• Module From: Learning Hub


    Claude E. Shannon is considered by many to be the Father of Information Theory, as his landmark paper in 1948 "A Mathematical Theory of Communication"ushered in the digital communications age. In this advanced module Shannon award winner and Princeton University Professor Sergio Verdú, a well-known authority on Shannon and information theory, leads you through the history, context, and impacts of Shannon's paper and approach to solving communications problems. Highly recommended for any student of information theory and the emerging field of science of information the module presents deep insights and historical accounts by Sergio Verdú in his (Re)Reading Shannon seminar and paper "Fifty Years of Shannon Theory".

    The overview video by AT&T/Bell Labs accessible above the syllabus provides a short overview of Shannon's work and impact on the communications and digital computer age.

    In Week 1 you should read and familiarize yourself with Shannon's paper "The Mathematical Theory of Information". In Week 2 Verdú's paper "Fifty Years of Shannon Theory" provides additional context about historical development of the central problems in the theory of fundamental limits of data compression and reliable communication. The video presentation by Professor Verdú provides important insights into this foundational knowledge that Shannon established in his paper published in July & October of 1948.


    Pre-requisite for this module is probability theory (see our short course: Probability Theory).

    Module Author

    Sergio Verdú

    Eugene Higgins Professor
    Princeton University