Kat King is an information architect interested in language, and meaning, and the things we make. She currently works as a business intelligence analyst for the University of Michigan Library.
Information professionals are people who work with the stuff of information in their everyday work. We search for and elicit information, we spend time analyzing and synthesizing it, we carefully create and structure it. But understanding exactly what the information is, and where it is in our work can be tricky. Information theory can be a dense and jargon filled, and definitions in academic texts can feel divorced from the practice of actually working with information. In this talk I’ll use simple examples (sorting a set of objects, playing a guessing game, etc) to teach the audience to “see” the information, and then understand information theory concepts. I'll give a basic definition for information, show how the structure of a system determines what is information within it, how humans actually interact with information, and the difference between information and other meaningful content.
In the past I've given talks about this subject that taught the theory by citing the work of academics who study information, but it in this talk I'll teach with examples too keep it accessible.