The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Spectrum (IEEE) ran a Special Edition about Claude Shannon, which they called Tinkerer, Prankster, and Father of Information Theory in its April 1992 issue because he was so revered by the scientific community.
He was born in Petoskey, Michigan (April 30, 1916 – February 24, 2001) to Claude Senior and Mabel Wolf Shannon. Both were smart and well educated.
At the age of 16 years, Shannon graduated from Gaylord High School. He had an inclination toward mechanical and electrical things. That year he entered the University of Michigan where he took a course that introduced him to the mathematics of George Boole. In 1936, at the age of 20, he graduated from UMich with bachelor’s degrees in engineering and mathematics. That same year he began his graduate studies in electrical engineering at MIT.
At MIT, he worked on Vannevar Bush’s Differential Analyzer an early analog computer. During this period Shannon designed circuits based upon George Boole’s concepts. In 1937, he wrote his master’s thesis, A Symbolic Analysis of Relay and Switching Circuits. But Shannon didn’t stop there.
Vannevar Bush suggested that Shannon should work on his doctoral dissertation at the Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory, a private nonprofit institution located in Cold Spring Harbor, New York in order to develop Mendelian genetics. This resulted in Shannon’s PhD thesis An Algebra for Theoretical Genetics. He received his PhD degree from MIT in 1940.
From his work and logic circuits, he simplified the relays that were used in call routing switches, and proved that his circuits could solve the same problems that Boolean algebra code solve.
In 1940, he became a National Research Fellow with the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. This gave him the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with such people as Herman Weyl and John von Neumann. Occasionally he met with Kurt Godel and Albert Einstein.
SpaceX will announce its new BFR Rocket to take private passengers to the Moon and back tonight at 9:30 EDT. When I worked at Sperry Univac in Eagan, Minnesota we had a huge rock buried in the ground called a BFR (which meant Big F’ing Rock). SpaceX says it means Big Falcon Rocket but I’m betting it’s more akin to our famous BFR.
You can watch the announcement on YouTube here’s the link at 9:30 pm EDT tonight.
Elon Musk thinks on a grand scale. Google talks about “Moon Shots”, Elon does them.
For more than a year I have posited that Artificial Intelligence has a strong foundation in World War II cryptanalysis. Yet, in my research I have not seen discussions of this. If I am right and can show that my posit is true it may be of little or no importance. But, it may answer not yet asked questions. There is a string that goes through three of the founders of Artificial Intelligence and a modern scientist: Alan Turing, Claude Shannon, John McCarthy, and Ron Rivest.
Alan Turing and Claude Shannon were both cryptographers and Ron Rivest is a cryptographer. Alan Turing and Claude Shannon worked together for two months during World War II. John McCarthy and Ron Rivest were both Turing award winners. Claude Shannon was at the 1956 Dartmouth Artificial Intelligence Conference founded by John McCarthy.
Additionally, Alan Turing and John McCarthy are both considered fathers of Artificial Intelligence and Claude Shannon is considered the father of Information Theory. Ron Rivest is an Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the highest title that can be awarded to a professor at MIT. He is also Co-inventor of the RSA (cryptosystem) algorithm; founder of Verisign, and RSA Security. These have to do with public keys.
Alan Turing was born in June 23, 1912 and Maida Vale, London, England to Julius Mathison Turing and Ethel Sara Turing. The greater part of Alan’s elementary education was done at Sherborne School which origins date back to the eighth century. His brilliance is continually acknowledged in elementary as well as undergraduate school at King’s College, Cambridge, where he was awarded first class honors in mathematics. It was there that he invented Turing machines.
Among the things that Alan Turing became famous for his work at Benchley Park and breaking the Enigma code. In September 1938, he began working part-time with the GC&CS British code breaking organization. During that same period of time, the Polish Cipher Bureau created a machine with Enigma routers and in a Warsaw meeting in July 1939 presented the British and French with the wiring of their machine. The weakness of the Polish method was it depended on an insecure procedure that the Germans were likely to and did change in May 1940. Continue reading
This morning I had the pleasure to watch the SpaceX cargo ship berth with the International Space Station on NASA TV. It began at 8 AM CDT and lasted 52 minutes total. The cargo ship was retrieved with the Canadian robotic arm and then slowly moved by inches to the docking port on the ISS and finally attached after being properly aligned with six bolts. The recycled SpaceX Falcon 9 launched on Friday, June 29, with the first Artificially Intelligent Robot into space from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The AI robot is named CIMON (pronounced Simon). It is an acronym for Crew Interactive MObile companioN.
The CIMON Robot is basketball sized and is primarily intended to act as a companion and assistant with German astronaut Alexander Gerst. It has a cartoon face. The designers say will be used to interact with humans on the ISS.
Airbus developed CIMON for Germany’s national space agency. The Artificial Intelligence is provided by IBM’s Watson. While the experiment will be conducted primarily with Gerst, CIMON is expected to interact with any astronaut that calls it’s name.
According to Matthias Biniok, an engineer for IBM and one of the lead architects behind CIMON’s Artificial Intelligence, “the concept of CIMON was inspired by a 197os science fiction comic series set in space, about a sentient, brain shaped robot named Prof. Simon that mentors an astronaut named Captain Future.” Continue reading
After Spinal Neck Surgery and recovery Why I Admire the Mayo Clinic, I was moved to Occupational and Physical Therapy. I knew what Physical Therapy is, but I had no idea what kind therapy could be provided for my occupation of Internet Consulting, Artificial Intelligence, and Writing. I soon found out that had to do with using my hands and personal hygiene.
I met my young therapist, Elizabeth Jones. She is from Apple Valley, MN (where my family and I lived for one year) and resides in Austin, MN. She received her degree and Masters of Science at The University of Wisconsin – La Crosse (where I grew up and received my Bachelor of Science Degree) but we never met until she gave me therapy at Mayo.
Elizabeth struck me as shy and serious and seemed a bit nervous but that was probably because I was sliced up and frazzled looking. I think I was still coming out of anesthesia to some degree, or maybe even a large degree. Anyway, I had no idea what occupational therapy is or would be but Elizabeth eased me into what it is about.
One of the first things Elizabeth did was to take me to the gym on our floor and show me what some of the equipment was for such as the large touch display that could be used to follow sprites with my finger. She also introduced me to some of the colored putty that I would play with. My initial conclusion was “this is going to be child’s play!”
Really, I knew it wouldn’t be child’s play because the reason I had surgery was my nervous system was being pressured and I was losing physical capabilities. I really needed to take therapy for the abilities that I was losing. It is not easy to admit to yourself that your body is no longer functioning as it always had.
The next thing we did was to go back to my hospital room to the toilet and bathing area. Elizabeth told me I would need to buy a
picker like the one she showed me. I think I told her that it was a silly idea and I would probably never use it. What I didn’t take in consideration was, I wouldn’t be able to bend down for quite a long time to pick things up off the floor. The neck surgery had hobbled me. Continue reading
Recently, we had an event that no one wants to happen, and that was our air conditioning failing at the beginning of a heat wave. We have a maintenance contract with our local gas company so I called them to come and fix our air conditioner. They were able to come out within two days and the tech guy determined that our AC was dead and irreparable.
We also have a replacement plan with our gas company that pays us a rebate toward our replacement and they came back with a suggested air conditioner which they could install in two weeks.
Just a few years ago, and before having a replacement plan, we bought a new efficient furnace system from Dan Pufahl who had gone to high school with some of my children. Dan now owns an HVAC company. He had done an exceptional job putting in the furnace he sold us and thus I called him to see if he could put in an air conditioning system for us in two days that was high-efficiency and competitively priced.
Coincidentally, as a result of a gift card I had received from AT&T, I purchased an Amazon Alexa Echo which is pretty impressive. So the next most obvious thing to do was to purchase a Google Nest intelligent thermostat that integrates nicely with the Alexa Echo and our new air conditioning system. My reasoning is, if you put in a new system you might as well make it an intelligent system too.
Instead of two days Dan came with the AC unit the next day and his crew and began installing air conditioner and the necessary coils and wires into the furnace.
The day that Dan and his crew installed our air conditioner was the beginning of the heat wave which lasted through the weekend and into the early part of the next week and at one point officially hit 100°F. Needless to say I’m grateful to Dan. He has proved to be a friend to my family and to me and has gone out of his way to be helpful.
Dan’s business is truly one for all seasons: spring, summer, fall, and winter.
If you’re interested in contacting Dan, the name of his company is Top Dog Mechanical. It is located in Elk River, Minnesota. His phone number is 612 – 578 – 2436 and his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. You won’t regret it if you do contact him.