Quantum Bayesian Networks

June 17, 2012

Dissing the Prima Donna

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 7:35 pm

According to Wikipedia, John R. Pierce “…wrote on electronics and information theory, and developed jointly the concept of Pulse code modulation (PCM) with his Bell Labs colleagues Barney Oliver and Claude Shannon. He supervised the Bell Labs team which built the first transistor, and at the request of one of them, Walter Brattain, coined the term transistor.”

From Mark Wilde’s book, I learned that “John R. Pierce issued the following quip at the end of his 1973 retrospective article on the history of information theory [193]:”

“I think that I have never met a physicist who understood information theory. I wish that physicists would stop talking about reformulating information theory and would give us a general expression for the capacity of a channel with quantum effects taken into account rather than a number of special cases.”

John Pierce, John Pierce, your words cut us to the quick. They are still approximately true in 2012.

[193] John R. Pierce. The early days of information theory. IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, IT-19(1):3-8, January 1973.


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