Speaker: Professor Robert Calderbank
Shannon in the 21st Century
The foundation of our Information Age is the transformation of speech, audio, images and video into digital content, and the man who started the digital revolution was Claude Shannon. He arrived at the revolutionary idea of digital representation by sampling the information source at an appropriate rate, and converting the samples to a bit stream. He then characterized the source by a single number, the entropy, which quantifies the information content of the source, and he created coding theory, by introducing redundancy into the digital representation to protect against corruption. Shannon started from the grand challenges of his day, he developed models that captured what made them so difficult, translated these challenges into mathematical terms and then developed fundamental limits. This talk will review some of what Shannon did, and it will speculate about what he might have done if he were among us today.