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The Bit Player is a 2019 documentary film created to celebrate the 2016 centenary of the birth of Claude Shannon, the “father of information theory“. The film was produced and directed by Mark Levinson, in cooperation with the IEEE Information Theory Society and the IEEE Foundation.


Alan Brigish Alan earned a BS in electronic engineering from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. He became a fan of Claude Shannon and his “Information Theory” when, for his 1963 graduating thesis in electronic engineering, Brigish built an analog-to-digital to analog converter to test and prove the underlying theory that Shannon had developed 15 years earlier.

Information theory studies the transmission, processing, storage, and uses of information. It underlies today’s entire electronic infrastructure.  Shannon is the undisputed and unsung father of the modern electronic era.

Alan co-founded SIMBA Information Inc. in 1989 in Wilton, Connecticut after a twenty-five-year career in applying information systems technology to online and electronic publishing services in the US and Europe. He studied virtually every attempt to move traditional publishing from paper to electronic formats for over 20 years. During the 80’s, Brigish was founder of a pioneering electronic publishing venture – the first working electronic yellow pages, catalog, and online ordering service. During the ‘70s, Brigish worked for one of the first cloud computing services companies.

Brigish has been a full time Vineyard resident since 2005, having spent the previous 16 years as a summer resident.

Supported in part by the Farm Neck Foundation.

“A delightful new film” – Physics Today