E. T. Jaynes  

Edwin Thompson Jaynes (1922–1998), photo taken circa
1960.


Born 
July 5,
1922 Waterloo, Iowa 
Died 
April 30,
1998 St. Louis, Missouri 
Fields  Physicist 
Institutions  Washington University 
Alma mater  Princeton University 
Doctoral advisor  Eugene Wigner 
Known for  MaxEnt interpretation 
Edwin Thompson Jaynes (Waterloo, Iowa, July 5, 1922 – St. Louis, Missouri, April 30^{[1]}, 1998) was Wayman Crow Distinguished Professor of Physics at Washington University in St. Louis. He wrote extensively on statistical mechanics and on foundations of probability and statistical inference, initiating in 1957 the MaxEnt interpretation of thermodynamics^{[2]}^{[3]}, as being a particular application of more general Bayesian/information theory techniques (although he argued this was already implicit in the works of Gibbs). Jaynes strongly promoted the interpretation of probability theory as an extension of logic.
In 1963, together with Fred Cummings, he modelized the evolution of a twolevel atom in an electromagnetic field, in a fully quantized way. This model is known as the Jaynes–Cummings model.
A particular focus of his work was the construction of logical principles for assigning prior probability distributions; see the principle of maximum entropy, the principle of transformation groups^{[4]}^{[5]} and Laplace's principle of indifference.
Jaynes's last book, Probability Theory: The Logic of Science gathers various threads of modern thinking about Bayesian probability and statistical inference, and contrasts the advantages of Bayesian techniques with the results of other approaches. This book was published posthumously in 2003 (from an incomplete manuscript that was edited by Larry Bretthorst).
