Statue of Claude Shannon
2001; Bronze, Granite; Sculpture
North Campus; West entrance to Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Building
Gift of the College of Engineering. Called the “Father of Information Theory,” Claude E. Shannon (1916–2001; BSE EE ’36, BSE Math ’36) was an alumnus who did groundbreaking research in computer construction. “His legendary 1948 paper, ‘The Mathematical Theory of Communication’ unveiled vast potential for digital communications and inspired virtually all of the work in digital communications that followed. He is also famous for his work on cryptography, the sampling theorem, and the discovery of the relevance of Boolean algebra to logic circuit design. He is also considered to be one of the people most responsible for ushering in the digital age.” On the paper in the statue’s left hand is Shannon’s famous capacity formula for the white Gaussian noise channel:
C = W log P+N
where C is the number of bits per second that can be reliably transmitted with bandwidth W and power P when combating noise power N.