The 1990s
Browse the IEEE Computer Society Timeline:
1950–1960s  |  1970s  |  1980s  |  1990s  |  2000s & Beyond

The first web browser, Mosaic, was created in the 1990s by students and staff at the University of Illinois’ National Center for Supercomputing. Other highlights of the decade include the introduction of the Java programming language, the Intel Pentium Pro processor, Windows 95, and IBM’s Deep Blue beating Gary Kasmarov at chess.

Together with the industry it represents, the IEEE Computer Society celebrated its 50th anniversary and experienced unprecedented growth during the 1990s. The number of conferences sponsored by the Society also saw a rapid growth. In addition to our headquarters in Washington, D.C., and the publication office in California, we had offices in Tokyo, Budapest, Moscow, and Beijing.

With the opening of the Eastern European countries to the West, the Society rapidly revived its contacts with the national computer societies and established local chapters in that region. A special committee, the Central and Eastern European Initiatives Committee, was formed to promote such activities. Subsequently, similar initiatives were also launched in Latin America (Region 9) and in China.

As new areas in information processing were developed, the Society also added new journals to meet the demands for knowledge in these new subdisciplines, launching IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems in 1990 and IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking in 1991, the latter jointly with the IEEE Communications Society and ACM SIGCOM. We introduced the IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics in 1995 and IEEE Internet Computing in 1997. We closed out the decade with the launching of IT Professional in 1999 — a total portfolio of 24 periodicals.

This decade also saw many accomplishments by the Computer Society Standards Activities. The IEEE 802.11 became perhaps the most popular and well-known protocol of the industry. It had its origin in the late seventies proposed by a group of Computer Society volunteers working on the Ethernet standards, IEEE 802.3. Over many years of hard work starting in 1990, the wireless standards working group made it an official international standard in 1997.

The number of conferences sponsored by the Society also grew rapidly. We sponsored or co-sponsored about 125 each year, with 143 Computer Society meetings in 1999. We still held large international conferences with thousands of attendees, the most notable of which were SC (formerly Supercomputing), International Conference on Data Engineering (ICDE), International Symposium on Fault-Tolerant Computing (FTCS), International Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium (IPPS), International Test Conference (ITC), and Visualization (VIS).

IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems is launched.

IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking is jointly launched with the IEEE Communications Society and ACM SIGCOM.

IEEE begins publishing IEEE Annals of the History of Computing (Annals was formerly published by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies starting in 1979).

IEEE Parallel and Distributed Technology is launched.

IEEE MultiMedia is launched.

IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics is introduced.

The Computer Society Digital Library is introduced.

IEEE 802.11 becomes an official international standard. IEEE Internet Computing begins publication. IEEE Parallel and Distributed Technology is renamed IEEE Concurrency.

IEEE Expert is renamed IEEE Intelligent Systems and their Applications.

IT Professional is launched. Computing in Science & Engineering is launched with the American Institute of Physics as its co-publisher. The magazine was formerly known as IEEE Computational Science & Engineering.


View the History Committee