Science of Information

From Language to Black Holes


Every Thursday • 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. • Shapiro CDThe Great Course

June 7, 14, 21, (28 no class) • July 5, 12, 19, 26 • August 2, 9

A lecture series from the Great Courses Company, this is a presentation of Information Theory, from its history to its applications. The goal of this class is to explain what “data” is and how it is an essential part of our everyday lives. Lectures are presented by Professor Benjamin Schumacher, a physicist who is a pioneer in Quantum Information. Language, writing, mathematics, the Morse Code and radio signals are all examples of information. Mathematician Claude Shannon defines information as the ability to reliably distinguish among possible alternatives, as exemplified by John Tukey’s use of the binary digits (BITs) “0” or “1”. The concept of redundancy for error correction is a key feature in information of all types, including the DNA code and how it was used to develop the Turing machine for code breaking. Building on these entities and other fundamental principles, Information Theory has created the digital revolution of today.

Instructor/Coordinator:  Leland Akasaki