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Monday, November 02, 2015

Who is George Boole: the mathematician behind the Google doodle

Celebrating George Boole's Bicentenary.

Photo: Lisa Visentin
Lisa Visentin, reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald writes, "Who is George Boole?" is sure to rack up more than a few Google hits over the next 24 hours after the search engine decided to honour the Englishman's 200th birthday with an algebraic reimaging of its Google doodle.
The George Boole Google doodle. Photo: Screengrab:

Happy Birthday George Boole

George Boole was a mathematician, logician and philosopher whose legacy of Boolean logic is credited with laying the foundations for the information age.

According to, a University College Cork website dedicated to him, "his legacy surrounds us everywhere, in the computers, information storage and retrieval, electronic circuits and controls that support life, learning and communications in the 21st century.

"His pivotal advances in mathematics, logic and probability provided the essential groundwork for modern mathematics, microelectronic engineering and computer science."

Born 200 years ago on November 2, his algebraic approach to logic, in which all values are reduced to either "true" or "false", is still used today.

He also devised a type of linguistic algebra, now known as Boolean algebra, the three most basic operations of which are "and", "or" and "not"...

He was just 24 when he published his first paper, Researches on the Theory of Analytical Transformations in the Cambridge Mathematical Journal of November 1839.

Six years later, in 1847, he published his first book The Mathematical Analysis of Logic, (PDF) where he introduced the concept of "symbolic logic" where mathematical symbols are used to represent classes or sets of objects, and the symbols are manipulated through mathematics.

In 1849, he was appointed the first professor of mathematics at Queen's College, Cork (now University College Cork (UCC)) in Ireland.
Read more... 

Additional resources  
Computer games can help develop logical thinking
UCC George Boole 200 - Timeline of George Boole's Life - UCCIreland
George Boole - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Source: Sydney Morning Herald and UCCIreland

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