Claude E. Shannon
From Academic Kids

Claude Elwood Shannon (April 30, 1916  February 24, 2001) has been called "the father of information theory", and was the founder of practical digital circuit design theory.
Contents 
Biography
Shannon was born in Petoskey, Michigan and was a distant relative of Thomas Edison. While growing up, he worked as a messenger for Western Union.
In 1932, Shannon began studying at the University of Michigan, where he eventually encountered a course that introduced him to the works of George Boole. He graduated from the university in 1936 with two bachelor's degrees, one in electrical engineering and one in mathematics, and he then moved to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for graduate school, where he worked on Vannevar Bush's differential analyzer, an analog computer.
In his 1937 MIT master's thesis, A Symbolic Analysis of Relay and Switching Circuits, Shannon proved that Boolean algebra and binary arithmetic could be used to simplify the arrangement of the electromechanical relays then used in telephone routing switches, then turned the concept upside down and also proved that it should be possible to use arrangements of relays to solve Boolean algebra problems. This concept, of utilizing the properties of electrical switches to do logic, is the basic concept that underlies all electronic digital computers, and the thesis became the foundation of practical digital circuit design when it became widely known among the electrical engineering community during and after World War II. Contemporaneous methods to design logic circuits at the time were ad hoc and lacked the theoretical rigor that Shannon's paper supplied to later projects.
Professor Howard Gardner, of Harvard University, called Shannon's thesis "possibly the most important, and also the most famous, master's thesis of the century". A version of the paper was published in the 1938 issue of the Transactions of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, and in 1940, it earned Shannon the Alfred Noble American Institute of American Engineers Award.
Flush with this success, Vannevar Bush suggested that Shannon work on his dissertation at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, funded by the Carnegie Institution headed by Bush, to develop similar mathematical relationships for Mendelian genetics, which resulted in Shannon's 1940 PhD thesis at MIT, An Algebra for Theoretical Genetics. Shannon then joined Bell Labs to work on firecontrol systems and cryptography during World War II. He returned to MIT to hold an endowed chair in 1956.
In 1948 Shannon published A Mathematical Theory of Communication. This work focuses on the problem of how to best encode the information a sender wants to transmit. In this fundamental work he used tools in probability theory, developed by Norbert Wiener, which were in their nascent stages of being applied to communication theory at that time. Shannon developed information entropy as a measure for the uncertainty in a message while essentially inventing what became known as the dominant form of "information theory." The book coauthored with Warren Weaver, The Mathematical Theory of Communication, reprints Shannon's 1948 article and Weaver's popularization of it, which is accessible to the nonspecialist. Another notable paper published in 1949 is Communication Theory of Secrecy Systems, a major contribution to the development of a mathematical theory of cryptography. He is also credited with the introduction of the Sampling Theory, which is concerned with representing a continuoustime signal from a (uniform) discrete set of samples.
Outside of his academic pursuits, Shannon was interested in juggling, unicycling, and chess. He also invented many devices, including a chessplaying machine (rather described how one could operate in a paper published in 1950), a rocketpowered pogo stick, a wearable computer to predict the result of playing roulette [1] (http://c2000.cc.gatech.edu/classes/cs8113c_99_spring/readings/thorp.pdf), and a flamethrowing trumpet for a science exhibition. He met his wife Betty when she was a numerical analyst, i.e., a "computer," at Bell Labs.
From 1956 to 1978 he was a professor at MIT. To commemorate his achievements, there were celebrations of his work in 2001, and there are currently three copies of a statue of Shannon: one at the University of Michigan, one at MIT in the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems and one at Bell Labs.
Awards and honors
 Alfred Noble American Institute of American Engineers Award in 1940
 Morris Liebmann Memorial Award of the Institute of Radio Engineers in 1949
 Yale University (Master of Science) in 1954
 Stuart Ballantine Medal of the Franklin Institute in 1955
 Research Corporation Award in 1956
 University of Michigan, honorary doctorate, in 1961
 Rice University Medal of Honor in 1962
 Princeton University, honorary doctorate, in 1962
 Marvin J. Kelly Award in 1962
 University of Edinburgh, honorary doctorate, in 1964
 University of Pittsburgh, honorary doctorate, in 1964
 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Medal of Honor in 1966
 National Medal of Science in 1966, presented by President Lyndon B. Johnson
 Golden Plate Award in 1967
 Northwestern University, honorary doctorate, in 1970
 Harvey Prize, the Technion of Haifa, Israel in 1972
 University of Oxford, honorary doctorate, in 1978
 Joseph Jacquard Award in 1978
 Harold Pender Award in 1978
 University of East Anglia, honorary doctorate, in 1982
 CarnegieMellon University, honorary doctorate, in 1984
 Audio Engineering Society Gold Medal in 1985
 Kyoto Prize in 1985
 Tufts University, honorary doctorate, in 1987
 University of Pennsylvania, honorary doctorate, in 1991
 Eduard Rhein Prize in 1991
See also
 ShannonFano coding
 ShannonHartley law
 NyquistShannon sampling theorem
 Shannon capacity
 Shannon game
 Rate distortion theory
 Information theory
 Confusion and diffusion
 Onetime pad
References
 C. E. Shannon: A mathematical theory of communication. Bell System Technical Journal, vol. 27, pp. 379423 and 623656, July and October, 1948.
 Claude E. Shannon and Warren Weaver: The Mathematical Theory of Communication. The University of Illinois Press, Urbana, Illinois, 1949. ISBN 0252725484
External links
 Summary of Shannons' life and career (http://www.lucent.com/minds/infotheory/who.html)
 Communication Theory of Secrecy Systems (http://www3.edgenet.net/dcowley/docs.html)
 A Mathematical Theory of Communication (http://cm.belllabs.com/cm/ms/what/shannonday/paper.html)
 Obituary at MIT (http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/nr/2001/shannon.html)
 Obituary Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences (in Dutch) (http://www.expmath.uniessen.de/~immink/pdf/levensberichtshannon.pdf)
 Retrospective at the University of Michigan (http://www.engin.umich.edu/150th/alumlegends/shannon.html)
 Notes on ComputerGenerated Text (http://www.nightgarden.com/infosci.htm)
 Shannonizer An example of his work (http://www.nightgarden.com/shannon.htm)
 Shannon's Juggling Theorem and Juggling Robots (http://www2.bc.edu/~lewbel/Shannon.html)
 Shannon's paper on computer chess, text (http://www.pi.infn.it/%7Ecarosi/chess/shannon.txt)
 Shannon's paper on computer chess, PDF (http://www.ascotti.org/programming/chess/Shannon%20%20Programming%20a%20computer%20for%20playing%20chess.pdf)
 Shannon's paper on computer chess, text, alternate source (http://www.dcc.uchile.cl/~cgutierr/cursos/IA/shannon.txt)bn:ক্লদ শ্যানন
de:Claude Elwood Shannon es:Claude Shannon eo:Claude SHANNON eu:Claude Shannon fr:Claude Shannon is:Claude Shannon it:Claude Shannon he:קלוד שנון hu:Claude Shannon ml:ക്ലോട് ഷാനണ് nl:Claude Shannon ja:クロード・シャノン pl:Claude E. Shannon pt:Claude E. Shannon ru:Шеннон, Клод Элвуд sl:Claude Elwood Shannon fi:Claude Shannon sv:Claude Shannon zh:克劳德·艾尔伍德·香农