2004 IEEE Conference on the History of Electronics


Bletchley Park, United Kingdom 28-30 June 2004

The Fleming Centennial

The 2004 IEEE Conference on the History of Electronics (CHE2004) is the fifth in a series of workshops sponsored by the IEEE History Committee and the IEEE History Center at Rutgers University. The profound role electronics have had in shaping the modern world, from the invention of the Fleming diode to the present, makes this an important topic of historical study.

The IEE Professional Network on History of Technology and University College London are technical co-sponsors of the conference. These two organizations have joined with IEEE in a celebration of the centennial of the Fleming diode, which was the first of the radio tubes. Historians often regard this as the starting point of the electronics industry.

Three Conferences – One Celebration

The IEEE conference will take place at the historic Bletchley Park, the principal location of British codebreaking in World War II from Monday 28 June 2004 through Wednesday 30 June. This is an ideal site for such a meeting with conference facilities in the Victorian mansion and historical exhibits there and elsewhere in the park-like grounds (including a reconstructed Colossus computer). Bletchley Park is also an appropriate site, as it was there that the transition from electromechanical to electronic computing occurred in the effort to decrypt intercepted messages.

Immediately following the IEEE conference, two other events will take place at University College. The first is the University College conference on “The Life, Work, and Legacy of John Ambrose Fleming” and the other is the annual conference of the IEE History of Technology Professional Network.

Conference Theme

The intention of the IEEE conference is to help build a comprehensive view of electronics history through several dozen papers, each of which investigates some formative development in this 100-year-long history. The developments may include the opening of a new area of application, the invention of a major technique, or the gradual replacement of one dominant technique by another. An important feature of this conference is the participation of people with different backgrounds—engineers, historians, museum curators, avocational historians—that should make discussions particularly fruitful. The retreat-like setting of the conference should stimulate the exchange of ideas also.

Session Themes

Some possible themes for conference sessions are the following:

The Business of Electronics The Emergence of the Electronic Computer Semiconductor Electronics: A Story of Continuity or Discontinuity? Electronics in Communications Electronics and Music The Tools of Electronics Design Power Electronics and Electronics in Industry Behind the Front Panel: Forgotten Bits and Pieces of Electronics. Standards and Technological Trajectories Electronics in National Contexts Electronics and Computation

Submission Guidelines

For session papers, please send the proposed title, an abstract, and a single-page curriculum vitae to the Program Chair by email to <[email protected]> or by regular mail to IEEE History Center, Rutgers University, 39 Union Street, New Brunswick New Jersey 08901 USA). The Program Committee is also interested in proposals for sessions. The deadline for paper proposals is 31 January 2004.

Registration and Accommodation

Conference registration and accommodation information will appear shortly on the IEEE History Center website <http://www.ieee.org/organizations/history_center/>. The conference fee will cover two-and-a-half days of historical sessions, lunches, and historical tours. Reasonably priced accommodations will be available in nearby Milton Keynes.

Conference Organization

General Chair Wallace S. Read Organizing Committee Chair Roland Saam Program Committee Chair Frederik Nebeker

Information on Related Conferences

Information on the two other conferences that are part of the Fleming Centennial may be obtained from John Mitchell <[email protected]> or Ian Boyd <[email protected]> of the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering of University College and from Susie Eva <[email protected]> of the IEE History of Technology Professional Network.