information theory


Definition of information theory

: a theory that deals statistically with information, with the measurement of its content in terms of its distinguishing essential characteristics or by the number of alternatives from which it makes a choice possible, and with the efficiency of processes of communication between humans and machines

Examples of information theory in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Here’s a game Claude Shannon, the founder of information theory, invented in 1948. Jordan Ellenberg, Scientific American, 11 June 2021 The first was by the American mathematician Claude Shannon, regarded as the founder of information theory. Quanta Magazine, 22 Apr. 2021 Tommaso Demarie, Entropica’s CEO, studied physics in Italy before moving to Australia to complete his Ph.D. in quantum information theory at Macquarie University in Sydney. Paul Smith-goodson, Forbes, 19 Mar. 2021 Steven Levy, Wired) Over 10 years ago, a relatively unknown Turkish scientist named Erdal Arıkan made a breakthrough in the field of information theory — polar codes. Cheri Lucas Rowlands, Longreads, 10 Dec. 2020 Arıkan devoured his courses, especially in information theory. Steven Levy, Wired, 16 Nov. 2020 Robert Gallager had written the textbook on information theory. Steven Levy, Wired, 16 Nov. 2020 Complex molecules are naturally information-rich, in the truest most objective sense given by information theory and Shannon’s entropy. Caleb A. Scharf, Scientific American, 5 Oct. 2020 Quantum computers, for instance, are systems where both quantum information theory and thermodynamics are key. Nicole Yunger Halpern, Scientific American, 18 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'information theory.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of information theory

1945, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of information theory was in 1945

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Cite this Entry

“Information theory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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