Marconi Fellows Attend “Extra-ordinary” Event At Bell Labs for Claude Shannon Centennial

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L to R: Herwig Kogelnik, Bob Metcalf, Irwin Jacobs, Bob Tkach, A. J. Paulraj, Len Kleinrock, Andrew Chraplyvy, Bob Lucky, Dave Forney, Bob Gallager.

Bell Labs hosted an “extra-ordinary” event April 28th for a man who built a juggling machine, rocket-powered Frisbees, motorized Pogo sticks, a mind-reading machine, and a mechanical mouse that could navigate a maze.

He also wrote what has come to be known as “The Magna Carta of the Information Age”, a mathematical theory of communication which defines the rules that underpin our current and future digital society.

Perhaps the greatest mind ever to grace the halls of Bell Labs (certainly, his colleagues and successors thought so) Claude Shannon is revered among communications and information scientists. So it is no surprise that ten Marconi Fellows joined the Claude Shannon Centennial event. Many were part of the program, from Bob Metcalfe’s talk on Ethervation: innovation lessons from 43 years of Ethernet, and Irwin Jacobs talk, Claude Shannon’s enduring impact on my graduate, faculty, and business careers, to the fireside chat moderated by Len Kleinrock that included Bob Gallager. But they also came together to share highlights of their experiences at one of the greatest research labs ever created. More Marconi Fellows have had some connection with Bell Labs than any other institution; many have spent their careers there.

Two Marconi Fellows received Nokia Bell Labs Shannon Visionary Awards during the event; Irwin Jacobs and Bob Metcalf. You can read more about the event and speeches here.