IEEE Computer Society Style Guide

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M

 

 

µ: mu; see mu and micro- entries

 

M: SI prefix for million or mega (40-Mbyte hard disk, 12 Mbytes of memory)

 

m: one one-thousandth or milli- (18 mm)

 

mA: milliampere (20-mA current loop, 20 mA)

 

MAA: Mathematical Association of America

 

MAC: media access control

 

MacDraw, MacPaint, MacWrite

 

Macintosh: computer from Apple

 

Macro II: Digital Equipment Corp. assembly language

 

macro- (prefix): not hyphenated when used to form a compound (macroassembler); exception is when a double "o" occurs, for example, macro-object

 

Macsyma: a symbolic manipulation program developed at MIT

 

mainframe: a computer housed in a large frame or cabinet, usually used for multiuser applications, which usually requires a temperature-controlled environment and special power supply. Examples are the Digital Equipment Corporation VAX and IBM System 370 computers; saying "mainframe computer" is redundant.

 

makefile

 

MAN: metropolitan area network

 

manet: mobile ad hoc network; in Transactions, MANET

 

man-hour, man-month, man-year (nouns): try to use a non-gender-specific term, such as staff-hour

 

man-in-the-middle attack; MITM attack

 

MAP: Manufacturing Automation Protocol; MAP/TOP: Manufacturing Automation Protocol/Technical Office Protocol; communications standards supported by General Motors and Boeing; both standards follow OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) protocols

 

marked up: When it's used as an adjective, hyphenate it when it comes before the word it modifies but not when it comes after.

 

market research firm

 

markup (adj, n)

 

mashup (n); mash up (v)

 

master's degree

 

master slice (n): a nonmetalized wafer containing arrays of circuit elements interconnected to perform different functions

 

matrices: preferred over matrixes in a mathematical context; in other contexts such as structural composition, use matrixes; example: matrixes of materials

 

Matlab

 

matrix, -es: see matrices

 

MB: megabyte; use Mbyte (40-Mbyte hard disk, 12 Mbytes of memory)

 

Mb: megabit; use Mbit or spell out

 

Mbit: megabit; use Mbit or spell out

 

Mbps: megabits per second (spell out on first use, except in Internet Computing); Mbps, not MBPS.

 

Mbone: multicast backbone; Internet broadcasting technology

 

Mbyte: megabyte (40-Mbyte hard disk, 12 Mbytes of memory)

 

MCAE: mechanical computer-aided engineering

 

MCM: multichip module

 

MDA: Model Driven Architecture

 

MEMS: microelectromechanical systems

 

MEPS: millions of events per second

 

meta- (prefix): not hyphenated when used to form a compound (metarule) unless it looks weird, as when the second term starts with a vowel (meta-analysis)

 

Mflops: megaflops; million floating-point operations per second

 

MHEG: Multimedia and Hypermedia Experts Group

 

MHz: megahertz (50-MHz channel, 50 MHz)

 

micro, micros: acceptable as nouns when referring to microcomputers

 

micro- (prefix): one-millionth part of a specified unit (microgram); not hyphenated when used to form a compound (microelectronics)

 

micro-BGA: micro-ball-grid array

 

microCAD, microCADD: computer-aided design and computer-aided design and drafting performed on a microcomputer—no longer relevant since most CAD/CADD is performed on microcomputers

 

microelectromechanical: one word, no hyphens or capitals; often seen as microelectromechanical systems, abbreviated as MEMS

 

micrometer (mm): SI abbreviation for one-millionth part of a meter; accepted abbreviation is m

 

micron: millionth part of a meter, but SI term is micrometer; usage varies, for example, micron is used in integrated circuit production; can also be written as m

 

microphotograph: small photograph normally magnified for viewing (such as microfilm). The field is called micrographics. Do not confuse with "photomicrograph," a magnified picture of small things.

 

microsecond (ms): the letter "u" is not a replacement. If a Greek font is not available, spell out as mu. In magazines, spelled-out form is preferred, at least on first reference, except perhaps in tables.

 

MicroVAX, MicroVAX II, MicroVMS

 

mid: Check Webster's for preferred format.

 

middle-out design

 

midframe: a computer housed in a small frame or cabinet, usually used for multiuser applications, that does not require a temperature-controlled environment or special power supply; saying "midframe computer" is redundant

*

MIDI: musical instrument digital interface

 

millisecond: abbreviation is ms

 

Milnet: along with Arpanet, the main constituent of the Defense Data Network (DDN); Minet is the European split-off from Milnet

 

Mil-Std: military standard; not the same as DoD-Std

 

 

MIMD: multiple instruction, multiple data. Pronounced "mimdee" and takes "a" as its article; spell out on first use unless context dictates otherwise; add hyphens when used as a modifier

*

MIME: Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions

 

MIMO: multiple input, multiple output

 

mini- (prefix): not hyphenated when used to form a compound (minicartridges)

 

MiniDIP: trademark name for a dual in-line package

 

MINX: Multimedia Information Network Exchange

 

MIP mapping: multiple texture mapping technique

 

MIPS: million instructions per second; also, MIPS Technologies Inc., a subsidiary of SGI; use full name when context requires it

*

MIT: Massachusetts Institute of Technology; spell out on first use if context dictates

 

MITI: Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry

 

MITRE: preferred format for this company's name

 

mL: millilambert

 

ml: milliliter (5-ml strip, 0.5 ml)

 

mm: millimeter (35-mm film, 0.5 mm)

 

MMOG: massively multiplayer online game

 

MMU: memory management unit

 

MobiCom: For 1999 and before, the conference acronym format is MobiCom 99; for 2000 and afterwards, the format is MobiCom 2000. The full conference name is, for example, 6th Ann. Int'l Conf. Mobile Computing and Networking (MobiCom 2000), 2000.

 

mobile phone: not hyphenated, even when it's an adjective

 

mockup: (n, adj)

 

MODFET: modulation doped field-effect transistor

 

molecular dynamics: hyphenated when it's an adjective

 

Moore's law: a theory predicting that the number of transistors on a chip doubles as technology advances

 

MOPS: million operations per second

 

Morgan Kaufmann: publisher

 

MOS (adj): metal-oxide-semiconductor

 

MOSFET: metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor

 

MOSI: Microprocessor Operating Systems Interface, IEEE Standard 855-1990

 

mother: one of several family words used to describe relationships among nodes in databases; preferred usage is gender-neutral parent; however, do not change without checking with author

 

motherboard: a circuit board into which various processor boards are plugged

 

Motorola: do not follow with "Inc." as there is confusion in the company about whether "Inc." or "Corp." is appropriate, even though company stationery uses "Inc." Use the MC prefix when referring to the specific microprocessor from Motorola, for example, MC68030. Use M68000 when referring to the family of devices that share the M68000 architecture.

 

Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG): family of standards for coding audio-visual information

*

MP3, MP4: audio file formats

*

MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-3, MPEG-4

 

MPI: message passing interface

 

MPU: microprocessing unit

 

MPW: an Apple development environment for the Mac

*

MRI: magnetic resonance imaging

 

ms: millisecond

*

MS-DOS: Microsoft's version of DOS; see also DOS

 

MSI: medium-scale integration

 

MSPS: million searches per second

 

MTBF: mean time between failures

 

MTTR: mean time to repair, mean time to restore

 

MTU: maximum transmission unit

 

mu (m): Greek letter used as a symbol for micron

 

multi- (prefix): Do not hyphenate when used to form a compound, except with "double-i" combinations (multimeter; multi-integral).

 

Multibus, Multibus II: Intel trademarks; IEEE 796 is the multibus standard

 

multiplexer (n)

 

MUT: module under test

 

mux: multiplexer; muxes (plural): spell out on first reference

 

MVP: matrix-vector product, the primary operation around which supercomputers are designed

 

MVS: an IBM mainframe operating system

 

MW: megawatt (2 MW, 2-MW system)

 

mW: milliwatt (200 mW, 200-mW system)

 

Mycin: an expert system that can be programmed with knowledge databases for different domains

N

 

 

9/07 Xen: open source virtualization software

 

9/11; September 11, 2001

 

n: SI prefix for one billionth or nano (100 ns)

 

n: variable designation for an integer; italicized

 

N.: "north" in addresses

 

N/A: not applicable

 

NAA: formerly the National Association of Accountants; reincarnated as the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA)

 

naive

 

namespace

 

nano- (prefix): one billionth; do not use hyphen (nanoseconds, 100 ns)

 

narrow band (n), narrow-band (adj): however, according to the IEEE Dictionary of Electrical and Electronic Terms, narrowband or narrow band are used as adjectives in some contexts.

*

NASA: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, D.C.

 

     Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

 

     Dryden Research Center, Edwards AFB, Calif.

 

     Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

 

     Jet Propulsion Lab, Pasadena, Calif.

 

     Johnson Space Flight Center, Houston

 

     Kennedy Space Flight Center, Cape Canaveral, Fla.

 

     Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.

 

     Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio

 

     Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.

 

NASA Massively Parallel Processor

 

NAT: network address translator

 

NBS: National Bureau of Standards, an agency of the US Commerce Dept.; obsolete, now known as NIST

 

NC: numerical control

 

NCCCD: National Center for Computer Crime Data

 

NCGA: National Computer Graphics Association

 

n-channel; n-channel device: insulated-gate field-effect transistor where source and drain are regions of n-type conductivity

 

NCSA: National Center for Supercomputing Applications

 

nCube: in preference to nCUBE or nCUBE

 

NCP: Network-Control Protocol

 

Net: short name for the Internet

 

.NET

 

NetBIOS: a product that provides basic I/O services for a network; do not use as a synonym for "network BIOS" or "LAN BIOS," which are generic terms for a BIOS designed for a local area network

 

Netherlands: use the

 

netlist (n, adj): a list of the pin connections (pin network) that appear on a printed circuit board

 

newsfeed

 

Newton-Raphson: a well-known algorithm for solving equations

 

NeXT: logo form of the name of the computer company started by Steve Jobs

 

NFS: Network File System (from Sun Microsystems' application, SunSoft)

 

NGSCB: Microsoft's next-generation secure computing base

 

NIST: National Institute of Standards and Technology; formerly NBS

 

nm: nanometer

 

NMOS: n-channel metal oxide semiconductor

 

no.: abbreviation for number; nos. (plural)

 

NOAA: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency in the US Dept. of Commerce; although sometimes pronounced "noah," it takes an as an article, as if each letter were pronounced ("an NOAA study")

 

NoD: news on demand

 

node: family words—mother, daughter, child—are used to describe relationships among nodes in databases; the terms are legitimate—don't try to edit them out

 

non- (prefix): not usually hyphenated; be flexible with words that are difficult to read, for example, non-negligible, non-real-time mode

 

non–von Neumann: see von Neumann; in this case, an en-dash is recommended over a hyphen

 

NP-hard; NP-complete: classes of difficult problems

 

n-queen's solver

 

ns: nanoseconds (3,000 ns)

 

NSA: National Security Agency

 

NSERC: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council; a Canadian research agency similar to the US National Science Foundation

 

NSF: US National Science Foundation; NSF is acceptable on second reference or on first reference in the acknowledgment section of a feature when used with grant number

 

NSFnet

 

NSPE: National Society of Professional Engineers

 

NuBus

 

Numbers and Symbols: see special section and CMS, Section 9

 

NTSC: National TV Standards Committee; note: committee and standard use same acronym

 

Nurbs: nonuniform rational B-spline

 

Nvidia

 

NW: northwest in addresses, no periods

 

NYU/IBS Ultracomputer

O

 

 

OASI: Office Automation Society International

 

OASIS: Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards; www.oasis-open.org

 

Object Management Group: OMG

 

Object Modeling Technique: OMT

 

object orientation

 

object-oriented (OO): an approach to programming that stresses the creation of functions (objects) that are linked in various relationships, usually in hierarchies, to provide the desired functionality; compare with traditional approaches such as imperative programming, which stresses actions to be taken rather than relationships between objects

 

Objective-C: a computer language

 

Occam: language used by Inmos for its transputer chip

 

OCR: optical character recognition; the machine is an OCR scanner

 

octree: a tree structure that describes the division of a cubic region into smaller cubes

 

OCX: optical cross-connect

 

ODBC: open database connectivity

*

OEM: original equipment manufacturer

 

OFDM: orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing

 

off-chip (adj)

 

offline: all uses, as in the printer is offline, offline equipment

 

offload, offscreen, offsite

 

The Ohio State University: the Ohio State University in text

 

ohm (n): a unit of electrical resistance

 

OIL: ontology inference layer; see also DAML+OIL

 

okay

 

OLAP: online analytical processing

 

OLE: object linking and embedding; a Microsoft item

 

OLED: organic light-emitting diode

 

OLTP: online transaction processing

 

OMG: Object Management Group

 

Omnimax (n, adj): a stereoscopic, eggshell-shaped theater

 

OMT: object modeling technique

 

ONA: Open Network Architecture

 

onboard: all uses, as in onboard regulation

 

on-chip (adj): as in on-chip logic

 

on-demand: (adj.)

 

online: all uses, as in the printer is online, online equipment

 

onscreen, onsite

 

ONR: US Office of Naval Research

 

OO: object-oriented

 

op amp: operation amplifier; spell out in text on first use

 

opcode (n): operation code

 

OpenGL: a graphics programming language

 

open-loop (adj): as in an open-loop program

 

open loop (n): a system in which there is no feedback mechanism for self-correction as there is in a closed loop

 

open source (n, adj): don't use as a verb (instead, consider wording such as "released X as open source")

 

order-of-magnitude (adj)

 

ORB: object request broker

 

ORSA: merged with the Institute of Management Sciences in 1995 to become the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS)

 

orthogonal: In linear algebra, the term describes a set of vectors that are independent, in that no element is a linear combination of the others. In programming, the term is used more loosely to refer to independent—although possibly related—concepts.

*

OS: operating system

 

OSI: open systems interconnection; a concept whereby different vendors' products work together

 

OSPF: Open Shortest Path First Protocol

 

OS X

 

out queue (n), out-queue (adj)

 

OWL: Web Ontology Language