1980s – This decade saw the birth and proliferation of the first personal computers, including the IBM PS/1 and PS2 and the Macintosh. The MIDI and CD-ROM were also developed during this decade. Within the Computer Society, the growth of the seventies continued in every function, but with new dimensions and changing emphasis. This was the decade of new magazines, major standards activities, new education initiatives, international services, and a significant growth and refinement of staff services and facilities. There were also changes in the volunteer structure. In 1982, major committees were reorganized as boards each headed by a vice president. Starting from 1984, the election of the president and the 1st and 2nd vice presidents were made competitive in that the nomination committee was required to place at least two candidates for each of the positions. The office of the president became a de facto full time job. To attract people to make the commitment, the society changed its term of the presidency to one year (from two) in 1987. In 1985, the executive committee was established. In 1989, the BOG was expanded to 21 members who served staggered three-year terms.
1980: Computer Society members begin electing officers and members of the Board of Governors. Membership grows to nearly 44,000, including 100 chapters, and the Society purchases its Los Alamitos, California, building.

The number of technical committees grows to 20.
1981: IEEE Computer Graphics & Applications and IEEE Micro are launched.
1982: Volunteer committees are reorganized as boards, each headed by a vice president.

The society's first executive director is hired.
1984: IEEE Design & Test and IEEE Software are launched.
1985: The Society purchases its Washington, DC, headquarters building and an adjoining building in Los Alamitos and opens an office in Brussels.

The Executive Committee is formed to oversee operations and act for the Board of Governors in between meetings.
1986: Members begin receiving computer.org email addresses as a benefit of membership.
1987: The president's term is changed from two years to one.
1988: An office is opened in Tokyo to help support international growth.
1989: The Board of Governors is expanded to 21 members who serve staggered three-year terms.

IEEE Transactions on Knowledge & Database Engineering is introduced and IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis & Machine Intelligence moves from bimonthly to monthly publication.