about the creators
Information in Small Bits authors Christina and Anna have known each other through professional circles for over fifteen years. As Christina was inquiring for ideas to celebrate the accomplishments of Claude Shannon for his centennial, Anna, who has a penchant for drawing cartoons, sketched a story that Christina thought had potential to reach a young audience. It was A (Alice) and B (Bob) complaining about being digitized in the eight bits of an ASCII code.
Four cartoons later, the book idea gained momentum, and Dawn was recruited to design it. Christina wrote explanations and problems to explain the true subject of each story and to Anna’s surprise Dawn found a way to make her pencil sketches on copy paper look really good! We hope to have a lot of young friends understand the digital world better and join the many admirers of Claude Shannon, who was one of the best engineering and mathematical minds of the last century.
CHRISTINA FRAGOULI is a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UCLA. She has worked on information theory for over 20 years and has won recognitions for her work. Christina loves to read. She has a mischievous cat, a funny dog, and a mischievously funny daughter. She likes reading books to her daughter and realized that there weren’t many books introducing basic concepts of how technology works to children. This, together with Anna’s beautiful sketches, inspired this book.
ANNA SCAGLIONE is a professor of Electrical Computer and Energy Engineering at Arizona State University. She is a Fellow of the International Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) society, in recognition for her research in the areas of signal processing and communication networks. When she was an engineering student, she was struck by the beauty of statistics—especially by the concept that something seemingly ephemeral like "information” and “uncertainty" could be exactly quantified in mathematical terms. She fell in love with information theory and embarked on her research career a few years later, determined to design new information systems.
Shannon theory permeates her research and provides the guiding principles to bridge the physical and digital world, to make things and machines more connected and intelligent. Her pen doodles often beyond her will, with cartoon characters emerging between her mathematical derivations. This book is the first time she publishes her drawings and not the equations.
DAWN FAELNAR is a purveyor of media design and art-science, interested in promoting the collaboration between art, science, design and technology. Through her work, she explores the relationship between multidisciplinary fields, and how they can be interpreted and made more accessible through art and design. An advocate of STEAM education, her penchant for combining the digital with analog, and aesthetic eclecticism with serious socio-environmental undertones, stems from the ultimate goal to better the future of our universe.