Edit Proposal: Milestone-Proposal:Shannon You do not have permission to edit this page, for the following reason: You are not currently logged in. The action you have requested is limited to users in the group: Users. Please log in or create an account. Docket ID: (admins only) Thank you for proposing a technical achievement for possible recognition as an IEEE Milestone in Electrical Engineering and Computing. Your efforts help preserve the heritage of technology. Detailed information on the Milestone application process may be found at: Milestone Guidelines and How to Propose a Milestone. At least one of the proposer(s) must be an IEEE Member (including Student Member) in good standing. To the proposer’s knowledge, is this achievement subject to litigation? If the answer is "yes", the proposal cannot proceed further. None Yes No You must be able to answer "yes" to all of the following questions. If the answer to any of the following questions is "no", the proposal cannot proceed further. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are unable to answer "yes" to all of the following and would still like to proceed. Is the achievement you are proposing more than 25 years old? Yes No Is the achievement you are proposing within IEEE’s designated fields as defined by IEEE Bylaw I-104.11, namely: Engineering, Computer Sciences and Information Technology, Physical Sciences, Biological and Medical Sciences, Mathematics, Technical Communications, Education, Management, and Law and Policy. Yes No Did the achievement provide a meaningful benefit for humanity? Yes No Was it of at least regional importance? Yes No Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to pay for the milestone plaque(s)? Yes No Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to arrange the dedication ceremony? Yes No Has the IEEE Section in which the milestone is located agreed to take responsibility for the plaque after it is dedicated? Yes No Has the owner of the site given permission to place an IEEE plaque? Yes No Year or range of years in which the achievement occurred: Title of the proposed milestone. (Include date or date range in title. Example: “Alternating Current Electrification, 1886”) Please provide a plaque citation in English summarizing the achievement and its significance. Text absolutely limited by plaque dimensions to 70 words; 60 is preferable for aesthetic reasons. NOTE: The IEEE History Committee shall have final determination on the wording of the citation. Names of living persons are not normally used in citations. Exceptions to this are cases where the person's name is linked to the achievement itself (e.g. the Lempel-Ziv algorithm, Maxwell's Equations, etc.) or where the person's name is so widely recognizeable to the general public that it makes sense to use it. When used, the names should be the names of the engineers, scientists, or technologists who actually made the achievement, rather than managers or executives. For more information and suggestions about writing milestone citations, please visit Helpful Hints on Citations, Plaque Locations. The mathematical principles of Information Theory, laid down by Claude Elwood Shannon over the period 1939-1967, set in motion a revolution in communication system engineering. They quantified the concept of information, established fundamental limits in the representation and reliable transmission of information, and revealed the architecture of systems for approaching them. Today, Information Theory continues to provide the foundation for advances in information collection, storage, distribution, and processing. In what IEEE section(s) will the milestone plaque(s) reside? Please specify the IEEE Organizational Unit(s) which have agreed to sponsor the Milestone, and supply name and contact information for the senior officer from those OU(s). Sponsorship has three aspects: 1) Payment for the cost of the plaque(s), 2) Arranging the dedication ceremony, and 3) agreeing to monitor the plaque and to let IEEE History Center staff know in case the plaque needs to be moved, is no longer secure, etc. Number 3 must be done by the IEEE Section(s) in which the plaque(s) is located, but aspects 1 and 2 can be done by any IEEE Organizational Unit, and they need not be the same one. Please note: your email address and contact information will be masked on the website for privacy reasons. Only IEEE History Center Staff will be able to view the email address. IEEE Organizational Unit(s) paying for milestone plaque(s) Unit: Senior Officer Name: E-mail: Unit: Senior Officer Name: E-mail: IEEE Organizational Unit(s) arranging the dedication ceremony Unit: Senior Officer Name: E-mail: Unit: Senior Officer Name: E-mail: IEEE section(s) monitoring the plaque IEEE Section: IEEE Section Chair name: IEEE Section Chair e-mail: IEEE Section: IEEE Section Chair name: IEEE Section Chair e-mail: Milestone proposer(s) Proposer name: Proposer email: Proposer name: Proposer email: Proposer name: Proposer email: Street address(es) and GPS coordinates of the intended milestone plaque site(s). Please include coordinates in decimal format rather than degrees. What is the intended site(s) of the milestone plaque(s) relation to the achievement? The intended site(s) must have a direct connection with the achievement (e.g. where developed, invented, tested, demonstrated, installed, or operated, etc.). A museum where a device or example of the technology is displayed, or the university where the inventor studied, are not, in themselves, sufficient connection for a milestone plaque. Also, please Describe briefly the intended site(s) of the milestone plaque(s). (e.g. Is it corporate buildings? Historic Site? Residential? Are there other historical markers already at the site?) Are the original buildings extant? Please provide the details of the mounting, i.e. on the outside of the building, in the ground floor entrance hall, on a plinth on the grounds, etc. How is the intended plaque site protected/secured, and in what ways is it accessible to the public? If visitors to the plaque site will need to go through security, or make an appointment, please give details as well as the contact information visitors will need in order to arrange to visit the plaque. Who is the present owner of the site(s)? In the space below, please describe in detail: the historic significance of the achievement, its importance to the evolution of electrical and computer engineering and science, its importance to regional/national/international development, its benefits to humanity, the ways the achievement was a significant advance rather than an incremental improvement of existing technology. The material submitted here will constitute the main descriptive article on the ETHW website for readers to learn about the milestone. Space is unlimited, and detail is encouraged. Most milestones require 1000 to 1500 words of support, however there is no word limit. The article should be readable by a wide audience that includes practicing engineers, scholars of history, and the general public. Some examples of the text of good milestone articles are First Radio Astronomical Observations Using Very Long Baseline Interferometry] and G3_Facsimile International Standardization of G3 Facsimile (Do not worry about the formatting of the page, IEEE History Center Staff will do that afterwards.) What is the historical significance of the work (its technological, scientific, or social importance)? Before the development of information theory, communication system engineering was a largely heuristic engineering discipline, with little scientific theory to back it up or guide the architecture of such systems. By 1940, a large number of communication systems existed, major ones including Telegraph, Telephone, AM Radio, Television, etc. These systems are very diverse and separate fields emerged to deal with each of them, using their own set of tools and methodologies. For example, it would have been inconceivable that one would be able to send video over a phone line, as is commonplace today with the advent of the modem. Engineers at that time treated video transmission and telephone technology as separate entities and did not see the connection as simply the transmission of `information’—a concept that in time would cross the boundaries of these disparate fields and bind them together. In his development of information theory, Shannon was the first person to quantify the notion of information and provided a general theory that reveals the fundamental limits in representation and transmission of information. Information theory as proposed by Shannon, in the broadest sense, can be divided into two parts: 1) that of conceptualization of information and the modelling of information sources and 2) that of reliable transmission of information through noisy channels as next described. 1) Shannon echoed the viewpoint established by Hartley that the information content of a message has nothing to do with its inherent meaning. Rather, Shannon made the key observation that the source of information should be modeled as a random process and proposed entropy (average log probability) as the measure of information content. Shannon’s source coding theorem states that the average number of bits per symbol necessary to uniquely describe any data source can approach the corresponding entropy as closely as desired. This is the best performance one can hope for in lossless compression. For the case where some error is allowed without impacting semantics (lossy compression), Shannon developed the rate-distortion theory, which describes the fundamental trade-off between fidelity and compression ratio. 2) Shannon abstracted the communication problem as shown in Appendix 1, where the ‘channel’ accounts for any corruption of the sent messages during communication and the ‘transmitter’ is used to add redundancy to combat the corruption. This idea was revolutionary in a world where modulation was generally thought of as an effectively memoryless process and no error-correcting codes had been invented. From information theory comes the notion of channel capacity, which is a property of any given communication channel, and proved the channel coding theorem: The error rate of data transmitted over a band-limited noisy channel can be reduced to an arbitrarily small amount if the information rate is lower than the channel capacity. This theorem established the fundamental limit of reliable transmission of information, and was very counterintuitive to the existing community. The development of information theory ultimately established a solid foundation for those techniques that determine digital communications: data compression, data encryption, and data correction, and gave rise to an enormous and sophisticated communications industry. Today, information theory continues to set the stage for the development of communications, data storage and processing, and other information technologies that are indispensable parts of people’s daily lives. What obstacles (technical, political, geographic) needed to be overcome? Before the development of information theory, various communication systems existed but were treated as entirely disparate entities. Without a scientific theory to back it up, communication was more an art than the hard science it is today. It is Shannon who made the ingenious observation of the fundamental connection among various communication systems – namely, the transmission of information – and provided a unified mathematical theory of them. When talking about ‘information’, one usually thinks about certainty rather than uncertainty. Thus it was conceptually challenging for Shannon to propose the brand new idea of interpreting information as ‘a measure of choice at the sending end and resolution of uncertainty at the receiving end’. The two fundamental theorems of information theory, namely his source coding theorem and his channel coding theorem, have defined information theory and had a tremendous influence on computer science and digital communications. While the former was believed and accepted immediately, the latter was considered a shocker and questioned from the beginning, mainly because it was contrary to the common belief at the time that arbitrarily low error probability can only be achieved at the cost of arbitrarily high power or bandwidth. It required a lot of creativity for Shannon to come up with and prove the somewhat counter-intuitive theorem. What features set this work apart from similar achievements? The development of information theory is more than a breakthrough in a science or engineering field. Due to its revolutionary nature and wide repercussions, it is described as one of humanity’s most remarkable creations, a general scientific theory that profoundly changed the world and how human beings interact with one another. In particular, information theory transformed communication system engineering, altering all aspects of communication theory and practice. First of all, Shannon's work introduced the unit ‘bit’ and makes information a measurable quantity just as temperature or energy. He provided a rigorous theory to back up communication engineering, characterized the fundamental limits of communications and transformed it from an art to a science. The theory was general and applicable to the various communication systems that were dealt with using entirely different tools in the pre-Shannon era. Shannon’s definition of information was intuitively satisfying, but his theory was not without surprises. Before the development of information theory, it was widely believed that to achieve arbitrarily small error probability in transmission, arbitrarily large bandwidth or arbitrarily high power was necessary. Shannon proved this intuitive belief wrong. He was able to show that any given communication channel has a maximum capacity for transmitting information; if the information rate of the source is smaller than that capacity, messages can be sent with vanishingly low error probability when properly encoded. Moreover, information theory is not just a mathematical theory. In fact, it is hard to overestimate its practical implications. In his famous channel coding theorem, Shannon predicted the role of forward error correction schemes, and this spawned a separate area of investigation in the course of time within digital communications, namely: the coding theory. Nowadays, error correction codes are an indispensable part of essentially all contemporary communication systems. Supporting texts and citations to establish the dates, location, and importance of the achievement. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. Minimum of five (5), but as many as needed to support the milestone, such as patents, contemporary newspaper articles, journal articles, or chapters in scholarly books. At least one of the references must be from a scholarly book or journal article. 'Scholarly' is defined as peer-reviewed, with references, and published. The full reference, in English, must be uploaded, not just the citation. See below section for details on uploading material to the website. All supporting materials must be in English, or accompanied by an English translation. Theses: [A1] C.E.Shannon, A Symbolic Analysis of Relay and Switching Circuits, Master's Thesis http://dspace.mit.edu/bitstream/handle/1721.1/11173/34541425-MIT.pdf?sequence=2 [A2] C.E.Shannon, An Algebra for Theoretical Genetics, Doctoral Thesis http://dspace.mit.edu/bitstream/handle/1721.1/11174/34541447-MIT.pdf?sequence=2 Scholarly Journal Articles: [B1] C.E.Shannon, A Mathematical Theory of Communication, The Bell System Technical Journal, volume 27, pp.379-423, 623-656, July, October, 1948 (Republished as a monograph in 1949 by the University of Illinois Press with preface by W. Weaver) http://worrydream.com/refs/Shannon%20-%20A%20Mathematical%20Theory%20of%20Communication.pdf [B2] C.E.Shannon, Communication Theory of Secrecy Systems, The Bell System Technical Journal, volume 28, pp.656-715, October, 1949 http://netlab.cs.ucla.edu/wiki/files/shannon1949.pdf [B3] C.E.Shannon, Communication in the Presence of Noise, Proceedings of the IRE, volume 37, No.1, pp. 10-21, January, 1949 http://web.stanford.edu/class/ee104/shannonpaper.pdf [B4] J.R.Pierce, The Early Days of Information Theory, IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, Vol IT-19, No.1, pp. 3-8, January, 1973 http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=1054955 [B5] F.Ellersick, A Conversation with Claude Shannon, IEEE Communications Magazine, Vol.22 No.5, May, 1984 http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=1091957 [B6] Sergio Verdú, Fifty Years of Shannon Theory, IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, Vol.44, No. 6, pp. 2057-2078, October, 1998 http://www.princeton.edu/~verdu/reprints/IT44.6.2057-2078.pdf [B7] Wilfried Gappmair, Claude E.Shannon: the 50th Anniversary of Information Theory, IEEE Communications Magazine, April, 1999 http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?arnumber=755458 [B8] Samuel W. Thomsen, Some Evidence Concerning the Genesis of Shannon's Information Theory, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 40 (2009) 81-91 http://ac.els-cdn.com/S0039368108001143/1-s2.0-S0039368108001143-main.pdf?_tid=ef7f753e-316f-11e5-9091-00000aacb361&acdnat=1437679433_91e28c707ddff6fa12a9cf89ced468e8 [B9] C. E. Shannon, R. G. Gallager, and E. R. Berlekamp, Lower bounds to error probability for coding on discrete memoryless channels I, Information and Control, 10, 65-103, 1967. http://ac.els-cdn.com/S0019995867900526/1-s2.0-S0019995867900526-main.pdf?_tid=ef3499a0-5191-11e5-9f2c-00000aab0f01&acdnat=1441212473_e597ba5b84b4adb8b037b9c6a44c957a Books: [C1] Paul J. Nahin, The Logician and the Engineer, Princeton University Press, 2012 [C2] James Gleick, The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood, Pantheon Books, New York, 2011 [C3] N. J. A. Sloane and A. D. Wyner, Claude Elwood Shannon Collected Papers, IEEE Press, Piscataway, NJ, 1993 News Articles: [D1] http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/401112/claude-shannon-reluctant-father-of-the-digital-age/ [D2] http://www.nytimes.com/2001/12/30/magazine/the-lives-they-lived-claude-shannon-b-1916-bit-player.html Miscellaneous: [E1] C.E.Shannon, Letter to Vannevar Bush, February 16, 1939 http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/ebooks/bookPdfWithBanner.jsp?fileName=5311546.pdf&bkn=5271069&pdfType=chapter [E2] John R. Pierce, Looking Back - Claude Elwood Shannon, IEEE Potentials, December 1993 http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?arnumber=282341 [E3] Eugene Chiu, Jocelyn Lin, Brok Mcferron, Noshirwan Petigara, Satwiksai Seshasai, Mathematical Theory of Claude Shannon, 6.933J/STS.420J The Structure of Engineering Revolutions, MIT, 2001 http://web.mit.edu/6.933/www/Fall2001/Shannon1.pdf [E4] Ioan James FRS, Claude Elwood Shannon: 30 April 1916 - 24 February 2001, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society http://rsbm.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/roybiogmem/55/257.full.pdf? [E5] Bernard Dionysius Geoghegan, The Historic Conceptualization of Information: A Critical Survey, IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, 30(1), 66-81 http://pages.uoregon.edu/koopman/courses_readings/phil123-net/intro/Geoghegan_HistoriographicConception_information.pdf Awards: Claude Shannon received dozens of major professional awards and other forms of recognition over his career, which are also testimony to the extraordinary importance of his development of information theory, to which he devoted his career. Below are a few examples; a more extensive list can be found in Shannon’s wikipedia entry https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude_Shannon . [F1] Stuart Ballatine Medal, 1955 [F2] IEEE Medal of Honor, 1966 [F3] National Medal of Science, 1966 [F4] IEEE Claude E. Shannon Award, 1972 [F5] Harvey Prize, 1972 [F6] Harold Pender Award, 1978 [F7] John Fritz Medal, 1983 [F8] Elected to National Academy of Engineering, 1985 [F9] Kyoto Prize, 1985 [F10] National Inventors Hall of Fame, 2004 Supporting materials (supported formats: GIF, JPEG, PNG, PDF, DOC) which can be made publicly available on the IEEE History Center’s website (i.e. unencumbered by copyright, or with the copyright holder’s permission). All supporting materials must be in English, or if not in English, accompanied by an English translation. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. Images and photographs are especially appreciated, however, it is necessary that you list the copyright owner for these and obtain the copyright owner’s permission to reuse. For documents that are copyright-encumbered, or which you do not have rights to post, email the documents themselves to email@example.com. Please see the Milestone Program Guidelines for more information. To add attachments, first upload the file and add by adding the text: [[Media:(filename)]] For example, if the file you uploaded was named "Milestone Reference.pdf", include the text: [[Media:Milestone Reference.pdf]] in the appropriate field. [[File:Appendix_I.PNG]] Please email a jpeg or PDF a letter in English, or with English translation, from the site owner(s) giving permission to place IEEE milestone plaque on the property, and a letter (or forwarded email) from the appropriate Section Chair supporting the Milestone application to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "Attention: Milestone Administrator." Note that there are multiple texts of the letter depending on whether an IEEE organizational unit other than the section will be paying for the plaque(s). Submit this proposal to the IEEE History Committee for review. 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