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August 1996

IEEE sections on the Web

We are starting to see our sections and societies using the Web. In this issue, I look at two of our sections -- one is small and rural, the other large and urban.

CHINA LAKE is an IEEE section of about 250 members located in the Mojave Desert in California, USA. Bob McGahern, the section's education and student activities chair, sent me the following information that I am pleased to pass along. If you thought that a section with a small, widely dispersed membership and relatively few resources could not have a home page, think again! Here are Bob McGahern's words:

"The China Lake Section of IEEE is pleased to announce an "open house" at its new Internet home page located at URL "http://www1.ridgecrest.ca.us/~mcgahern/ieee_edu.htm" or through links from a couple of other IEEE Web sites. We currently have three Web pages under construction with more on the way in the coming months. At the moment we have a Main Education Home Page, which has hyperlinks to our Current Events page, as well as a Member Services page.

"Our main page is intended as a general-purpose source of miscellaneous electrical engineering and computer science information. We've placed hyperlinks to a variety of educational institutions such as colleges, libraries and distance-learning organizations, in addition to a few more subtle forms of educational material, like on-line engineering magazines, design competitions and various interesting engineering design projects currently underway within industry and the Defense Department. In addition, we provide links to various engineering suppliers, as well as links to Web pages dedicated to VIPs such as Thomas Edison, Charles Babbage, Nikola Tesla and George Boole.

"Our Current Events page provides a no-frills, up-to-date listing of our (ever-evolving) 1996 calendar of events. This page changes frequently, as we usually arrange a monthly luncheon meeting with a guest speaker on various engineering topics. In addition, this year we are also running a series of short (30- to 90-minute) monthly video lectures on a trial basis. From this page you can see for yourself why the China Lake Section has won the Los Angeles Council Section Attendance Award the last two years in a row!

"At this time, our Member Services page in still in its infant stage, but it does provide an electronic version of our local newsletter, hyperlinks to several IEEE home pages and convenient e-mail links to a list of IEEE offices. We're looking to add additional IEEE information to this page all the time, so let us know if there is something we are missing here!

"I should also point out that this page owes its very existence to Bob Alden, the "Information Highway" columnist in The Institute. His clear and timely articles on the ways and means of creating Web pages prompted me to peck away at my keyboard and try to get one on line! At China Lake, we're trying to use the information in his other articles (e-mail, mailing lists, etc.) too, as they always prove to be very helpful. So, many thanks go out to Bob Alden from the China Lake Section. Keep up the good work, Bob!

"So make a point to check us out one of these days! Our Web pages are still in engineering development and any comments or suggestions would be welcomed and very appreciated. Catch the wave at IEEE China Lake!"

THE CHICAGO SECTION has about 7,200 members located in the city of Chicago, in the U.S. state of Illinois. Many of us who travel by air in North America pass through O'Hare Airport -- the busiest one in the world! Chicago is not only the IEEE's first-ever section, but one of the most active. My thanks to 1995-96 Section Chair Jack Sherman for keeping me up to date with the section's many accomplishments. Its Web page set includes pages for each of its 16 chapters, as well as some interesting links to non-IEEE pages. Check the Chicago pages for your link to the IRS (the tax collector in the United States). The Chicago Section URL is " http://ieee.fnal.gov/ ".

OTHER SECTIONS.   To locate section Web pages, view the Region Home Pages list on the IEEE Web server at " http://www.ieee.org/organizations/rab/sec_chap/reg_pags.html ", select a region and click on the section home pages that are linked there.

If you are thinking of producing a home page for your section or chapter, or improving an existing one, I suggest you look to see what other IEEE volunteers have done. While the China Lake Section is small, they have some great ideas that you might want to adapt for your own use. One of the advantages of Web technology is that it is so easy to learn from others.


Robert T.H. (Bob) Alden is the chair of the IEEE Electronic Communications Steering Committee, and a former IEEE vice president.   In his other life, he is the director of the Power Research Laboratory at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.   He welcomes your input via .

extracted from the IEEE website www.theinstitute.ieee.org
by Bob Alden