Claude Shannon
19162001
Shannon was an
American
electronic engineer and
mathematician. He is known as
"the father of
information theory"
for having founded this field with one landmark paper published in
1948.
Information theory is a branch of applied mathematics and electrical engineering involving the quantification of information. Historically, information theory was developed to find fundamental limits on compressing and reliably communicating data.
A
key measure of information in the theory is known as
entropy, which is usually
expressed by the average number of bits needed for storage or
communication. Intuitively, entropy quantifies the uncertainty
involved when encountering a
random variable. For example,
a fair coin flip (2 equally likely outcomes) will have less entropy
than a roll of a die (6 equally likely outcomes).
He is also credited with founding both digital computer and digital circuit design theory in 1937, when, as a 21yearold master's student at MIT, he wrote a thesis demonstrating that electrical application of Boolean algebra could construct and resolve any logical, numerical relationship.
It has
been claimed that this was the most important master's thesis of all
time.
