You are here

Claude Shannon Celebrated at IAS with Lecture by Sergio Verdú

October 19, 2016
Press Contact
Christine Ferrara
(609) 734-8239
Shannon and his electromechanical mouse Theseus, which he tried to have solve the maze in one of the first experiments in artificial intelligence

Sergio Verdú, Eugene Higgins Professor of Electrical Engineering at Princeton University, will a deliver a public lecture, “Claude E. Shannon,” on Wednesday, November 16, which will take place at 5:30 p.m. in Wolfensohn Hall on the Institute campus. Considered the “father of information theory,” Shannon (1916–2001) was a Member in the Institute’s School of Mathematics in 1940-41.

One of the key scientific contributions of the 20th century, Shannon’s “A Mathematical Theory of Communication” created the field of information theory in 1948. In addition to the impact of information theory on communications technology, Shannon’s work has contributed to significant developments in computer science and engineering, artificial intelligence, probability and statistics. Verdú will give a biographical account of Claude Shannon’s life in honor of the hundredth anniversary of his birth, which is being celebrated around the world.

Support for this event is provided by a grant from the Schwab Charitable Fund made possible by the generosity of Eric and Wendy Schmidt.

A member of the Information Sciences and Systems group and the Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics at Princeton University, Verdú’s research interests are in information theory and data compression and transmission. Currently, he is co-producing a documentary film on the life and legacy of Claude Shannon. Verdú obtained his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1984. He has been on the Faculty of Princeton University since 1984. Verdú has received many awards for his work, including the 2007 Claude E. Shannon Award and the 2008 IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

This event is free and open to the public. To register for this lecture visit For more information on other events at the Institute, visit

About the Institute

The Institute for Advanced Study is one of the world’s leading centers for theoretical research and intellectual inquiry. The Institute exists to encourage and support curiosity-driven research in the sciences and humanities—the original, often speculative thinking that produces advances in knowledge that change the way we understand the world. Work at the Institute takes place in four Schools: Historical Studies, Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Social Science. It provides for the mentoring of scholars by a Faculty of some 30 permanent professors, and it ensures the freedom to undertake research that will make significant contributions in any of the broad range of fields in the sciences and humanities studied at the Institute.

The Institute, founded in 1930, is a private, independent academic institution located in Princeton, New Jersey. Its more than 6,000 former Members hold positions of intellectual and scientific leadership throughout the academic world. Thirty-three Nobel Laureates and 41 out of 56 Fields Medalists, as well as many winners of the Wolf and MacArthur prizes, have been affiliated with the Institute.