June 2023

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Volume 40 | Issue 4

The 75th anniversary of the IEEE Signal Processing Society (SPS) is an ideal time to look at the rapid advances in our field and the many ways that these increasingly powerful technologies have transformed our professions and the world. This is not just a time to celebrate past achievements and pat ourselves on the back, but also to educate young students and innovators about the history of our profession, the challenges we have overcome, and the breakthroughs that have led to the incredible growth of Signal Processing (SP).

It is our great pleasure to introduce the first part of this special issue to you! The IEEE Signal Processing Society (SPS) has completed 75 years of remarkable service to the signal processing community. When the Society was founded in 1948, we couldn’t imagine, for instance, how wireless networks of smartphones would be able to connect us easily at all times, or that an image processing algorithm would be able to detect cancer in a few seconds.

Signal processing (SP) is a “hidden” technology that has transformed the digital world and changed our lives in so many ways. The field of digital SP (DSP) took off in the mid-1960s, aided by the integrated circuit and increasing availability of digital computers. Since then, the field of DSP has grown tremendously and fueled groundbreaking advances in technology across a wide range of fields with profound impact on society. 

When I began writing this 75th anniversary article celebrating women in signal processing (SP), I reread the 1998 editorial titled “Fifty Years of Signal Processing: 1948–1998” [1] . At that time, IEEE had more than 300,000 members in 150 nations, the world’s largest professional technical Society. Within the IEEE umbrella, there were 37 IEEE Societies and technical groups, and the IEEE Signal Processing Society (SPS) was the oldest among its many Societies.

Throughout the IEEE Signal Processing Society’s (SPS’s) history, conferences have functioned as a main way to connect within the Society, bringing together the signal processing research community to discuss and debate, establish research collaborations, and have a good time.


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