Engineering Expressiveness

As computers empower engineering expressiveness, they also plot to take it away

3 min read
Illustration: Arthur Giron
Illustration: Arthur Giron

I keep hearing an ad on a local radio station touting a course that will give you a “million-dollar vocabulary.” According to the ad, after only a few hours of studying the course material, you will be using big, powerful words that will impress people with your intelligence.

The thought occurs to me that we could fix this shortcoming in written communication. Your word processor could come up with a helpful pop-up. “I see you’re using small words, like ‘pay,’” it would say. “Perhaps you’d like to substitute the word ‘remuneration.’”

Keep Reading ↓Show less

This article is for IEEE members only. Join IEEE to access our full archive.

Join the world’s largest professional organization devoted to engineering and applied sciences and get access to all of Spectrum’s articles, podcasts, and special reports. Learn more →

If you're already an IEEE member, please sign in to continue reading.

Membership includes:

  • Get unlimited access to IEEE Spectrum content
  • Follow your favorite topics to create a personalized feed of IEEE Spectrum content
  • Save Spectrum articles to read later
  • Network with other technology professionals
  • Establish a professional profile
  • Create a group to share and collaborate on projects
  • Discover IEEE events and activities
  • Join and participate in discussions

The Transistor of 2047: Expert Predictions

What will the device be like on its 100th anniversary?

4 min read
Six men and a woman smiling.

The luminaries who dared predict the future of the transistor for IEEE Spectrum include: [clockwise from left] Gabriel Loh, Sri Samavedam, Sayeef Salahuddin, Richard Schultz, Suman Datta, Tsu-Jae King Liu, and H.-S. Philip Wong.


The 100th anniversary of the invention of the transistor will happen in 2047. What will transistors be like then? Will they even be the critical computing element they are today? IEEE Spectrum asked experts from around the world for their predictions.

Keep Reading ↓Show less