1948: Error Correction

Photo: R.W. Hamming and colleague. Error-detecting coding, first developed for telephone switching, is now used throughout the computing and telecommunications industries. In 1948 , R.W. Hamming (left) of Bell Labs developed a general theory for error-correcting schemes in which "check-bits" are interspersed with information bits to form binary words in patterns. When a single error occurs in transmission, the word becomes invalid, but the error is automatically located and corrected.