Claude Shannon

Why Trust Techopedia

What Does Claude Shannon Mean?

Widely renowned as “the father of information theory,”
Claude Shannon (1916–2001) was an American mathematician and technology pioneer working in
fields such as cryptography who is known for developing some innovative ideas about
technology and coding.


Techopedia Explains Claude Shannon

Claude Shannon was active in the field of cartography during
World War II, in the frantic effort on both sides to gain a position of
advantage. Prior to that, he gained fame as a student at MIT with a thesis
about the electrical applications of Boolean algebra. Shannon also became known
for contributions to the field of predictive coding with algorithms, for
instance, in game theory, where a “Shannon number” refers to the number of play
tree calculations in a chess game. Shannon is also known for the Shannon-Fano
algorithm, which uses complex mathematics to determine the results and/or
environment for compression and decompression.

In addition to these sorts of groundbreaking contributions,
Shannon is also celebrated in today’s technology world in a much broader way.
As presented in a 2004 Claude E. Shannon award
by Robert McEliece, Shannon is seen as “formulating the notion of
channel capacity” which experts explain relates to the use of today’s real-time
communications tools built into smart phones and other devices. In this way,
the tech community credits Shannon with quite a lot of the conceptual work
behind driving the innovations that we enjoy in the early twenty-first century.


Related Terms

Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.