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Edgar Nelson Gilbert (December 25, 1923 - March 11, 2011) was an American mathematician and coding theorist, a longtime researcher at Bell Laboratories whose accomplishments include the Gilbert–Varshamov bound in coding theory, the Gilbert–Elliott model of bursty errors in signal transmission, and the Erdős–Rényi model for random graphs. Gilbert was born in 1923 in Woodhaven, New York. He did his undergraduate studies in physics at Queens College, City University of New York, graduating in 1943. He taught mathematics briefly at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign but then moved to the Radiation Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he designed radar antennas from 1944 to 1946. He finished a Ph.D. in physics at MIT in 1948, with a dissertation entitled Asymptotic Solution of Relaxation Oscillation Problems under the supervision of Norman Levinson, and took a job at Bell Laboratories where he remained for the rest of his career. He retired in 1996.