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Shannon Theories

Shannon Theories

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Published by: genepope on Nov 17, 2009
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Mathematical Theory oClaude Shannon 
 A study of the style and context of his workup to the genesis of information theory.
by Eugene Chiu, Jocelyn Lin, Brok Mcferron,Noshirwan Petigara, Satwiksai Seshasai
6.933J / STS.420J The Structure of Engineering Revolutions
 
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 Table of Contents
 Acknowledgements............................................................................................................................................3Introduction........................................................................................................................................................4Methodology..................................................................................................................................................7Information Theory...........................................................................................................................................8Information Theory before Shannon.........................................................................................................8 What was Missing........................................................................................................................................151948 Mathematical theory of communication........................................................................................16 The Shannon Methodology.......................................................................................................................19Shannon as the architect.............................................................................................................................19Switching Theory.............................................................................................................................................22Background and Contemporary Work.....................................................................................................22Building Blocks to Shannon's Master's Thesis........................................................................................23 A Symbolic Analysis of Relay and Switching Circuits...........................................................................26 Theorems....................................................................................................................................28Negation Theorems..................................................................................................................28 Analogue Between the Calculus of Propositions and the Symbolic Relay Analysis..........................29 An Example of a Synthesis Problem........................................................................................................29Popular Recognition...................................................................................................................................31Genetics.............................................................................................................................................................34 An Algebra for Theoretical Genetics, the beginnings...........................................................................34History of population genetics..................................................................................................................35Eugenics...................................................................................................................................................35Genetics in late 1930’s............................................................................................................................37Genetics in early 1940’s.........................................................................................................................38 Vannevar Bush, Claude Shannon, and genetics......................................................................................38Shannon’s Ph.D...........................................................................................................................................40 Algebraic details...........................................................................................................................................41 Analysis and Comparison...........................................................................................................................43 A Dead End.................................................................................................................................................43Cryptography....................................................................................................................................................47Relation to Information Theory................................................................................................................47 Vernam System............................................................................................................................................50Link to Information Theory......................................................................................................................52Shannon's Style.................................................................................................................................................54Collaboration................................................................................................................................................54 Advising........................................................................................................................................................56 The "great gadgeteer".................................................................................................................................57 Application of his work..............................................................................................................................60 Awards and Recognition............................................................................................................................61Conclusion........................................................................................................................................................63References.........................................................................................................................................................65Correspondences.........................................................................................................................................65Interviews.....................................................................................................................................................65Publications..................................................................................................................................................66
 
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 Acknowledgements
 We would like to thank professors Robert Fano, Bob Gallagher, Chris Kaiser, Charles Vest andHartley Rogers for their academic and personal insight into Claude Shannon’s work and the fields of switching theory, genetics and information theory. Shannon’s advisees Trenchard More, WilliamSutherland and Henry Ernst provided us with a unique perspective on working with Dr. Shannon.Betty Shannon graciously discussed her husband’s personality and work. MIT staff Be Blackburnand Laura Mersky helped facilitate our research. The staff of the MIT Archives and Library of Congress were instrumental in locating important documents and correspondences betweenShannon and his colleagues. Professor David Mindell and Teaching Assistant Chen-Pang Yeang  went beyond their roles as instructors and provided us with insight into their own research on thistopic.Finally, we would also like to thank Peter Elias, who before passing away on Dec. 7, 2001 allowed usto search through his extensive archive of books and documents related to Claude Shannon and hisfields. This paper is dedicated to his memory and the memory of Claude Shannon, who passed away on February 24, 2001.

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