4Information Theory

Historical Note

Claude Shannon’s (pictured)1[1] seminal 1948 paper, ‘A mathematical theory of communication’ [2] is widely considered to be the foundation upon which the fields of information theory and digital communications have been built. The paper is the theoretical foundation which determines how we encode, communicate, and store information in discrete digital form.

Photo of Claude Shannon.

Shannon was a researcher at Bell Laboratories, the research arm of the Bell Telephone Company in the middle of the 20th century. At the time a number of communication technologies were known and used: among them were telegraph (Morse, 1844), telephone (Bell, 1876), wireless telegraph (Marconi, 1894), amplitude modulation (AM) radio (Fessenden, 1906), frequency ...

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