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Stay on Top of Your Game With Courses from the IEEE Learning Network

More than 900 courses are available on topics such as 5G, enterprise blockchain, and IoT

2 min read
Illustration imagining adults look at continuing education classes online.
Illustration: iStockphoto

THE INSTITUTE More than 68,000 people from all 10 IEEE regions have visited the IEEE Learning Network since its launch last July. With more than 900 courses available from 26 IEEE societies and groups, the ILN provides professional-development training in 17 categories to engineers, technology professionals, students, and educators who want to advance their career, refresh their skills, and stay up to date.

The network has content from IEEE societies, councils, and other operating units that have made their courses available directly or provided links to their resources on their own website.

The platform also features relevant technical content that offers continuing-education units and professional-development hours that can help professional engineers maintain their licenses. More than 5,750 users have enrolled in the courses, and more than 1,300 digital certificates have been issued. Nearly 71 percent of the participants have been IEEE members, and approximately two-thirds have been young professionals.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the ILN has served as a trusted resource for engineers and technical professionals working and studying from home. IEEE members have been offered discounts and free resources from multiple ILN partners so that they could improve their skills.


In a satisfaction survey of ILN users conducted this year, 63 percent said they purchased a course to help them learn a new skill or topic, or to refresh their knowledge. When it came to the content, here’s what they had to say:

IEEE Member Anis Ben Arfi, a volunteer for the IEEE Ottawa Section and chair of the IEEE Canadian Humanitarian Initiatives Committee, recently started working with radio transmitter architectures. Arfi is an algorithm and system characterization engineer at Analog Devices of Norwood, Mass. He said he used the ILN to find online courses so he could better understand the performance of radio frequency transmitters.

“After taking my first ILN course [Low-EVM High-Bandwidth Efficient CMOS RF-Transmitters], I discovered there is very valuable and diverse content accessible for all IEEE members and nonmembers,” he said. “The lectures cover different topics that aren’t available on other learning platforms, and most are presented by prominent industry leaders and academia professors. ILN is a great resource for research findings. The educational material on ILN provides valuable content that I know will have a positive impact in the advancement of my career.”

“I enjoyed the high-level discussions, with some material being more in-depth,” Graham Ardner said about the Analog Digital Converter Design: Part 1 course. “I had to rewatch some portions several times—which indicated there was a lot for me to learn.”

Sudhanshu Janwadkar, who took Enterprise Blockchain for the Internet of Things, said, “The duration of the course was perfect. A few pictorial illustrations, such as those depicting intervehicle spacing policy, helped to build interest in the topic and clarified the concepts.”

“The ease of learning combined with the rich content—all packed into a small session—helped in better understanding the topic,” Akash Hegde said about Cloud Security.

More than 65 percent of survey respondents said they plan to apply their new skills to their current position, and 82 percent plan to purchase more courses from the platform.

For additional information, visit the IEEE Learning Network. Free ILN resources can be found here.

You also can share ILN content and resources with your colleagues.

Johanna Perez is the digital marketing specialist for IEEE Educational Activities.

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Today’s Robotic Surgery Turns Surgical Trainees Into Spectators

Medical training in the robotics age leaves tomorrow's surgeons short on skills

10 min read
Photo of an operating room. On the left side of the image, two surgeons sit at consoles with their hands on controls. On the right side, a large white robot with four arms operates on a patient.

The dominant player in the robotic surgery industry is Intuitive Surgical, which has more than 6,700 da Vinci machines in hospitals around the world. The robot’s four arms can all be controlled by a single surgeon.

Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images

Before the robots arrived, surgical training was done the same way for nearly a century.

During routine surgeries, trainees worked with nurses, anesthesiologists, and scrub technicians to position and sedate the patient, while also preparing the surgical field with instruments and lights. In many cases, the trainee then made the incision, cauterized blood vessels to prevent blood loss, and positioned clamps to expose the organ or area of interest. That’s often when the surgeon arrived, scrubbed in, and took charge. But operations typically required four hands, so the trainee assisted the senior surgeon by suctioning blood and moving tissue, gradually taking the lead role as he or she gained experience. When the main surgical task was accomplished, the surgeon scrubbed out and left to do the paperwork. The trainee then did whatever stitching, stapling, or gluing was necessary to make the patient whole again.

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