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The Mathematical Theory of Communication and Current Applications

Presenter: Martin Hilbert

Jan 26, 2017
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM

Kerr Hall 386

Presenter: Martin Hilbert

Title: The Mathematical Theory of Communication and Current Applications

Abstract: In contrast to many other fields in the social sciences, our field, communication, is fortunate enough to have a solid and irrefutable mathematical theory: Shannon’s “mathematical theory of communication” (1948). By now it has been expanded into a body of literature that encompasses thousands of theorems and proofs (usually referred to as “information theory”), and has been called “mother of all models”. Unfortunately, our discipline has largely rejected its usefulness. I show that those that reject it have never studied it and lack understanding of it. I will review some of the major achievements of information theory (from Shannon’s groundwork, over theoretical computer science, to recent applications to the digital big data footprint), and outline its role, potential, and current challenges for studying human and social communication. To get started, feel free to watch this 7min introduction: Rant in the defense of Shannon's contribution: the father of the digital age: https://youtu.be/z1rF9Yq4zC0.

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