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Electrical and electronic engineering

General history  


Proceedings of the IEEE regularly publish historical perspectives.  Check out its “The electrical century” series during 1999.

McMahon, A. M. 1984.  The Making of a Profession: A Century of Electrical Engineering in America.  New York: IEEE Press.

Rosenberg, R. 1983.  American physics and the origins of electrical engineering.  Physics Today, 36(10): 48-54.

Rosenberg, R. 1984.  The origin of EE education.  IEEE Spectrum 21(7): 60-8.

Terman, F. E. 1962.  Electrical engineering education today.  Proceedings of the IRE, 50: 955-6.

Terman, F. E. 1976.  A brief history of electrical engineering education.  Proceedings of the IEEE 64:1399-1406; reprinted in 86:1792-1800.

Wildes, K. L. and Lindgren, N. A. 1985.  A Century of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT: 1882-1982.  Cambridge: MIT Press.



Distribution of sources in U.S. energy production and consumption.

Bowers, B. 1982.  A History of Electric Light and Power.  London: Peter Peregrinus.

Davison, C. S. C. B. 1963.  Geared power transmission, in Engineering Heritage, Institute of Mechanical Engineers, London, pp. 118-23.

Dunsheath, P. 1962.  A History of Electrical Power Engineering.  Cambridge: MIT Press.

Hughes, T. P. 1983.  Networks of Power: Electrification in Western Society 1880-1930.  Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University press.

Lurkis, A. 1982.  The Power Brink, New York: Icare Press.

Schurr, S. H., Burwell, C. C., Devine, W. D., and Sonenblum, S. 1990.  Electricity in the American Economy.  New York: Greenwood Press.

Challenges to power engineers from deregulation

Allen, R. and Billinton, R. 2000.  Probabilistic assessment of power systems.  Proceedings of the IEEE, 88(2): 140-62.

Amin, M. 2000.  Modeling and control of electric power systems and markets.  IEEE Control Systems Magazine, 20(4): 20-4.

Barkovich, B. R. and Hawk, D. V. 1996.  Charting a new course in California.  IEEE Spectrum, 33(7): 26-31.

Chowdhury, B. 2000.  Power education at the crossroads.  IEEE Spectrum, 37(10): 64-8.

Christie, R. D., Wollenberg, B. F., and Wangensteen, I. 2000.  Transmission management in the deregulated environment.  Proceedings of the IEEE, 88(2): 170-95.

Douglas, J. 1999.  Power delivery in the 21st century.  EPRI Journal, 24(2): 18-25.

Hunt, S. and Shuttleworth, G. 1996.  Unlocking the grid.  IEEE Spectrum, 33(7): 20-5.

Ilic, M., Skantze, P., and Visudhiphan, p. 2001.  Electricity troubles in California: who next?  IEEE Spectrum, 38(2): 11-4.

Lihach, N. 2000.  The distributed generator puzzle – piecing it together.  Power Engineering, 104(4): 20-7.

Makansi, J. 2001.  California’s electricity crisis rooted in many failings.  IEEE Spectrum, 38(2): 24-8.

Munson, R. 1988.  Deregulation and the power struggle.  IEEE Spectrum, 25(5): 61-3.

Overbye, T. J. and Weber, J. D. 2001.  Visualizing the electric grid.  IEEE Spectrum, 38(2): 52-8.

Püttgen, H. B., Volzka, D. R., and Olken, M. I. 2001.  Restructuring and Reregulation of the U.S. Electric Utility Industry.  IEEE Power Engineering Review, 21(2), 8-10.

Stahlkopf, K. E. and Wilhelm, M. R. 1997.  Tighter controls of the busier system.  IEEE Spectrum, 34(4): 48-52.



Beauchamp, K. 2001.  History of Telegraphy.  London: IEE Press.

Bray, J. 1995.  The Communications Miracle.  New York: Plenum. (A brisk overview of communications technologies.)

Hurley, E. and Keller, J. H., eds. 1999.  The First 100 Feet.  Cambridge: MIT Press.

Last, J. T. 1998.  Two communications revolutions.  Proceedings of the IEEE, 86: 170-5.

Li, V. O. K. and Qiu, X. 1995.  Personal communication systems (PCS).  Proceedings of the IEEE, 83: 1210-44.

Millman, S., ed. 1984.  A History of Engineering and Science in the Bell System: Communication Sciences, 1925 – 1980.  AT&T Bell Laboratories.

Nilsson, O. 2001.  Fundamental limits and possibilities of future telecommunications.  IEEE Communications Magazine, 39(5): 164-8.

Pierce, J. R. 1981.  Signals: the Telephone and Beyond.  San Francisco: Freeman.


Solymar, L. 1999.  Getting the Message.  New York: Oxford University Press.

Stone, A. 1997.  How America Got On-line: Politics, Markets, and the Revolution in Telecommunications.  Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe.

Vickers, R. and Vilmansen T. 1986.  The evolution of telecommunications technology.  Proceedings of IEEE, 74: 1231-45.

 Communication theory

Costello, D. J., Hagenauer, J. Imai, H. and Wicker. S. B. 1998.  Applications of error-control coding.  IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, 44: 2531-

Drajic, D. and Bajic, D. 2002.  Communication system performance: achieving the ultimate information-theoretic limits?  IEEE Communications Magazine, 49(6): 124-9.

Gallager, R. G. 2001.  Claude E. Shannon: a retrospective on his life, work, and impact.  IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, 47: 2681-96.

Gappmair, W. 1999.  Claude E. Shannon: the 50th anniversary of information theory.  IEEE Communications Magazine, 37(4): 102-5.

Pierce, J. R. 1973.  The early days of information theory.  IEEE Transaction on Information Theory, IT-19: 3-8.

Shannon, C. E. 1948.  A mathematical theory of communication.  Bell System Technical Journal, 27: 379-423, 623-56.

Verdú, S. 1998.  Fifty years of Shannon theory.  IEEE Transaction on Information Theory, 44: 2057-78.


Andrews, F. T. 2002.  The telephone network in the 1960s.  IEEE Communications Magazine, 40(7): 49-53.

Chapuis, R. J. and Joel, A. E. 1990.  Electronics, Computers and Telephone Switching.  Amsterdam: North Holland.

Morton, D. 1999.  A snapshot of telephony at the turn of the century.  Proceedings of the IEEE, 87: 691-4.  

Wireless communication

Brown, L. 1999.  A Radar History of World War II: Technical and Military Imperatives.  Bristol, UK: Institute of Physics.

Cox, D. C. 1995.  Wireless personal communications: what is it?  IEEE Personal Communications, (4): 20-36.

Gavrilovich, C. D. and Ware, G. C. 2000.  Broadband communication on the highways pf tomorrow.  IEEE Communications Magazine, 38(4): 146-54.

Haarsten, J. C. 2000.  The Bluetooth radio system.  IEEE Communications Magazine, 38(2): 28-36.

Hargittai, E. 2000. Radio’s lessons for the Internet.  Communications of the ACM. 43(1): 51-7.

Heatley, D. J., Wisely, D. R., Neild, I., and Cochrane, P. 1998.  Optical wireless: the story so far.  IEEE Communications Magazine, 36(12): 72-5.  

Hong, S. 2001.  Wireless: From Marconi’s Black Box to the Audion.  Cambridge: MIT Press.

Institute of Electrical Engineers. 1995.  100 Years of Radio, IEE Conference Publication 411. (Many historical papers covering all aspects of wireless communication.)

Kahn, D. 1984. Cryptography and the origin of spread spectrum.  IEEE Spectrum, 21(9): 70-80.

Kucar, A. D. and Uddenfeldt, J. 1998. Introduction to the special issue on the mobile radio centennial.  Proceedings of the IEEE, 86: 1303-5. (Issue containing articles on Maxwell, Hertz, and Marconi as well as cutting edge technologies).

Leinwoll, S. 1979.  From Spark to Satellite.  New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.

Li, V. O. K. 1995.  Personal communication systems (PCS).  Proceedings of the IEEE, 83: 1210-44.

Oliphant, M. W. 1999.  The mobile phone meets the internet.  IEEE Spectrum, 36(8): 20-8.

Rappartport, T. S., Buehrer, A. R. M., and Tranter, W. H. 2002.  Wireless communications: past events and future perspective.  IEEE Communications Magazine, 40(5): 148-61.

Shapley, D. 2001.  The universal cell phone.  Technology Review, April, 58-62.

Varshney, U. and Vetter, R. 2000.  Emerging mobile and wireless networks.  Communications of the ACM, 43(6): 73-81.

Satellite communication

Butrica, A. ed. 1997.  Beyond the Ionosphere: Fifty Years of Satellite Communications.  (Washington DC: NASA).

Evans, . C. 1998.  Satellite systems for personal communications. Proceedings of the IEEE, 86: 1325-35.

Hu, Y. and Li, V. O. K. 2001.  Satellite-based Internet: a tutorial.  IEEE Communications Magazine, 39(3): 154-62.

Jamalipour, A. and Tung, T. 2001.  The role of satellites in global IT: trends and implications.  IEEE Personal Communications.  June, 5-15.

Miller, B. 1998.  Satellites free the mobile phone.  IEEE Spectrum, 35(3): 26-35.

Pierce, J. R. 1968.  The Beginning of Satellite Communication.  San Francisco: San Francisco Press.

Thompson, P. T. and Grey, D. 1995.  50 years of civilian satellite communications.  In IEE (1995), pp. 199-206.

Wu. W. 1997.  Satellite communications.  Proceedings of the IEEE. 85: 998-1004.

Optical communication

Bergano, N. S. 2000.  Undersea fiber optic cable systems: high tech telecommunications tempered by a century of ocean cable experience.  Optics and Photonics News, 11(3): 20-5.

Chaffee, C. D. 1988.  The Rewiring of America: The Fiber Optics Revolution.  Boston: Academic Press.

Elmirghani, J. M. H. and Mouftah, H. 2000.  Technologies and architectures for scalable dynamic dense WDM networks.  IEEE Communications Magazine, 38(2): 5868.

Green, P. 2001.  Progress in optical networking.  IEEE Communications Magazine, 39(1): 54-62.

Hecht, J. 1999.  City of Light: The Story of Fiber Optics.  New York: Oxford University Press.

Hecht, J. 1999.  Wavelength division multiplexing.  Technology Review, 102(2): 72-9.

Holonyak, N. 1997.  The semiconductor laser: a thirty-five-year perspective.  Proceedings of the IEEE, 85: 1678-93.

Mandell, M. 2000.  120,000 leagues under the sea.  IEEE Spectrum, 37(4): 50-4. (No mention of the capacity glut that plagues the telecom industry in the early 2000s.)

Ramaswami, R. 2002.  Optical fiber communication: from transmission to networking.  IEEE Communications Magazine, 40(5): 138-38.

Thomas, G. A. et al. 2000.  Physics in the whirlwind of optical communications.  Physics Today. 53(9): 30-6.

Willebrand, H. A. and Ghuman, B. S. 2001.  Fiber optics without fiber.  IEEE Spectrum, 40(8): 41-5.

Willner, A. E. 1997.  Mining the optical bandwidth for a terabit per second.  IEEE Spectrum, 34(4): 32-41.

Network of computers and networks

Abbate, J. 1999.  Inventing the Internet.  Cambridge: MIT Press.

Adam, J. 1996.  Architects of the net of nets.  IEEE Spectrum, 33(9): 57-63.

Baran, P. 2002.  The beginning of packet switching: some underlying concepts.  IEEE Communications Magazine, 40(7): 42-8.

Berners-Lee, T. el at. 1994. The World Wide Web.  Communications of the ACM, 37(8): 76-82.

Callilau, R. and Ashman, H. 1999.  Hypertest in the Web – a history.  ACM Computing Surveys, 31(4es): 1-6.

Cowie, J. H., Nicol, D. M., and Ogielski, A. T. 1999.  Modeling the global Internet.  Computing in Science & Engineering.  1(1): 42-50.

Decina, M. and Trecordi, V. 1997.  Introduction to the special issue on Global Information Infrastructure.  Proceedings of the IEEE. 83: 1883-6.

Dutta-Roy, A. 1999.  Bringing home the internet.  IEEE Spectrum, 36(3): 32-8.

Dutta-Roy, A. 1999.  Networks for homes.  IEEE Spectrum, 36(12): 26-32.

Gillies, J. and Cailliau, R. 2000.  How the Web was Born.  New York: Oxford University Press.

Hafner, K. and Lyon, M. 1996.  Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origin of the Internet.  New York: Touchstone.

Haughton, J. 1999.  A Brief History of the Future: The Origin of the Internet.  London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson.

Leiner, B. M., Cerf, V. G., Clark, D. D., Kahn, R. E., Kleinrock, L., Lynch, D. C., Postel, J., Roberts, L. G., Wolff, S. S. 1997.  The past and future history of the Internet.  Communications of the ACM, 40(2): 102-8.  (A brief account by the chief architects.)

Messerchmidt, D. G. 1996.  The convergence of telecommunications and computing: what are the implications today?  Proceedings of the IEEE, 84: 1167-86.  

Naughton, J. 2000.  A Brief History of the Future: the Origin of the Internet.  London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson.

Personick, S. D. 2002.  Evolving toward the next generation Internet: challenges in the path forward.  IEEE Communications Magazine, 40(7): 72-6.

Ravichandran, A. R. and Samaddar, S. 1998.  How to anticipate the Internet’s global diffusion.  Communications of the ACM, 41(10): 97-106.

White, B. 1998.  The World Wide Web and high energy physics.  Physics Today, 51(11): 30-6.

Policy and standardization

Grover, V. and Vaswani, P. 2000.  Partnership in the US telecommunications industry.  Communications of ACM. 43(2): 81-9.

Jakobs, K. and Procter, R. 2001.  The making of standards: looking inside the work groups.  IEEE Communications Magazine, 39(4): 102-8.

Kahin, B. and Keller, J. H. eds. 1997. Coordinating the Internet. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Lee, K. 1996.  Global Communications Regulation.  London: Pinter.

Sherif, M. H. 2001.  A framework for standardization in telecommunications and information technology.  IEEE Communications Magazine, 39(4): 94-101.


Electronics and microelectronics

Black, H. S. 1977.  Inventing the negative feedback amplifier.  IEEE Spectrum, 14(12): 55-61.

Brinkman, W. F. and Lang, D. V. 1999.  Physics and the communications industry.  Review of Modern Physics, 71: S480-8.

Gargini, P. 2002.  Worldwide technologies and the ITRS in the current economic climate.  SPIE 2002 Microlithography Symposium.

Geppert, L. 2000.  Microprocessors: the off-beat generation.  IEEE Spectrum, 37(7): 44-9.

Geppert, L. ed. 1999.  The 100-million transistors IC.  Special report on semiconductors in IEEE Spectrum, 36(7): 23-60.

Kilby, J. S. 1976.  Invention of the integrated circuit.  IEEE Transactions in Electron Devices, ED-23: 648-54.

Maydan, D. 2001.  The future of equipment development and semiconductor production.  Material Science and Engineering, A302: 1-5.

Meindl, J. 2001.  Special issue on limits of semiconductor technology.  Proceedings of the IEEE, 89: 223-6.

Melliar-Smith, C. M. et al. 1998.  The transistor: an invention becomes a big business.  Proceedings of the IEEE, 86: 86-111.

Moore, G. E. 1965.  Cramming more components onto integrated circuits.  Electronics, April 19, pp. 114-7.

Moore, G. E. 1995.  Lithography and the future of Moore’s law.  Optical/Laser Microlithography VIII: Proceedings of SPIE, 2440: 2-17.

Moore, G. E. 1996.  Some personal perspectives on research in the semiconductor industry.  In Engines of Innovation, eds. R. S. Rosenbloom and U. J. Spencer, Cambridge: Harvard Business School Press, pp. 165-47.

Moore, G. E. 1998.  The role of Fairchild in silicon technology in the early days of “Silicon Valley.”  Proceedings of the IEEE, 86: 53-62.

Murphy, B. T., Haggan, D. E., and Troutman, W. W. 2000.  From circuit miniaturization to the scalable IC.  Proceedings of the IEEE, 88: 691-702.

Picraux, S. T. and McWhorter, P. J. 1998.  The broad sweep of integrated microsystems.  IEEE Spectrum, 35(12): 24-9.

Rea, D. G., Brooks, H., Burger, R. M., and LaScala, R. 1997.  The semiconductor industry – model for industry/university/government cooperation.  Research Technology Management, 40(4): 46-54.  

Reid, R. T. 1985.  The Chip.  New York: Random House.

Riordan, M. and Hoddeson, L. 1997.  Crystal Fire.  New York: Norton.

Ross, I. M. 1998.  The invention of the transistor.  Proceedings of the IEEE, 86: 7-28.

Ryder, J. D. and Fink, D. G. 1984.  Engineers and Electrons.  New York: IEEE Press.

Sah, C. T. 1988.  Evolution of the MOS transistor – from conception to VLSI.  Proceedings of the IEEE, 76: 1280-1326.

Schaller, R. R. 1997.  Moore’s law: past, present, and future.  IEEE Spectrum, 34(6): 53-9.

Seitz, F. 1998.  Electronic Genie.  Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

Shockley, W. 1976.  The path to the conception of the junction transistor.  IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices, ED-23: 597-620.

Treddennick, N. 1995. Technology and business: forces driving microprocessor evolution.  Proceedings of the IEEE, 83: 1641-7.  




Baughman, R. H., Zakhidov, A. A., and de Heer, W. A. 2002.  Carbon nanotubes – the route toward applications.  Science, 297: 787-92.

Chovan, T. and Guttman, A. 2002.  Microfabricated devices in biotechnology and biochemical processing.  Trends in Biotechnology, 20(3): 116-22.

Compano, R. 2001.  Trends in nanoelectronics.  Nanotechnology, 12: 85-8.

Craighead, H. G. 2000.  Nanoelectromechanical systems.  Science, 290: 1532-5.

Dresselhaus, M. S., Dresselhaus, G., and Avouris, P. eds. 2001.  Carbon Nanotubes: Synthesis, Structure, Properties, and Applications.  Berlin: Springer.

Goldhaber-Gordon, D., Montemerlo, M. S., Love, J. C., Opiteck G. J., and Ellenbogen, J. C. 1997.  Overview of nanoelectronic devices.  Proceedings of the IEEE, 85: 521-40.

Gross, M. 1999.  Travel into the Nanoworld: Miniature Machinery in Nature and Technology.  Cambridge: Perseus Pub.

Markus, K. W. and Gabriel, K. J. 1999.  MEMS: the systems function revolution.  Computer 32(10): 25-31.

Maydan, D. 2001.  The future of equipment development and semiconductor production.  Materials Science and Engineering, A302: 1-5.

Meindl, J. 2001.  Special issue on limits of semiconductor technology. Proceedings of the IEEE, 89: 223-6.

National Nanotechnology Initiative (2000) at

Picraux, S. T. and McWhorter, P. J. 1998.  The broad sweep of integrated microsystems.  IEEE Spectrum, 35(12); 24-8.

Prinz, F. B., Golnas, A. and Nickel, A. 2000.  Does integration-circuit fabrication show the path of future mechanical manufacturing?  MRS Bulletin, October, 32-5.

Rotman, D. 2002.  The nanotube computer.  Technology Review, 105(2): 36-45.

Siegel, R. W., Hu, E., and Roco, M. C. 1999. Nanostructures Science and Technology: a Worldwide Study.