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Some critics say that attending IMS is a waste of time for engineers and designers. The popular complaint is that conferences, in general, tend to be long on marketing sparkle and short on technical rigor. Among engineers, I often hear the comment that visiting booths is pointless because booth staff is more intent on tagging your conference badge to get your digits (i.e. email contact) than actually answering your technical questions. Questions about technical performance or pricing are shoved into the inquiry-list abyss, and might be addressed within the next decade.

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So I know a couple in San Antonio. I know what you’re thinking – I’ve heard all those Texas jokes already. But I really do know a couple in San Antonio. Shortly after meeting this couple the three of us discovered that we were all electrical engineers and so we immediately began to analyze (as good engineers will do) how our various paths in engineering were interconnected. Not only did we have difficulty finding connections, but it also took us quite some time to really understand our various responsibilities and sectors (relational software, aerospace parts tolerance assurance, and RF/microwave design and test). The most interesting of these sectors, I’m sure you’ll agree, is the rapidly expanding RF and microwave sector.

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Bring yourself, your love of the outdoors and no ties to this premier event… the IMS2014 Kickoff Celebration. Why wait until the end of the week when we are all exhausted to celebrate? Let’s get started early. Monday night. Don’t miss it.

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IMS was my first conference when I joined this industry way back in 19xx cough, cough. I was young and optimistic, and I stepped into a conference that was marked by an industry that was frightened and wondering what the future held. Most of the companies were what many now refer to as “the old microwave guys” who really only had military customers. And the military orders were drying up. There were whispers on the show floor of this new “wireless” technology. Many scoffed at the term. Heck, wireless was the word used to describe Marconi’s invention. But what if… what if there really was a commercial market for this fantastic technology that we all loved so much. Could there be a brighter future?

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The IEEE IMS show is a terrific place to further one’s education on emerging technologies, state of the art testing procedures and all things related to the microwave industry. In addition to an exhibit hall featuring over 550 microwave industry-related companies, IMS2014 offers technical sessions, interactive forums, plenary and panel sessions, workshops, short courses, industrial exhibits, application seminars, historical exhibits, and a wide variety of other technical and social activities, including both student and guest programs.”

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What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear MTT-IMS? Geeking out on microwave technology? Jetlag and late-night socializing? Microapp sessions? Free microwave swag? The IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium (IMS) is the premier annual international conference for technologists involved in all aspects of microwave theory and practice. The conference is held in a different location each year, and attendees look forward to spending the week with peers and microwave gurus who enjoy discussing the latest advancements in anything from MMICs to polyharmonic distortion models. While some engineers reluctantly admit they are not terribly social in the conventional sense, part of the appeal of IMS is the chance to socialize over the aforementioned topics.

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To be a better engineer, get Linked-in to the IMS Community.

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I watched the Teen Choice Awards with my daughter the other week…  She was tracking who won and whom she voted for via her iPhone.  I was “zoning” out all the noise and wondering what this could possibly teach her. Having moved to LA from the East Coast a few years back now, the influence of “Hollywood” is hard to escape, so trying to instill the message that STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) is smart and sexy is a real challenge. Referring to myself as a cool geek mom, I am often saying to my kids that science is cool, math is cool, and being a geek is cool!

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What is the IMS2014 STEM Program?
 

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