Wed. May 15: The Origins of Silicon Valley - Why and How It Happened

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ACM Chicago

May 3, 2019, 1:00:07 AM5/3/19
to Chicago Chapter ACM

A joint Chicago Chapter ACM / IEEE Vehicular Technology Society Chicago Chapter / IEEE Computer Society Chicago chapter / Stanford Historical Society / SAE Chicago chapter

The Origins of Silicon Valley: Why and How It Happened

Speaker: Paul Wesling - IEEE Life Fellow and Distinguished Lecturer

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

5:30 pm Doors open
Food and drink provided and sponsored by:
Stanford Historical Society

6:00 pm Presentation
7:00 pm Q & A
7:30 pm  Concluding Remarks

Note location change:
UIC Student Center East, Room 302
750 S Halsted St, Chicago IL 60607

Admission: Make your reservation on IEEE website, but otherwise: Free, General Admission, open to the public

Why did Silicon Valley come into being? The story goes back to local Hams (amateur radio operators) trying to break RCA's tube patents, “angel” investors, the sinking of the Titanic, Fred Terman and Stanford University, local invention of high-power tubes, WW II and radar, William Shockley's mother living in Palo Alto, and the SF Bay Area infrastructure that developed -- these factors pretty much determined that the semiconductor and IC industries would be located in the Santa Clara Valley, and that the Valley would remain the world’s innovation center as new technologies emerged -- computers, then software, mobile, biotech, Big Data, VR, and now autonomous vehicles -- and it would become the model for innovation worldwide.

Paul Wesling, an IEEE Life Fellow and Distinguished Lecturer, has observed the Valley for decades as an engineer, executive, resident, and educator, and has presented this talk world-wide. He gives an exciting and colorful history of device technology development and innovation that began in Palo Alto, then spread across the Santa Clara Valley during and following World War II. You'll meet some of the colorful characters – Leonard Fuller, Lee De Forest, Bill Eitel, Charles Litton, Fred Terman, David Packard, Bill Hewlett, Russ Varian and others -- who came to define the worldwide electronics industries through their inventions and process development. You’ll understand some of the novel management approaches that have become the hallmarks of tech startups and high-tech firms, and the kinds of engineers/developers who thrive in this work environment. He’ll end by telling us about some current local organizations that keep alive the spirit of the Hams, the Homebrew Computer Club, and the other entrepreneurial groups where geeks gather to invent the future. As vice president of publications for the IEEE Electronics Packaging Society for 22 years, Paul supervised four archival journals and a newsletter. He received the IEEE’s Centennial Medal, the Board's Distinguished Service award, the Society Contribution Award, and the IEEE's Third Millennium Medal.


Please reserve a spot for this joint meeting on the IEEE website:


ACM Chicago

ACM Chicago

May 7, 2019, 5:41:15 PM5/7/19
to Chicago Chapter ACM
Dear members,

Please note that the location for the May 15 meeting has now been changed to:

Room 1043 ERF
Engineering Research Facility
842 W Taylor St.
Chicago, IL 60607



ACM Chicago

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