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Szpankowski Moves Beyond Shannon's Information Theory


Professor Wojciech Szpankowski is the director of a new Science and Technology Center funded by the National Science Foundation. The goal of the new center is to move beyond Claude Shannon's information theory, which was published in the 1948 landmark paper, "A Mathematical Theory of Communication".

Shannon's theory created a way in which data could be compressed, stored, and transmitted. He paved the way for high-speed communications, file compression, and data transfer, the basis for the Internet, the CD and the DVD, and all that they entail.

The team of researchers aims to develop principles that encompass such concepts as structure, time, space, and semantics. These principles might help design better mobile networks, lead to new insights in biology and neuroscience, drive research in quantum computing, and even aid our understanding of social networks and economic behavior.

Szpankowski says that "it's definitely time, after 60 years, to revisit information theory. It's basically communication and storage today, but we need to go beyond that."

To view the whole story, please visit the ACM website.


Source: Communications of the ACM | February 2011 | vol. 54 | no. 2

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