was the headline, 54 years ago, on a story in Electronics Weekly’s first edition of September 7th 1960.
The story opens:
Information theory has jumped from the mathematicians text-book to the engineer’s bench. This was the message of the 4th London Symposium on Information Theory held last week under the auspices of Dr Colin Cherry, Professor of Telecommunications at the Imperial College of Science and Technology, London University.
Our Communications Correspondent writes: No longer can the engineer sit back and wait for information theory to arrive; it is already ripe for use.
The discussions of papers read at this important meeting show clearly that the Information Theory experts are very much alive to its engineering applications.
Communications in all spheres – visual, speech and digital – are brought under the wing of Information Theory.
The UK contribution to this symposium was largely concerned with the interaction of the Theory with human activities such as learning and speech. This interaction is pointing the way to the development of more efficient computing and simulating machines.
As could probably be expected, the US delegation presented a number of interesting papaers on coding and decoding in digital systems.
It is evident that a concentrated attack is being made on this sort of problem and the outcome will be a vast improvement in data processing and computers.