Calibration Ensures Accuracy

Computer-based measurement devices, like their standalone counterparts, demand proper calibration

9 min read
photo of computer-based instruments

photo of computer-based instruments(1) Computer-based instruments can be individual cards within a computer or external boxes like these that connect to a PC or act as a PC themselves with the addition of a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. Regardless of how they are connected to a PC, these instruments require periodic calibration to verify that they are operating within the manufacturer's published specifications. If they are not, their measurement circuitry is adjusted until they do.

"But we all know we should calibrate regularly," is probably your first thought after reading the title of this article. But how often do engineers and technicians actually do it? Not as often as good practice demands, unfortunately. Across many industries, engineers have stories of devices that failed because they were designed or built or tested with the aid of instruments that were not calibrated at all or were not calibrated often enough, or were calibrated incorrectly. Here's just one anecdote.

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IEEE SIGHT Founder Amarnath Raja Dies at 65

The humanitarian program leverages technology for sustainable development

4 min read
Photo of a man in a blue "IEEE SIGHT" jacket in front of a flowering tree.

Amarnath Raja, an IEEE senior member, founded the IEEE Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology in 2011.

Jaya Krishnan

Amarnath Raja

Founder of IEEE Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology

Senior member, 65; died 5 September

Raja founded the IEEE Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology (SIGHT) in 2011. The global network partners with underserved communities and local organizations to leverage technology for sustainable development.

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Hi-fi, Radio, and Retro: The DIY Projects Spectrum Readers Love

They also really like Lego and hacking pretty much everything

2 min read
An assortment of boxy devices, spread out as if on a display table.

Here are some of your favorite Hands On projects: An inexpensive but high-quality DIY audio amplifier (A) and its Web-enabled successor (B); an Arduino-powered replica of the groundbreaking Altair 8800 (C); a Raspberry Pi–powered color mechanical television (D); and (E), a home computer built with just five digital chips that uses an old hack to create an analog video signal.

James Provost

This month we’re celebrating the launch of our second PDF collection of Hands On articles, which IEEE members can download from IEEE Spectrum’s website and share with friends. So we thought we’d take a look at the relative popularity of Hands On articles published over the last five years and share the top 15 projects our website visitors found most interesting.

Just to give a little peek behind our analytics curtain, the measure of popularity Spectrum’s editors use is “total engaged minutes,” or TEM, which combines page views of articles with how long visitors spend reading them. We use TEM because we’re not terribly interested in grabbing folks with a clickbait headline, only for them to bounce out before they’ve finished reading the first paragraph.

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Get the Coursera Campus Skills Report 2022

Download the report to learn which job skills students need to build high-growth careers

1 min read

Get comprehensive insights into higher education skill trends based on data from 3.8M registered learners on Coursera, and learn clear steps you can take to ensure your institution's engineering curriculum is aligned with the needs of the current and future job market. Download the report now!