Press Release by the University of Porto - English Translation

"Brains" from all over the world celebrate the birth of the Bit at the Palacio da Bolsa

They come from the most distinguished research centers in the world and they bring to Porto a discussion about what is considered to be one of the most influential theories produced in the 20th century. This is background to the 2008 IEEE Information Theory Workshop, an event, which, from 9:00 AM this Monday (may 5), will bring to the Palacio da Bolsa about 150 of the most respected world specialists in Information Theory.

Included in the yearly cycle of conferences promoted by the IEEE - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (the largest professional association of engineers in the world) this international conference reaches Porto by the hands of the School of Sciences of the University of Porto and the Institute for Telecommunications. These institutions join forces in organizing an event which wishes to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the publication of the famous article "A Mathematical Theory of Communication" by Claude Shannon (1916-2001), regarded as the genesis of information theory, whose principles form the basis of all digital communications (satellite, mobile phones, internet, etc.).

Six decades after Shannon demonstrated that, by means of coding (i.e. the representation of information signals as bits), it is possible to control the quality of communication, the contribution of the "father" of the Bit shall be remembered in a conference attended by scientists from institutions such as MIT, and the universities of Stanford, Princeton, Yale, or Cornell. These specialists - which include Charles Bennet, the founder of quantum cryptography - will for five days, explore the impact that information theory continues to have in many different areas of knowledge, from telecommunications to neurosciences, as well as quantum physics, mathematics, or biology.

Cryptography, data reliability and coding of information are some of the topics that will be debated at ITW 2008. Everyone who passes in front of the main facade of the Palacio da Bolsa shall be confronted with a giant sign on which Shannon revolutionary formula .C = W log [(P+N)/N]. is engraved.

The University of Porto is thus associated as a privileged partner of an unseen event in the city. On May 8th, the President of the University Josť Marques dos Santos shall be the guest of honour in a banquet dinner at Taylor's Port Wine Cellars, starting at 8:00PM.

For more information, you may contact Jo„o Barros, professor of the Department of Computer Science of the School of Sciences of the University of Porto and General Co-Chair of ITW 2008, by cell phone 913049766, or by visiting http://www.dcc.fc.up.pt/itw08.