Huffman codes story – (Moral – Make your own study notes )
In 1951, David A. Huffman and his classmates in a graduate course on information theory at MIT were given the choice of a term paper or a final exam. For the term paper Huffman’s professor, Robert M. Fano, had given the problem of finding an algorithm for assigning binary codes to symbols such that a given set of symbols can be represented in the smallest number of bits. Huffman worked on the problem for months, developing a number of approaches but none that he could prove to be the most efficient. Finally , he despaired of ever reaching a solution and decided to start studying for the final. Just as he was throwing his notes in the garbage, the idea of using a frequency-sorted binary tree came to him and he quickly proved this method to be the most efficient. Huffman’s solution proved to be a significant improvement over the “Shannon-Fano codes” proposed by his professor Robert M. Fano along with ClaudeE. Shannon-the inventor of Information Theory.