Claude Shannon Centennial 2016 at UCLA

On May 7, 2016, UCLA joined other locations around the world to celebrate the Shannon Centennial 2016. Approximately 60 faculty and students attended the event.

The UCLA event was hosted by Prof. Suhas Diggavi, Prof. Christina Fragouli, and Prof. Gregory Pottie, Electrical Engineering Department, UCLA.

Claude Shannon was an American mathematician, electrical engineer, and cryptographer known as “the father of information theory”. Shannon founded information theory, and is perhaps equally well known for founding both the digital computer and digital circuit design theory. He also laid the foundations of cryptography, and did basic work on code breaking and secure telecommunications.

The Shannon Centennial 2016, marks the life and influence of Claude Elwood Shannon on the hundredth anniversary of his birth. The UCLA Shannon Centennial celebration was geared toward the general public, in particular to the younger generations and high-school students. The event included:

  • Interactions with UCLA professors, graduate and undergraduate students in Engineering, who explained the principles of modern information systems.
  • Demonstrations: Two UCLA student design projects: Micromouse and Natcar.
    • Micromouse is a demonstration of autonomous robots navigating a maze. Micromouse challenges students to combine their skills in circuit design, sensor data acquisition, signal processing, and programming. Over the school year, teams build small autonomous robots with the ultimate goal of navigating and solving a 16×16 cell maze as quickly as possible.
    • Natcar is a design project incorporating concepts from analog circuits, signal processing, feedback control, and programming. Students retrofit RC car chassis to follow a line, which consists of white tape and a wire underneath carrying a 75 kHz signal. Teams use cameras, analog front ends, microcontrollers, and other circuitry to build autonomous vehicles. In additional, students learn valuable skills such as layout tools (Cadsoft EAGLE) to design printed circuit boards and CAD software (Autodesk Inventor) for 3D printing.
  • 3-D printers: Demonstration of 3-D printing.
  • Engineering tours: Guided tour of the School of Engineering with stops at the Internet museum and student design centers.

Watch this video by the IEEE Information Theory Society to learn more about Prof. Shannon!

Here is an interview with Prof. Leonard Kleinrock, Professor Emeritus of Computer Science, UCLA, who was one of Prof. Shannon’s graduate students at MIT.

Below are posters that describe several facets of Claude Shannon’s life and his contributions to information theory.

Claude Shannon biography

What is information?

How do we collect information?

How do we compress information?

How do we store information?

How do we communicate wirelessly?

How do we protect information?

How do we secure information?

Quantum information

Energy harvesting


Engineering students checking in the attendees


The official Shannon Centennial T-Shirt


3-D printing the souvenir key chains


3-D printer


3-D printer


Souvenir key chains


Micromouse maze


Prof. Fragouli and a student watching a micromouse traverse the maze


Prof Diggavi and engineering students discussing the Natcar vehicles


Discussing the information on one of the posters


Discussing the information on one of the posters


Discussing the information on one of the posters


Discussing the information on one of the posters