April 30th marks Claude E. Shannon’s centennial birthday

April 2016

2016 marks the Shannon Centenary. Around the world, events are planned to celebrate his life and influence on the development of technology and information. Claude E. Shannon is best known for developing the field of information theory, which is the mathematical foundation of communication and data compression. He also laid the foundation for cryptography, digital circuits, circuit complexity, network flows, artificial intelligence and human–computer interaction.

After earning his PhD from MIT, Shannon joined Bell Labs, where he worked from 1942 through 1957. He returned to MIT as a faculty member until 1978.

Shannon was an avid juggler. His creations and interests were vast. For example, in 1950, he created a mouse controlled by a relay circuit. The programmed mouse was able to learn its environment, becoming the first artificial learning device of its kind.

In 1972, Shannon received the most prestigious prize of the IEEE Information Theory Society, which was later named The Shannon Award

The Shannon Award has been bestowed upon four Stanford EE faculty, Tom Cover (1990), Tom Kailath (2000), Bob Gray (2008), and Abbas El Gamal (2012).


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