Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
 Department of Mechanical Engineering
 6.050J / 2.110J     Information and Entropy     Spring 2004

Invitation to Freshmen

The following e-mail message was sent to MIT freshmen November 26, 2003.

Date: Wed, 26 Nov 2003 15:25:21 -0500
To: (Freshmen)
From: "Paul Penfield, Jr." <penfield@MIT.EDU>
Subject: 6.050J / 2.110J Information and Entropy
Cc: penfield@MIT.EDU, slloyd@MIT.EDU, Julie Norman <jbnorman@MIT.EDU>,
        Karen Blose <blose@MIT.EDU>

Dear Freshman,

You are probably thinking now about your academic schedule for Spring 
2004.  We invite you to consider a freshman subject that we have been 
developing for the past three years, and which appeared in the MIT 
catalog for the first time last year.

The subject is 6.050J / 2.110J Information and Entropy.  This 6-unit 
course fits into a typical freshman 57-unit Spring program, even one 
that includes a 15-unit subject like 6.001.  You can sign up for either 
2.110J or 6.050J.

We will explore the concept of information.  Like energy, information 
has many forms.  It can be transmitted from place to place or stored 
for later use.  It can be converted from one form to another by both 
physical and computational processes, some of them reversible and some 
not.  We will look at information in diverse areas - computation, 
biology, communications, and thermodynamics.

One form of information in physical systems is known as entropy, a 
quantity that obeys one of the most profound and mysterious physical 
principles, the Second Law of Thermodynamics.  We will consider the 
Second Law as a result of information processing in physical systems.  
Other topics include the genetic code, compression, channel capacity, 
TCP/IP, and quantum computing.

See more at the course home page

Paul Penfield, Jr.
D. C. Jackson Professor of Electrical Engineering
Room 38-344

Seth Lloyd
Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Room 3-160

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