Claude Shannon - Architect
Claude Elwood Shannon (1916-1999) is considered the founding father of the electronic communications age. He was an engineer, born in Michigan, whose work on technical and engineering problems within the communications industry layed the architectural groundwork for both the computer industry and telecommunications.
After Shannon noticed the similarity between Boolean algebra and telephone switching circuits, he applied Boolean algebra to electrical systems at MIT in the 1940s. Later he joined Bell Labs in 1942 and formulated the theory of communication via noisy channels, the problem of most efficiently transmitting information. The theory of communication was the climax of Shannon's engineering investigations. The concept of entropy was an important feature of Shannon's theory, which he demonstrated to be equivalent to a shortage in the information content, a degree of uncertainty, in a message. He thus layed the architectural foundations for both the computer and communications age.