Nokia Bell Labs, the seminal research and development company, commissioned Bennett Awards to create custom awards for a new recognition award they have established: the Bell Labs Shannon Visionary Award. These new awards honor global luminaries and visionaries for their work and contributions in advancing research in the current and future digital age. These awards were created in honor of Bell Lab’s Claude Shannon, generally regarded as the father of information theory. Shannon first pioneered the idea that information could be represented by 1’s and 0’s, and developed the first mathematical theory that explained how this digital information system could work in electrical applications.
The were five recipients of these inaugural recognition awards:
- Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Alphabet Inc.
- Irwin Jacobs, Co-founder of Qualcomm
- Amber Case, Cyborg Anthropologist
- Bob Metcalfe, Co-inventor of Ethernet and formulator of Metcalfe’s Law
- Henry Markram, founder of the Blue Brain and Human Brain Projects
These distinguished awards were presented to recipients at the first Shannon Conference on the Future of the Information Age, held April 28-29, 2016, in Murray Hill, New Jersey. This conference, focused on the future digital information economy and the impact of information theory on society today and in the digital future, commemorated the 100th anniversary of Shannon’s birth.
Bennett Awards worked with Bell Labs to create a new, unique custom award design for these awards. The design features a sculpture of a standing figure holding an open globe. Inside the globe is a banner engraved with some of Shannon’s mathematical algorithms. These sculptures were cast in pewter. The figures feature a brushed pewter finish, and the globes and banners were gold plated. The sculpture awards were mounted on pewter medallions engraved with binary code, which were then mounted on black bases with engraving of the award name, recipient name, and date of presentation.
More information on Bell Labs can be found at https://www.bell-labs.com/.