Claude Elwood Shannon (1916-2001) was a brilliant mathematician and electrical engineer. His genius was publicly recognized in 1940 when he won the Alfred Nobel prize for his master’s thesis A symbolic analysis of relay and switching circuits. Today he is considered the founder of information theory, a title predominately due to his seminal paper A mathematical theory of communication which was published in 1948. He worked on the theory between the years 1940 and 1948 while employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories and in it he used the term information to mean “a logarithm of the number of available choices” and regarded it as a physical unit—that is, a binary digit or bit. [Tina Jayroe, Univ. of Denver, Oct. 2008]
It is hard to underestimate the influence of this work. This book not only was a seminal influence in the field of computing but was also extraordinarily influential in the field of human communication.
In the short period between June 1948 and September 1949, this work appeared in at least four publications.
Shannon, or the editor of the book, must have foreseen the theory's influence since the title of the book was slightly altered from the original article. The title of the article was changed from "A mathematical theory of communication" (with most of the words lowercase) to "The Mathematical Theory Of Communication"!
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