Claude Elwood Shannon (April 30, 1916  February 24, 2001) has been called "the father of information theory".
He began studying electrical engineering and mathematics at the University of Michigan in 1932. He used Boolean algebra in his MIT master's thesis, A Symbolic Analysis of Relay and Switching Circuits, to show how to build digital circuits.
In 1948 he published A Mathematical Theory of Communication (http://cm.belllabs.com/cm/ms/what/shannonday/paper) (ISBN 0252725484). This work focuses on the problem of how to regain at a target point the information a sender has transmitted. Shannon developed information entropy as a measure for redundancy.
Another notable paper published in 1949 is Communication Theory of Secrecy Systems (http://www3.edgenet.net/dcowley/docs).
From 1958 to 1978 he worked at MIT.
See also: Shannon's theorem, ShannonHartley law, NyquistShannon sampling theorem, Shannon capacity, Rate distortion theory
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