Past Meetup

Shannon's "A Mathematical Theory of Communication"

This Meetup is past

24 people went

Location image of event venue


David Rowley will present Claude Shannon's "A Mathematical Theory of Communication" ( (later renamed The Mathematical Theory of Communication once its importance was recognized). This is a pretty hefty paper (anywhere between 49 and 55 pages depending on the printing), but so foundational in our field. David says:

My big interest is the discovery process by which Claude Shannon managed to "synthétiser / put it all together coherently and sequentially." Shannon took a lot of what was known in tidbits here and there and put it into a "one paper is all you need to read" kind of document.

I think that's a good reason to love this paper in particular. I hope that in the discussion we can hear all your perspectives on how Shannon's work continues to directly affect our work and many other areas.

I'll have some comments on this in relation to my own recent work with succinct data structures, and it would be nice to hear, not just about compression and entropy which are the areas I think of when I think of this paper, but maybe even queuing theory, distributed systems, and other places this work touches.

There will be pizza and beer so you can think out loud on a full stomach. (Suggestions for alternative refreshments or any other aspect of the event's organization are always welcome.)