“Dr. Claude Elwood Shannon, the American mathematician and computer scientist whose theories laid the groundwork for the electronic communications networks that now lace the earth, died on Saturday in Medford, Mass., after a long fight with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 84. Understanding, before almost anyone, the power that springs from encoding information in a simple language of 1’s and 0’s, Dr. Shannon as a young man wrote two papers that remain monuments in the fields of computer science and information theory.”