Shannon, Claude Elwood

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Shannon, Claude Elwood,

1916–2001, American applied mathematician, b. Gaylord, Michigan. A student of Vannevar BushBush, Vannevar
, 1890–1974, American electrical engineer and physicist, b. Everett, Mass., grad. Tufts College (B.S., 1913). He went to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1919; there he was professor (1923–32) and vice president and dean of engineering
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 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), he was the first to propose the application of symbolic logicsymbolic logic
or mathematical logic,
formalized system of deductive logic, employing abstract symbols for the various aspects of natural language. Symbolic logic draws on the concepts and techniques of mathematics, notably set theory, and in turn has contributed to
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 to the design of relay circuitry with his paper "A Symbolic Analysis of Relay and Switching Circuits" (1938). His insight that all data could be encoded as a series of 1's and 0's pioneered the breakthrough in digital electronics that led to the modern digital computer and telecommunications networks. Shannon worked at Bell Telephone Laboratories from 1941–72 and initiated the field of information theoryinformation theory
or communication theory,
mathematical theory formulated principally by the American scientist Claude E. Shannon to explain aspects and problems of information and communication.
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 with his 1948 paper "A Mathematical Theory of Communication," which was retitled The Mathematical Theory of Communication when published in 1949 with a preface by Warren WeaverWeaver, Warren,
1894–1978, American scientist, b. Reedsburg, Wis., grad. Univ. of Wisconsin. He taught mathematics at Wisconsin (1920–32), was director of the division of natural sciences at the Rockefeller Institute (1932–55), and was science consultant
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. Shannon returned to MIT in 1958, although he remained a consultant with Bell Telephone. Over the next two decades his curiosity about the fledgling field of artificial intelligenceartificial intelligence
(AI), the use of computers to model the behavioral aspects of human reasoning and learning. Research in AI is concentrated in some half-dozen areas.
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 led him to build and experiment with such things as chess-playing, maze-solving, juggling, and mind-reading machines.


See C. E. Shannon et al., Claude Elwood Shannon: Collected Papers (1993).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Shannon, Claude Elwood


Born Apr. 30, 1916, in Gaylord, Mich., USA. American scientist and engineer; one of the founders of mathematical information theory. Member of the National Academy of Sciences (1956) and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Shannon graduated from the University of Michigan in 1936. From 1941 to 1957 he was a research mathematician with Bell Telephone Laboratories. In 1941 he became a consultant for the National Defense Research Committee. Shannon became a professor of electrical engineering and mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1957.

Shannon’s principal works deal with the algebra of logic, the theory of relay and switching systems, the mathematical theory of communication, information theory, and cybernetics.


In Russian translation:
Raboty po teorii informatsii i kibernetike. Moscow, 1963.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Claude Shannon was a giant of the twentieth century, as Soni and Goodman forcefully argue, and yet there has been no previous full-length biography.
It is a story about people: Mervin Kelly, the legendary Bell Labs President, the architect of the organization; Bill Baker, who succeeded him; William Shockley, John Bardeen, and Walter Brattain, inventors of the transistor; Claude Shannon, the father of information theory; and John Pierce, an early champion of the first communication satellites.
Claude Shannon was born on April 30, 1916 in Petoskey, Michigan.
From youth to old age, Claude Shannon's life would be marked by compulsive tinkering.
It should therefore come as no surprise that scholars have claimed that the philosophical roots of French (post-structuralist) theory and the techno-scientific foundations of cyberspace are born of one and the same cybernetic matrix that was formulated in the aftermath of the Second World War essentially as an industrial-military project by the likes of Norbert Weiner, Claude Shannon and many others in the series of Macy conferences that focus on understanding language and communication as an informational system (Heims, 1991; Lafontaine, 2007; Peters, 2012b).
Gertner reveals its ingenuity through profiles of the lab's quirky, often battling scientists, including Mervin Kelly, president of the Labs; William Shockley, one of the inventors of the transistor, or electron semiconductor; and Claude Shannon, a man who roamed the corridors of the Labs on a Pogo Stick and won a Nobel for his work on information theory.
The most prominent figures profiled are Bill Shockley, who led the group that included Walter Brattain and John Bardeen that developed the solid state transistor; Claude Shannon, widely known as the Father of information theory; communications satellite pioneer John Pierce; and physicists-turned-architects of Bell Laboratories, Frank Jewett and Mervin Kelly.
The figure of the Freudian robot will surely disturb our humanistic dreams, and there are yet more mechanical objects she describes to prompt our nightmares--Raoul Hausmann's 1919 sculpture The Spirit of Our Age, for example (which adorns the front cover), and Claude Shannon's "ultimate machine," which apparently disturbed more than one visitor to his office, and certainly upset Arthur C.
Beginning in the 1980s, and then especially during the '90s, many physicists worked on understanding information in the quantum sense, building on the standard classical theory of information devised by Claude Shannon several decades earlier.
With the work of Claude Shannon and Warren Weaver, published as The Mathematical Theory of Communication in 1949, attention shifted to the technologies themselves.