An interdisciplinary understanding of the nature of information

Topic Description

The information age is an outcome of developments of computing and communications technology, but has consequences for the whole of human existence. Computing and communications engineers deliver digital capabilities that not only change what we can do and how we do it, but can radically change our perception of the world around us and of our own identity. Previously physical entities have become virtual, while experiences, relationships and transactions that were formerly enacted physically have moved into cyberspace. This transition from a physical to an informational world urgently requires new understanding which can only come about from interdisciplinary projects.

Specific topics might be:
* a detailed examination of the quantification of information in the engineering, physics, and biology traditions
* are there important differences, or is it all really the same?
* when notions of information are taken up by non-tech disciplines, to what extent are these informed by the classical analyses, what is different, and what is qualitative, rather than quantitative
* how important are information-theoretical ideas for current computing and ICT professionals and researchers
* is the 'philosophy of information' of any relevance for practitioners
* is there really an 'information explosion'

Skills Required:

The candidate must be capable of, and comfortable in, engaging with a range of different disciplines. They must be mathematically and technically competent to understand the foundations of engineering information theory, but also able to comprehend philosophical arguments and the reasoning in other disciplines.

Background Reading:

“Perspectives on Information”, Magnus Ramage and David Chapman (eds) Routledge, 2011.

tripleC: Cognition, Communication, Co-operation, vol. 11, no. 1 (2013), pp.1-126, http://triple-c.at/, ed. David Chapman & Magnus Ramage (Special Issue: “The Difference that Makes a Difference” 2011)

Kybernetes, vol. 43, no. 6 (2014), ed. Mustafa Ali (Special Issue on “The Difference That Makes a Difference”)

Intropy blog: intropy.co.uk



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