Thomas M. Cover

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Thomas M. Cover
Born(1938-08-07)August 7, 1938
DiedMarch 26, 2012(2012-03-26) (aged 73)
Residence U.S.
Nationality U.S.
Alma mater
Known for Information theory
Nearest Neighbors Algorithm Cover's Theorem
Awards IEEE Fellow (1974)
IMS Fellow (1981)
Claude E. Shannon Award (1990)
AAAS Fellow (1991)
Member of the National Academy of Engineering (1995)
Richard W. Hamming Medal (1997)
Scientific career
Fields Information Theory
Electrical Engineering
Pattern Recognition
Institutions Stanford University
Doctoral advisor Norman Abramson
Doctoral students Mohammad Reza Aref
Martin Hellman
Peter E. Hart
Abbas El Gamal

Thomas M. Cover [ˈkoʊvər] (August 7, 1938 – March 26, 2012) was an information theorist and professor jointly in the Departments of Electrical Engineering and Statistics at Stanford University. He devoted almost his entire career to developing the relationship between information theory and statistics.


Early life and education

He received his B.S. in Physics from MIT in 1960 and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 1964.


Cover was past President of the IEEE Information Theory Society and was a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He received the Outstanding Paper Award in Information Theory for his 1972 paper "Broadcast Channels"; he was selected in 1990 as the Shannon Lecturer, regarded as the highest honor in information theory; in 1997 he received the IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal; [1] and in 2003 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

During his 48-year career as a professor of Electrical Engineering and Statistics at Stanford University, he graduated 64 PhD students, authored over 120 journal papers in learning, information theory, statistical complexity, and portfolio theory; and he coauthored the book Elements of Information Theory, which has become the most widely used textbook as an introduction to the topic since the publication of its first edition in 1991. [2] He was also coeditor of the book Open Problems in Communication and Computation.

Selected works

See also

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