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Conversation Central Podcast

A Presidential View of the IEEE Standards Association

Posted by Hannah Conrad on March 17th, 2011

Guest: Steve Mills, President, IEEE Standards Association

Host: Karen Bartleson, Sr. Director, Community Marketing, Synopsys Inc.

“A standard is a technical specification that is a result of a collaborative effort by a cross section of interested individuals from an industry . . . it’s produced through a consensus process where you get as close to total agreement as we possibly can . . . it specifies a solution for a technical problem in most cases, and that solution will hopefully be used to build products that will be made available in the broadest markets possible . . . and we hope that the result of the standard will serve to stabilize those markets and help to grow those markets over time.” –Steve Mills

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On this broadcast of Conversation Central, we picked the brain of Steve Mills, the President of IEEE Standards Association.  Since the topic of this show was standards, it was only appropriate to ask Mills to give a definition of a standard. Mills admitted that he finds Wikipedia’s definition to be the best definition on the internet but then proceeded to give a definition in his own words.  Over the course of the conversation, Mills explains the significance of standards to different groups of people and that in the wide scheme of things, having a high quality of standards overall, allows for a high quality of standards for everyone in their individual lives which raises the overall quality of life.  Mills also addresses a couple of myths about standards including the myth that only IEEE develops standards, when on the contrary, the industry develops the standards. Listen to the recorded broadcast now to also hear what Mills has to say about the following:

IEEE’s Five Principles for Developing Standards:

  • Consensus
  • Due Process
  • Openness
  • Right of Appeal
  • Balance

Mills’ Three Dynamics of Standardization

  • Politics
  • Economics
  • Technology
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