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**Claude Elwood Shannon** (April 30, 1916 – February 24, 2001) was a mathematician, electronic engineer, and cryptographer known as "the father of information theory".

Applications of fundamental topics of "information theory" include lossless data compression (e.g. ZIP files), lossy data compression (e.g. MP3s and JPEGs), and channel coding (e.g. for Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)). The field is at the intersection of mathematics, statistics, computer science, physics, neurobiology, and electrical engineering. Its impact has been crucial to the success of the Voyager missions to deep space, the invention of the compact disc, the feasibility of mobile phones, the development of the Internet, the study of linguistics and of human perception, the understanding of black holes, and numerous other fields. Important sub-fields of information theory are source coding, channel coding, algorithmic complexity theory, algorithmic information theory, information-theoretic security, and measures of information.

Shannon lived till 2001, his last years dimmed and isolated by the disease of erasure, Alzheimer's.