Talk:Expanded Definition of Milestones

Revision as of 21:49, 3 December 2016 by Administrator7 (talk | contribs) (Responses to History Cttee questions & Proposed action (JV) -- ~~~~: new section)

Changes to Milestones Definition -- Juancarlos (talk) 05:44, 26 October 2016 (CDT)

The suggested expanded definition of an IEEE Milestone seeks to clarify many operational aspects (like language, geographic distribution, . . .) that do not contribute to the core attributes of importance, significance, excellence which have made the program so valued and appreciated all over the world.

Their inclusion in the text dilutes the key condition of historic significance which we, the Committee have to preserve for the Program to keep its value and in honor of the traditional high-standards that have been sought for the previous Milestones, always the most outstanding achievements.

There is a perception by many that somehow the condition of being a truly outstanding achievement may not be met in some present-day proposals. In the proposed definition the issue of the threshold of importance (requested by members of the Committee) is not being properly addressed. The definition of the IEEE Milestone should focus on and deliver the message of enhancing the value of the key attributes and relegate the secondary clarifications into a different piece of text.

I propose to add "the most" in the first phrase of the definition, as follows:

The IEEE Milestones in Electrical Engineering and Computing program honors THE MOST significant technical achievements in all areas associated with IEEE."

As to the listing of fields -which is NOT mentioned as a subject needing clarification, FIRST I think it is not necessary and SECOND I strongly disagree with many of the listed ones. We must preserve the historically coveted value of the IEEE Milestones in Electrical and Computing Engineering, not popularize them by loosening and losing their true character. And which is the intended difference between "areas" and "fields" ?

Responses to History Cttee questions & Proposed action (JV) -- Administrator7 (talk) 21:49, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

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

1. Whether we have too many milestones, or too few;

In my opinion, we have too many. For example, last year we approved a milestone for a hydroelectric plant. This was the 16th milestone for a hydroelectric plant. There are on the order of 1,000 hydroelectric plants in the world, so, do we have ~984 more to go? ;-).

Should our milestones not be peer-reviewed at least as thoroughly as our publications are? Our publications are reviewed by a minimum of 3 experts. The acceptance rate of a good journal is on the order of 30%. What is our acceptance rate for milestones? Since I'm involved in the HistCom, it seems to be 100%. Moreover, everyone here has the same vote regardless of expertise.

2. Whether a Milestone proposal must meet a "threshold of importance" ;

Yes - for the reasons stated above. I'd like to see our milestone proposals reviewed by experts in the society or council whose scope includes the subject of the milestone.

3. Whether to rename the program;

Absolutely yes! The IEEE is a lot more today than just EE and CS. We need to catch up with IEEE's governing documents.

Nearly 20 years ago, the Board of Directors passed a resolution that states, per last para. at https://www.ieee.org/about/toolkit/guidelines/guidelines_index.html: "Only the letters I-E-E-E may be used as the name of the organization. IEEE has grown over the years to represent a much wider array of technical interest areas than 'electrical and electronics engineering.' "

Shortly thereafter, our bylaws were changed to what is presently Bylaw I-104.11, "The IEEE-designated fields..." - see below.

Correspondingly, other parts of our governing documents had been changed. For example, per Bylaw I-102, "For admission or transfer to the grade of Senior Member, a candidate shall be an engineer, scientist, educator, technical executive, or originator in IEEE-designated fields (Bylaw I-104.11)." Similarly, "Member. The grade of Member is limited to those who have satisfied IEEE-specified educational requirements and/or who have demonstrated professional competence in IEEE-designated fields of interest."

Bylaw I-104.11, IEEE-designated fields of interest include "Engineering; Computer sciences and information technology; Biological and medical sciences; Mathematics; Physical sciences."

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)

These three are unnecessary if we have proper peer review of milestone proposals.

WRT the 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,

I propose that we divide the question into two parts: 1) That the existing definition of an IEEE Milestone in Electrical Engineering and Computing be replaced with one that conforms to IEEE's governing documents, and then discuss what the new name should be. One possibility is "an IEEE Milestone in Electrotechnology."

Note that IEEE's Mission, Vision, Core Values, Strategic Plan... carefully avoids the use of EE and CS. I believe that we should too. See http://www.ieee.org/about/ieee_strategic_plan.html.