This Day in History: April 30
April 30, 1904
Computer Pioneer George Stibitz Born
While at Bell Labs, George Stibitz pioneers the principles of relay-based computing. His original design, the “Model K,” was a binary adder that was named after its place of original design, Stibitz’s kitchen table. The “Model K” and Stibitz’s further research formed the groundwork for Bell Labs’ Complex Number Calculator, which was the first remotely accessed computer via a Teletype machine. He later pursued his research interests at Dartmouth College as a member of its faculty. Stibitz passed away in 1995.
April 30, 1916
Information Theory Pioneer Claude Shannon Born
Claude Shannon is born in Gaylord, Michigan. Known as the inventor of information theory, Shannon is the first to use the word "bit." Shannon, a contemporary of John von Neumann, Howard Aiken, and Alan Turing, sets the stage for the recognition of the basic theory of information that could be processed by the machines the other pioneers developed. He investigates information distortion, redundancy and noise, and provides a means for information measurement. He identifies the bit as the fundamental unit of both data and computation.