IEEE, an association dedicated to advancing innovation and technological excellence for the benefit of humanity, is the world’s largest technical professional society. It is designed to serve professionals involved in all aspects of the electrical, electronic, and computing fields and related areas of science and technology that underlie modern civilization.
IEEE’s roots go back to 1884 when electricity began to become a major influence in society. There was one major established electrical industry, the telegraph, which since the 1840s had come to connect the world with a data communications system faster than the speed of transportation. The telephone and electric power and light industries had just gotten underway.
IEEE, pronounced “Eye-triple-E,” stands for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. The association is chartered under this name and it is the full legal name.
However, as the world’s largest technical professional organization, IEEE’s membership has long been composed of engineers, scientists, and allied professionals. These include computer scientists, software developers, information technology professionals, physicists, medical doctors, and many others in addition to IEEE’s electrical and electronics engineering core. For this reason, the organization no longer goes by the full name, except on legal business documents, and is referred to simply as IEEE.