A tech repository

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IEEE’S Global History Network (ieeeGHN) is a wiki that “fosters the creation of narratives that not only document the history of engineering practice but also explain when, how and why these myriad technologies developed as they did.”  The Global History Network enables IEEE members, more than 3,75,000 of them in about 160 countries, to record their personal involvement in technological innovation and excellence, yesterday and today.

ieeGHN is hosted at http://www.ieeeghn.org by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers which promotes technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity. The content, generated by IEEE members and invited experts on electrical, electronic, and computer technologies, is all about technologies which have dramatically transformed the world during the 19th and 20th centuries, and continue to shape our lives in the 21st century.

The Global History Network (ieeGHN) is unlike encyclopedias. Its sole focus is on the history of technology and offers the personal accounts of the technical innovators themselves. Through these personalised, first-hand histories, the IEEE members share their experiences in developing products and services — from invention, R&D, design, testing, production and commercialisation — with the world. The categories under which these experiences are shared, include: Automation; Bioengineering; Business, Management and Industry; Communications; Components, Circuits, Devices and Systems; Computers and Information Processing; Culture and Society; Engineered Materials and Dielectrics; Engineering Profession; Environment, Geoscience and Remote Sensing; Fields, Waves and Electromagnetics; General Topics for Engineers; IEEE; Lasers, Lighting and Electrooptics; Nuclear and Plasma Sciences; People and Organisations; Power, Energy and Industry Application; Signals; Standardisation; Transportation.

The General topics for engineers relate to the engineering profession which span across all branches of engineering and do not apply to just electrical engineers.
Included in this 138-page category are topics encompassing mathematics, scientific disciplines like physics or chemistry, and design methodology. The sub categories included under design methodology pertain to design and creation, which includes critical thinking methods, sustainability and articulation; Mathematics — Mathematics such as calculus, algebra, and numerical analysis are all essential components of engineering; Reliability — The ability of a system or component to perform its required functions under stated conditions for a specified period of time; Scientific disciplines — Various non-engineering scientific disciplines such as physics, chemistry, biology and astronomy; and Systems engineering and theory — An interdisciplinary method to engineering which has practical uses in complex projects which span multiple fields.

There are several topic articles, encyclopedia-style, which can be modified by any user who is logged in. These kind of articles have a specific focus on a certain subject, such as a biography, the history of a certain technology, or an IEEE section’s history. Among the featured topic articles are Project Diana, mankind’s first attempts at reaching beyond the ionosphere and the United State’s first foray into space; Cryptography, the science of encrypting and decrypting text and messages; Integrated Circuits and the Space Program and Missile Defense: Air Traffic Control and Radar systems relied heavily every day by tens of thousands of people aboard airplanes; Memristor, the fourth fundamental 2 terminal electronic component alongside the Resistor, Capacitor and Inductor; and The history of innovations in broadcasting Baseball, Football, Hockey, the Olympics, Motor Sports and Boxing games and matches.

In the First-Hand Experiences section engineers, scientists and related professionals, who have long been the main actors in the drama of technological innovation, reveal their stories which are very essential to understand how and why a specific technology has progressed. Technologists from around the world relate their personal and first-hand experiences as central participants in the process of technical innovation in its broadest context.

Among the featured first-hand experiences are: The First Quartz Wrist Watch, created by a group of researchers at the Centre Electronique Horloger in Switzerland in July 1967; The Development of Pong: A detailed account about the development of Pong and the early days of Atari, the video game; Beginning of the Silicon Age, the account covers the development of the transistor, as well as key figures like William Shockley; Philips Telephone Exchanges and Denmark, a detailed account of the construction of Danish telephone exchanges from 1960 - 1970; and Inventing the Vidifont, the first electronics graphics machine used in television production.
The Archives, a collection of archival documents from IEEE’s Corporate archives, History Center publications and Operating Unit archives, are located at the IEEE Operations Center in Piscataway, New Jersey.

The archival material also includes papers of eminent scientists like Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Lord Kelvin, Nikola Tesla, Charles Steinmetz, Frank Sprague and George Westinghouse, etc. Using a search form on the website you would be able to find pages listed under the Global History Network’s Archive collection, by searching either by keyword or category.

The IEEE GHN serves as a vibrant repository of all the great experiences and outstanding contributions made by IEEE members and others to technological progress, world-wide.

It records, preserves and interprets the history of technological innovation and makes that available to the public by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Comprising 38 Societies, the IEEE is the world’s leading professional association for the advancement of technology. IEEE, a non profit organisation, simply referred to by the letters I-E-E-E and pronounced Eye-triple-E, is a leading authority on cutting-edge sciences and technologies, ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics, among others.

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