Have you met Claude Shannon? (with Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman) (Ep. 81)
Have you met Claude Shannon?
In this episode I have an amazing conversation with Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman, authors of “A mind at play”. The book they wrote is entirely dedicated to the life and achievements of Claude Shannon.
Certainly, Claude Shannon does not need any introduction. However, for those who need a refresh, Shannon is the inventor of the information age.
I would have been so eager to meet Claude Shannon if he were still alive.
Who is Claude Shannon?
Have you heard of binary code? Entropy in information theory?
Data compression theory? Basically, all the stuff behind mp3, mpg, zip.
Error correcting codes? In other words, the stuff that makes your computer memory work well?
And for those working in Natural Language Processing. Do n-grams sound familiar? How about block ciphers? To the statisticians and data scientists, have you heard of the beta distribution? How about the uncertainty coefficient?
It seems like all that, and even more has been invented by Claude Shannon in the ’50s.
Biography of a great mind
Two authors, Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman, have done an amazing job at collecting as many anecdotes about Shannon as they could. First of all, they have read most of his inventions.
Moreover, they have interviewed some of his family members. In other words, they have written the most complete biography of Shannon’s great mind.
Therefore, I asked them about some of the reasons behind Shannon’s inventions, among many other stories. For example, why did he have so many ideas?
Was it because he truly was a genius or he just couldn’t focus on one subject at a time? How many hours per day did he work? Finally, was he funny?
In this episode Jimmy and Rob tell stories about Shannon in such a natural way that it really looks like they were giving me the chance to meet Shannon in person. I am sure you will have the same feeling when you listen to the podcast. After all, Shannon is the father of many of the concepts and theories that data scientists use every day. Shannon’s revolutionary ideas certainly are of absolute importance to what we do nowadays with Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and data science. It is definitely a must getting to know one of the greatest minds of our time.
If you haven’t met Claude Shannon, it’s time to listen to the full episode. Moreover, join the discussion on our Discord server