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Bell Labs: Claude Shannon, Father of Information Theory, Dies at 84

Feb 28, 2001, 06:55 (3 Talkback[s])

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"Claude Elwood Shannon, the mathematician who laid the foundation of modern information theory while working at Bell Labs in the 1940s, died on Saturday. He was 84."

"Shannon's theories are as relevant today as they were when he first formulated them. "It was truly visionary thinking," said Arun Netravali, president of Lucent Technologies' Bell Labs. "As if assuming that inexpensive, high-speed processing would come to pass, Shannon figured out the upper limits on communication rates. First in telephone channels, then in optical communications, and now in wireless, Shannon has had the utmost value in defining the engineering limits we face."

"In 1948 Shannon published his landmark A Mathematical Theory of Communication. He begins this pioneering paper on information theory by observing that "the fundamental problem of communication is that of reproducing at one point either exactly or approximately a message selected at another point." He then proceeds to so thoroughly establish the foundations of information theory that his framework and terminology remain standard."

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