Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
 Department of Mechanical Engineering
 6.050J / 2.110J     Information and Entropy     Spring 2003


Unit 3: Errors


Lecture Tuesday, Feb 25, 2003, 12:00 PM Room 37-212
Recitation Thursday, Feb 27, 2003, 12:00 PM Room 37-212
Problem Set Posted Monday, Feb 24, 2003 Due Friday, Feb 28, 2003
Solutions Posted Friday, Feb 28, 2003  

Lecture Handouts

Students who for any reason did not receive these items can pick up a copy in Room 38-344. Most of this material is also available on the 6.050J/2.110J Web site

Reading Assignment





General Technical Books

There are many excellent texts on coding theory and communications, most of which assume a familiarity with mathematics beyond introductory calculus.

  • John G. Truxal, "The Age of Electronic Messages," McGraw-Hill Publishing Company, New York, NY; 1990. Aimed at providing technology and engineering exposure to liberal arts students. Nonmathematical, with lots of great examples. Based on material taught for many years at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
  • John R. Pierce, "An Introduction to Information Theory: Symbols, Signals, and Noise," Dover Publications, Inc., New York, NY; 1961, 1980 (Second Edition). Mostly nonmathematical, by one of the nation's great scientific contributors at AT&T Bell Laboratories, who was also interested in reaching a general audience. He was later on the faculty at Caltech. One of his interesting sideline activities was writing science fiction stories under the pen name J. J. Coupling. He died April 2, 2002 at the age of 92.
  • Robert G. Gallager, "Information Theory and Reliable Communications," John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, NY; 1968. One of the early textbooks, designed for first-year graduate students, by one of the pioneers in communications, an MIT faculty member, later awarded the IEEE Medal of Honor, its most prestigious award.
  • Thomas M. Cover and Joy A. Thomas, "Elements of Information Theory," John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, NY; 1991. Aimed at university seniors and first-year graduate students. One of several excellent books of that era. Professor Cover, at Stanford University, is one of the leaders in Information Theory.

Help Wanted

6.050J/2.110J students: be the first to suggest a resource, for example a useful Web site or a good book or article, to add to the list above. If your suggestion is accepted by the 6.050J/2.110J staff, you will get a $5 ice-cream gift certificate. Send your suggestion by e-mail during Spring 2003 to 6.050-staff at

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