Expanded Definition of Milestones

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EXPANDED DEFINITION OF IEEE MILESTONES

TO: IEEE History Committee

FROM: IEEE History Committee Milestones Subcommittee: David Burger (Chair), Martin Bastiaans, Norberto Lerendegui, Antonio Savini


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: At the March 2016 meeting of the IEEE History Committee, the Milestones Subcommittee was tasked to develop an expanded definition of IEEE Milestones.

Some of the details the History Committee suggested ought to be considered were:

Whether we have too many milestones, or too few;
Whether a Milestone proposal must meet a "threshold of importance" ;
Whether there needs to be something in the Milestone Program Guidelines about a "3rd-party verification of translation by hired translator," etc.
Definition of the term "regional importance" ;
Whether to rename the program;
Specify a limit to how many milestones can be proposed in a calendar year (or specify that there is no limit)
Specify a limit to how many milestones an organizational unit may dedicate (or specify that there is no limit)
Specify a limit to how many milestones a geographic area may dedicate (or specify that there is no limit)
Specify that Milestone proposals may be sponsored by one or more IEEE organizational units. (That is already treated lower down in the body of the Milestone Program Guidelines, as is the joint proposals with IEEE sister societies, but it was suggested that the subcommittee might want to move it up into the "definition" itself.)


PROPOSED ACTION: Resolved that IEEE History Center staff replace the existing definition of an IEEE Milestone in Electrical Engineering and Computing with the following revised definition (in bold) on the Milestone Program Guidelines page on the ETHW http://ieeemilestones.ethw.org/Milestone_Guidelines_and_How_to_Propose_a_Milestone (see “General Requirements” section and on the Milestones Program information page http://ieeemilestones.ethw.org/IEEE_Milestones_Program

The IEEE Milestones in Electrical Engineering and Computing program honors significant technical achievements in all areas associated with IEEE. The designated fields are: Engineering, Computer Sciences and Information Technology, Physical Sciences, Biological and Medical Sciences, Mathematics, Technical Communications, Education, Management, and Law and Policy. It is a program of the IEEE History Committee, administered through the IEEE History Center. Milestones recognize the technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity found in unique products, services, seminal papers and patents. Milestones honor the achievement, rather than a place or a person. Milestones are proposed by any IEEE member, and are sponsored by any one or more IEEE Organizational Unit(s) (OU) such as IEEE section(s), society(ies), chapter(s) or student branch(es). To be proposed as an IEEE Milestone, an achievement must be at least 25 years old, have benefited humanity, and must have had at least regional importance. Regional importance is defined as an area of more than 500 square kilometers. The achievement must not be the subject of current litigation. There is no maximum or minimum number of achievements which may be proposed or dedicated as milestones in any calendar year. There is no maximum or minimum number of achievements which may be proposed or dedicated as milestones by any organizational unit or units. There is no maximum or minimum number of achievements which may be proposed or dedicated as milestones within any geographical or technical area.

The official IEEE plaque is the English-language plaque. The sponsoring organizational unit(s) may, at their expense, request a plaque or plaques in other languages. The translation must be made—or validated by—a third-party professional translator at the sponsoring organizational unit(s)’ expense.

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The current definition is:

The IEEE Milestones in Electrical Engineering and Computing program honors significant technical achievements in all areas associated with IEEE. It is a program of the IEEE History Committee, administered through the IEEE History Center. Milestones recognize the technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity found in unique products, services, seminal papers and patents. Milestones are proposed by any IEEE member, and are sponsored by any IEEE Organizational Unit (OU) such as an IEEE section, society, chapter or student branch. To be proposed as an IEEE Milestone, an achievement must be at least 25 years old, have benefited humanity, and must have had at least regional importance. The achievement must not be the subject of current litigation. Milestones honor the achievement, rather than a place or a person.

Back to History Committee mainpage