Dr. Mildred Dresselhaus, a professor of electrical engineering and physics at MIT and a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, received IEEE’s highest honor, the IEEE Medal of Honor. Sponsored by the IEEE Foundation, the award was presented at the 2015 IEEE Honors Ceremony, held at the historic Waldorf Astoria in New York City, with IEEE President Howard Michel and IEEE President-elect Barry Shoop serving as the Masters of Ceremonies.
The setting paid homage to 1902, when one of IEEE’s predecessor societies, the American Institute of Electrical Engineering, held a ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria with Guglielmo Marconi as the guest of honor. Dr. Dresselhaus, an IEEE Life Fellow, is known in tech circles as the “Queen of Carbon Science.”
Martin Cooper, the “father of the cell phone,” received the prestigious 2015 IEEE Masaru Ibuka Award, presented at the IEEE International Conference on Consumer Electronics in Las Vegas. The award is named in honor of Dr. Masaru Ibuka and is given for outstanding contributions to the field of consumer electronics. Cooper, an IEEE Life Fellow, conceived and led the effort to develop a personal, portable radio handset that could be utilized as a normal telephone by anyone, anytime, anywhere. The result was the introduction of the first truly mobile phone in 1973.
The IEEE Xplore Digital Library celebrated 15 years of providing online access to millions of highly cited articles in engineering and technology. Since launching in May 2000, IEEE Xplore has grown from a collection of 500,000 documents going back to 1988 to a robust database of more than 3.8 million documents stretching as far back as 1872. It is now considered one of the leading resources of scientific and technical information in the world. Technologists rely on it to stay up to date, accelerate their research and drive innovation. IEEE Xplore reached another important milestone in 2015, with over one billion total article downloads since its launch.
IEEE 802.11, the standard also known as Wi-Fi, celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2015. The wireless standard has come a long way since it first originated at a working group meeting in September 1990. Early Wi-Fi supported data rates were just two megabits per second. By comparison, the latest Wi-Fi standard supports 3,500 times faster data rates, ranging up to seven gigabits per second. Twenty-five years later, IEEE 802.11 working group participants continue to push the limits of the technology, enabling new devices and applications such as the Internet of Things, wearable technology, and the smart grid.
Each year, the IEEE Milestones in Electrical Engineering and Computing program recognizes exceptional technical achievements that occurred at least 25 years ago. In past years, the program has acknowledged the work of landmark inventors like Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Graham Bell, and Thomas Edison.