October 15, 2003

Entropy (lyrics set to the tune "Yesterday" by the Beatles)

"A Mathematical Theory"
The word stolen or an escapee
From those physicists--entropy.

Entropy! Most written language has redundancy
Reducing it is a well-worn plea.
Oh, Entropy! Our decree!
Give it the name "H", I think we all can agree.
It's the lower bound
We long for--entropy!

It's a measure of uncertainty
The average of information's fee
Across our palette: alphabet.
We calculate it as negative of sum p log p.
It's that easy--entropy.
Shannon's brainstorm helped us to see
All you need is probability
To figure out the

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