron Devices Society and the Virginia Tech student branch are among those who have already planned activities. EDS will hold a celebratory dinner on 8 December during its IEEE International Electron Devices and Solid-States Circuits conference in Hong Kong. In January, the Virginia Tech student branch will honor the anniversary at its Student Professional Awareness Conference.
In addition, a promotion and event-planning pack is available at the site with information to help groups in developing anniversary celebrations of their own. The pack includes checklists of activities, promotional materials, and sample news releases that can be downloaded and customized.
COMPETITION The link on the site to the IEEE Presidents’ Change the World Competition has been getting a lot of traffic since the contest got under way on 1 September. Open to college and university students, the competition asks them to identify a real-world problem and use engineering, computing, science, and leadership skills to solve it. Prizes of US $10 000, $5000, $2500, and $1000 will be awarded to the best entries, which are due no later than 28 February 2009. In May, members and other Web site visitors will be asked to vote on which of the 15 semifinalists should get the People’s Choice prize of $500.