Claude Elwood Shannon
“I was lucky, I was apparently coincidentally the only one who was familiar with both disciplines (computer science and cybernetics).” </br>
Claude Shannon about his contribution in the development of information and communication technologies.
Claude Shannon was an American mathematician and engineer. He is known as the “father of information theory”, which defined the principles of transmission, encoding, decoding, storage and measurement of information, and laid the foundations of the principles of computer science.
He spent his childhood in Gaylord, Michigan, USA. He was affected by his grandfather, who was an inventor. Claude Shannon was fascinated since childhood by various mechanical and electrical equipment, and his idol was his distant relative Thomas Alva Edison. Part of his information theory was the expression of the universal unit of Information that Shannon described as “binary digit” or abbreviated “bit” and defined that one bit represents information obtained by the answer to a question of yes/no, expressed using digits 0/1.
Part of the work of Claude Shannon was in addition to comprehensive information theory, many partial theories and established rules. Among the most important are:
- Definition of the information unit (bit)
- Definition of resources required for information transfer: transmitter, receiver, channel
- Theory of data transfer (information signals), information noise
- Definition of information redundancy
- Theory of data compression
- Theory of switching circuits using Boolean logic, which was crucial for the development of digital computers
- Theory of optimal coding
His comprehensive work “A Mathematical Theory of Communication”, published in 1948 in the Bell System Technical Journal, established informatics and computer science as an exact science discipline.
Shannon graduated from the University of Michigan and later also from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His thesis “A Symbolic Analysis of Relay and Switching Circuits” )1938) has become the de facto basis for a new discipline. Howard Gardner (Harvard University) even called it “possibly the most important, and the most famous master’s thesis of this century.” Shannon was employed at Bell Labs, and of interest is the fact that in his 35 years, he decided to retire to pursue his hobbies.