Other modules & training activities

Other training activities include workshops and specialised postgraduate modules taught locally at Birmingham, Nottingham and Warwick, which are not in principle broadcast to MPAGS (unless there is enough interest from the other institutions). For more information follow the links given in the list below.

Information theory for physicists

Academic year: 
2014-2015
Date: 
27/11/2014 - 14:00

Information theory for physicists

27 November, 4 December, 11 December

2–3 pm, Physics Library, Physics West, University of Birmingham

The course will introduce key ideas from information theory. Information theory explains how the quantify information or uncertainty about a system, and how much you learn from an inference. Information theory has many applications, and is particularly useful in data analysis; we shall also see how it is connected to thermodynamics.

Lecture 1: Probabilities, inference and information content — An introduction to communications theory, including revision of how to use probabilities (in a Bayesian way) to encode our state of knowledge. An explanation of the Shannon information content.

Lecture 2: Entropy and probability distance — Introduction of the Shannon information entropy for both discrete and continuous distributions. How to measure differences between probability distributions.

Lecture 3: Maximising entropy and thermodynamics — How to use constraints to inform your knowledge (or lack thereof) of a system. How to derive the thermodynamic distributions from a state of ignorance.