Thomas M. Cover

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thomas M. Cover
Born(1938-08-07)August 7, 1938
DiedMarch 26, 2012(2012-03-26) (aged 73)
Alma materMassachusetts Institute of Technology (BS)
Stanford University (MS, PhD)
Known forInformation theory
Nearest neighbors algorithm Cover's theorem
AwardsIEEE 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
FieldsInformation theory
Electrical engineering
Pattern recognition
InstitutionsStanford University
ThesisGeometrical and Statistical Properties of Linear Threshold Devices (1964)
Doctoral advisorNorman Abramson
Doctoral studentsJoy A. Thomas
Mohammad Reza Aref
Martin Hellman
Peter E. Hart
Abbas El Gamal

Thomas M. Cover [ˈkoʊvər] (August 7, 1938 – March 26, 2012) was an American 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[edit]

He received his B.S. in Physics from MIT in 1960 and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 1964. His doctoral studies were supervised by Norman Abramson.[1]


Cover was 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;[2] 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, pattern recognition, and portfolio theory; and he partnered with Joy A. Thomas to coauthor the book Elements of Information Theory,[3] which has become the most widely used textbook as an introduction to the topic since the publication of its first edition in 1991.[4] He was also coeditor of the book Open Problems in Communication and Computation.

Selected works[edit]

  • Cover, T. M.; Thomas, J. A. (2006). "Chapter 12, Maximum Entropy". Elements of Information Theory (2 ed.). Wiley. ISBN 0471241954.
  • T. Cover, J. Thomas (1991). Elements of Information Theory. ISBN 0-471-06259-6.
  • Van Campenhout, Jan. and Cover, T. (1981). Maximum entropy and conditional probability. Information Theory, IEEE Transactions on
  • Cover, T. (1974). The Best Two Independent Measurements Are Not the Two Best. Systems, Man and Cybernetics, IEEE Transactions on
  • Cover, T. and Hart, P. (1967). Nearest neighbor pattern classification. Information Theory, IEEE Transactions on.
  • Cover, T. (1965). Geometrical and Statistical Properties of Systems of Linear Inequalities with Applications in Pattern Recognition. Electronic Computers, IEEE Transactions on

See also[edit]


External links[edit]