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Welcome to the Centennial Celebration issue of the PROCEEDINGS OF THE IEEE, originally known as the PROCEEDINGS OF THE INSTITUTE OF RADIO ENGINEERS. A Century is a rather long period of time and it is difficult for anyone to fully appreciate this milestone, because it is well beyond the average life span of most humans. Perhaps even more difficult to grasp are the technological marvels that have transpired over these past ten decades, many of which were documented in this journal. Back in May 1912, when the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE) was founded, the term wireless had a somewhat different meaning than it does today. Communications usually meant using the telegraph to send a short and relatively expensive message or perhaps having a rather rudimentary version of the relatively rare telephone, if you were financially able to afford one. Transportation usually meant a short journey by some form of horse powered vehicle or perhaps a longer one by railroad, but ironically in the early 1900s (as is true today) one could consider the possibility of purchasing an early version of an electric-powered vehicle, should your financial circumstances permit! But the choices in entertainment technology, medical care and devices, and other creature comforts were simply nonexistent, when compared to today. And at this time, space exploration and travel was something depicted only in the writings of Jules Verne and his very imaginative colleagues.
This volume is meant to be a retrospective work that considers the past, the present, and the future in various areas related to electrical engineering technology as well as other aspects of our profession.
This volume is meant to be a retrospective that considers the past, the present, and the future in various areas related to electrical engineering technology and other areas of our profession. Sometimes technical progress appears to be quite linear and gradual, but at other times, it seems to jump ahead with spurts and unexpected results. Some of these innovations, such as the Internet for example, seem to cascade through society and attenuate themselves and change our world bringing yet additional innovations and changes. And where it stops no one seems to know, but nevertheless, we have asked our contributors to this volume to attempt to speculate about the future!
During all of our Centennial Celebrations for this year, while we want to celebrate our past and honor some of the visionary authors that have been published in these pages, we are also making a very deliberate effort not to dwell too long on our history. Technology is constantly moving forward and we want to push the envelope into the future as far as possible, hence the appearance of the three dates on the cover of this very special retrospective issue of this journal.
We begin this issue by attempting to set the stage with some reflections based on predictive essays that were published 50 years ago in a special 50th anniversary issue, published in May 1962. The first article in this series of six reflections articles was written by Editorial Board Member, Joel Trussell and he coordinated the collection of the additional five articles that follow his own. Next, in an additional article by former Editorial Board member Peter Cochrane, he was invited to let his imagination roam freely and make a few predictions regarding the future. Following this article, we have 19 sections of coverage, arranged basically in alphabetical order that will deal with the general topics selected for this Centennial Special Issue. Each section will be introduced by what we refer to as a Centennial Section Prolog to describe the contents of the section and provide some additional information to the reader. Following these 19 sections, we have a short article that looks at the very first issue of this journal and compares it with the typical contents found in an issue today. And last, but by no means least, we have a very special and personal article from our Associate Editor for History, James E. Brittain, who shares his own recollections and insights into the historical aspects of the electrical engineering field.
When we considered what to do for the 100th anniversary issue, we immediately thought of the predictions that were made in the 50th anniversary issue of May 1962. We thought that it might be appropriate to begin our Centennial Special Issue by reviewing these articles and consider how well they actually predicted the future. Joel Trussell reviews these earlier predictions in his article and he requested that some IEEE fellows who had been active in 1962 contribute their perspectives on the last 50 years. We are publishing five of these articles herein and several others will be published later this year.
In “Back to the future—1962 redux,” Robert Lucky brings us back to days in 1962 when AT&T set the agenda for research at its Bell Labs facilities with such projects as the Picture phone. In “Like being there,” James L. Flanagan provides an interesting retrospective on the communications field including some of the possibilities of the future. In “To learn about nature, look to nature itself,” Edwin R. Lewis discusses at length the topic of reverse engineering from nature and he speculates on what the future prospects in the biomedical field are. In “Computational social systems,” Eunice E. Santos gives a good overview of the accomplishments in the last 50 years with a focus on ongoing advancements in computational social systems research. The final reflections article in this series, “Research funding and the PROCEEDINGS OF THE IEEE Centennial,” is written by Robert J. Trew, the Editor-in-Chief of this journal and it takes a look at the role of government in encouraging research and development.
Now, we want to project a full century into the future, as far as this journal's bicentennial year of 2112! And so, we invited Peter Cochrane to share his personal ideas about the future and his article begins as follows: “My grandfather said that man would never fly, my father said that man would not reach the moon, but I wanted to be a part of both and far more. Only 100 years ago (1912) there were no electronic devices—everything was electromagnetic, but the scientists and engineers of that time seemed to sense that there was much more to come. And with the invention of the thermionic tube (audion) by De Forest in 1906 the stage was set for everything we now enjoy. So what stage are we setting, and what will my grandson enjoy?”
In this part of this Centennial Special Issue we invited 19 section leaders to develop short sections covering each topic.
In these sections, we have attempted to address some of the topics that we thought might be of significance and therefore of some importance to our readers. As we have looked through all of these assembled sections, it became obvious that certain topics will appear more than just in a single section. For example, the reader will quickly observe that the topic of Moore's law is by no means restricted to the section with that title. Since for the most part individual authors did not have access to the writings of their fellow authors, you as a reader will see some overlap in coverage between sections, which we hope will provide some opportunities for unique perspectives on particular topics. In addition, we have attempted to invite a globally diverse selection of authors and each has attempted to provide snapshots of their particular fields of interest. Some of these topics have been or will be subjects of special issues in this journal as we go forward into the future.
Cyber–physical system (CPS) represents an important and growing field that links the computer, communications, and controls areas with the physical world in such areas as aerospace, medical, automotive, energy as well as other areas. In this section, composed of two papers, the biggest challenges of CPS are explored including their inherent complexity, which makes it more difficult to design and develop software systems. The first paper, “Cyber–physical systems: A perspective at the centennial” by Kim and Kumar surveys cyber–physical systems and the potential benefits of the convergence of computing, communications, and control technologies for developing next-generation engineered systems. The second paper, “A cyber–physical future” by Rajkumar looks at the future technical challenges in this field.
This section consists of two papers; the first covers the history and growth and the second one is more visionary in scope, dealing with present trends. “Electric power and energy engineering: The first century” by Heydt et al. starts in the early days and traces the development of power and how it became apparent in the 1930s that networking of power systems had a number of significant advantages. The second paper, “Smart grids and beyond: Achieving the full potential of electricity systems,” by Kezonuvic et al. deals with present-day trends and some future expectations of the smart grid.
This section, which comprises three papers, provides a retrospective on engineering education and some insights into the future and changing role of the engineer in society. The first paper, “Five major shifts in 100 years of engineering education,” authored by Froyd et al., discusses what has reshaped engineering education over the past 100 years up until the current time. “Engineering education today: Capturing the afterlife of Sisyphus in five snapshots” by Cheville reviews engineering education from a student's perspective, an engineering program department's view, a policy-maker's perspective, and the view of society, and concludes with a discussion of the impact of information technology. Finally, the paper entitled “Beyond 2020: Preparing engineers for the future” by Rajala examines the changes that are transforming the engineering profession and suggests the need for an additional sixth major shift: toward the integration of the attributes of a global engineer in contemporary society and concludes with the challenges and implications for future engineering education.
Rapid and widespread broadband penetration, ubiquitous connectivity, the emergence of cloud-based services, and the profusion of social networks and media have impacted how we receive entrainment content. The first paper, “A brief history of entertainment technologies” by Ng, reviews the history of entertainment. The second paper, “The future of cloud-based entertainment” by Hughes, looks at the implications of the arrival of seemingly endless quantities of entertainment in the cloud via a variety of streaming data devices. The third paper, “Social television: Enabling technologies and architectures” by Montpetit and Médard, examines social television and the concept of TV and other content being everywhere. The fourth paper, “Mobile clouds: The new content distribution platform” by Pedersen and Fitzek, discusses mobile clouds and the impact of social networks for sharing content. This section concludes with the paper “Entertainment in the age of big data” by Schlieski and Johnson on the subject of big data where entertaining stories can become adaptive algorithms, thus creating a far more engaging and interactive future for entertainment.
This single-paper section covers hardware/software codesign, which has been driven by the technological advances predicted by Gordon Moore, for successful electronic system design improvements and it focuses on the past, the present, and the research opportunities in the decades to come. The retrospective paper, “Hardware/software codesign: The past, the present, and predicting the future” by Teich, reviews this important design topic which is used extensively in embedded electronic system products for automobiles, industrial design automation, avionics, mobile devices, home appliances, and numerous other product categories.
Many individuals in business, science, and technology are discussing the phenomenon of “big data” and “cloud computing” and at the core of these innovations are “data sets” that are so large that existing mass data storage systems are inadequate. In the first paper of this section entitled “The history of storage systems,” Goda and Kitsuregawa review various data storage systems ranging from the early days of paper and punched cards through storage networking and cloud-based storage systems. In “The history of web archiving” by Toyoda and Kitsuregawa, the history and the current challenges of archiving massive and extremely diverse amounts of user generated WWW data are discussed. Finally, in “The history of information retrieval research” by Sanderson and Croft, the authors provide some perspective on the history of information retrieval and provide some enlightened predictions on possible future directions of the field.
The pace of discovery and development in materials science is beginning to accelerate as we are approaching the design limits of structures in a wide range of technologies. This section comprises four papers. The first article entitled “Silicon crystal growth and wafer technologies” by Fisher et al. reviews the historical development of semiconductor silicon wafer technology including recent advances in wafering and bulk crystal growth and discusses technologies that will take us beyond current CMOS capabilities. The next paper, entitled “Molecular engineering to computer science: The role of photonics in the convergence of communications and computing” by Leheny, highlights some of the key semiconductor molecular engineering advances that contributed to advances in photonics and electronics to help establish and enhance today's information age. The third paper, entitled “Flexible electronics: The next ubiquitous platform” by Nathan et al., reviews thin-film materials and technologies for flexible electronics and considers future applications in healthcare, the automotive industry, human–machine interfaces, mobile devices, and other environments. The final article, entitled “History, evolution, and future status of energy storage” by Whittingham, discusses the important aspects of energy storage including emerging battery technologies and the importance of storage systems in key applications areas including electronic devices, transportation, and the utility grid.
Medical devices have made clinicians better able to diagnose disease and assess injuries by giving them technologies to look into the body and to quantitatively evaluate physiologic functions of their patients. The paper by Neuman et al., entitled “Advances in medical devices and medical electronics,” provides a retrospective of medical devices and electronics look at the future where an electronic health record will play an important role in consolidating the information from various new and improved medical devices, providing readily available data for the benefit of all patients.
This special section focuses on current and future potential brain–computer interface (BCI) technologies and recent advances in wearable, mobile biosensors and data acquisition. The first paper, “Biosensor technologies for augmented brain–computer interfaces in the next decades” by Liao et al., is on the subject of biosensor technologies and focuses on recent and projected advances of a wide range of sensor and acquisition neurotechnologies. In the paper “Evolving signal processing for brain–computer interfaces” by Makeig et al., the focus is on the challenges associated with building robust and useful BCI models from accumulated biological knowledge and data. Finally, in the paper “Brain–computer interface technologies in the coming decades” by Lance et al., the focus is on using online brain–signal processing to enhance human–computer interactions, and the paper also highlights past and current BCI applications and suggests future technologies.
In this one-paper section and considering the breadth of technical and applications areas that have been significantly touched by optics, experts with different backgrounds were invited to give a snapshot of the field from their individual vantage points. The paper “Optics and photonics: A key enabling technology” by Willner et al. reviews the past, present, and future vision of the technologies of optics and photonics including lasers, optical devices and materials, communications, bioimaging, displays, manufacturing as well as the evolution of the photonics industry.
The authors of this one-paper section review the dramatic impact that home and personal electrical and electronics technology has had on society, from the point of view of three lifestyle waves: 1) time and place independence; 2) interactivity; and 3) integration of the physical and information worlds. Specifically, the paper in this section, entitled “Personal and home electronics and our changing lifestyles” by Doi et al., explores the past impacts of technology on our daily lives and how specific trends and lifestyle waves may impact future devices and their effect on society as well as some insights into how these future devices may function.
This one-paper section reviews the history and forecasts the future of privacy and cybersecurity over the next 10, 20, 50, and 100 years from the perspectives of theory and algorithms, technology, and policy as well as economics. The paper “Privacy and cybersecurity: The next 100 years” by Landwehr et al. discusses the interrelationship between privacy and cybersecurity including brief retrospectives and speculative views of how the future may evolve from the point of view of five different leaders in the research fields described herein.
This section covers what the authors believe are the three most relevant and interrelated topics in separate papers: spectrum access technologies, spectrum policy, and the economics of radio spectrum access. The first paper, “Spectrum access technologies: The past, the present, and the future” by Reed et al., reviews the key technological advances and regulatory decisions over the past century including the “lessons learned” and concludes by offering a bold vision of future spectrum access technologies. The next paper, “Spectrum policy for radio spectrum access” by Marcus, reviews the historical development of new radio spectrum access technologies and policies at both the national and international levels and discusses regulatory issues of spectrum sharing, including a vision of the future. The final paper, “The economists' contribution to radio spectrum access: The past, the present, and the future” by Noam, provides a historical review of the evolution of the economists' views on radio spectrum access, from the beginnings of commercial radio through to the present day economic factors and concludes with the prediction of the emergence of user-fee spectrum access systems.
Earthlings have been pondering the question of whether we are alone in this vast universe for centuries and we felt that our Centennial was a good time to ask the engineers at SETI Institute (Mountain View, CA) for an update on their search. SETI experiments are moving forward at a pace linked to the improvements in digital electronics technologies and it is neither too early nor too rash to consider what will happen if a transmission from another intelligence is detected. In this one-paper section, the paper “Beings on Earth: Is that all there is?” by Harp et al. reviews the past, present, and future expectations of the systematic search for extraterrestrial intelligence and discusses if we are any closer to detecting cosmic company or perhaps just knowing at least whether intelligent life forms should be out there.
The societal benefits in terms of economic growth that we have come to expect from Moore's law scaling could be at risk unless a means can be found to continue the learning curve and cost reductions enabled by Moore's law. The paper entitled “Science and engineering beyond Moore's law” by Cavin et al. describes Moore's law for CMOS technology and examines its limits and considers some of the possible future pathways for both CMOS and successor technologies with the objective of encouraging some radical rethinking for the development of possible future information processing technologies.
Considering the social implications of technology can help engineers understand and fulfill their responsibilities in a way that later generations will appreciate as technology continues to evolve into the future. We solicited the paper “Social implications of technology: The past, the present, and the Future” from the IEEE Social Implications of Technology Society, authored by Stephan et al., and it covers the past, present, and future aspects in a single paper. Specifically, this paper introduces the Society and examines some of the current technology trends and prospects for the future including our relationship with computers and the prospects for a possible transhumanist future.
Space is indeed the final frontier and it can be argued that exploring outer space is human destiny and one that perhaps is unavoidable, a path leading humanity toward new and unimaginable worlds. This information packed section by Launius et al. entitled “Spaceflight: The development of science, surveillance, and commerce in space” provides a comprehensive retrospective of the scientific and human aspects of spaceflight as well as the commercial activities, security considerations, and the potential future options for exploration and development in space.
Transportation is a key resource in any society allowing for the exchange of ideas, skills, and trade, and navigation is traditionally associated with transportation in order for achievement of any degree of transport success. This section comprises three papers. The first paper entitled “Satellite navigation for aviation in 2025” by Blanch et al. reviews the benefits of satellite navigation for aircraft including the new GNSS constellations as satellite navigation emerges while maintaining other indispensable aircraft sensors as well as backup navigational aids on the ground. The second paper entitled “Autonomous ground vehicles—Concepts and a path to the future” by Luettel et al. provides an overview of the most current trends in autonomous vehicles, highlighting the concepts common to most successful systems. In the third paper entitled “FootSLAM: Pedestrian simultaneous localization and mapping without exteroceptive sensors—Hitchhiking on human perception and cognition” by Angermann and Robertson, the authors describe a Bayesian estimation approach that achieves simultaneous localization and mapping for pedestrians using odometry obtained with foot-mounted inertial sensors.
In the single paper in this section, entitled “Wireless myths, realities, and futures: From 3G/4G to optical and quantum wireless” by Hanzo et al., the authors take a look at the existing 3G systems in service and investigate the capabilities of 4G, and while the theoretical throughput of these cellular systems is expected to be high, the future promises to offer more technological improvements and innovations. The paper concludes with a discussion of some new technologies that might emerge to change things in the future.
We invited Hazel Sales from the Professional Society of Communications of the IEEE to do a comprehensive review of the style and contents of this journal and she compares the very first issue with some recently published issues to illustrate exactly how the journal has evolved in these areas over the past century.
We have invited James E. Brittain to close out our Centennial Special Issue by contributing an essay about his personal perspectives and experiences as it related to the importance of history at the IEEE. In preparing this retrospective article, he has relied primarily on his personal correspondence files and his unpublished autobiographical memoir, which he has entitled Scanning My Past.
We want to thank all of the contributors to this Centennial Special Issue. Some of the deadlines that we asked the authors and section leaders to meet were very difficult. We hope that the results will show something of what this journal is all about and we hope that the entire IEEE Community can find many sections of interest within this collection.
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