JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
I just read an interesting "review" of sorts of the mechanical and electronic automation/robotic work of the great Claude Shannon--it was in George Boehm's "Gypsy, Model VI, Claude Shannon, Nimwit, and the Mouse" and published in Computers and Automation, volume 2, number 2, March 1953. Shannon (1916-2001) is widely seen as being the "father of information theory" though it might be more accurate to refer to him as the 'father of the information age".
Shannon basically established the foundation of the digital circuits in his 1937 A Symbolic Analysis of Relay and Switching Circuits, which was also one of those great dreams-come-true parts of graduate school, when your masters' thesis is actually a very important work--this was the case for Shannon, who actually did it with this paper at the age of 21. In the midst of a brilliant young career he also produced (in 1948) another great landmark, A Mathematical Theory of Communication, which is the pioneering paper on information theory and which was so brilliantly composed that its framework is still in place after 65 years. A year later came Communication Theory of Secrecy Systems, a work which established cryptography as a science more than a system. And on and on.
I like that Shannon was born in Petosky, Michigan, up there on the choppy Little Traverse, and all of those big-pebble Petosky fossil/stones.
The Boehm article is very insider-y semi-offhand but solid review of some of the gadgetry and robotic work of Claude Shannon--it is only four pages but it is four good pages, which I reproduced below. Enjoy. [The original is actually available for sale at the blog's bookstore, here.]