Boole, George

Boole, George
b. 2 November 1815 Lincoln, England
d. 8 December 1864 Ballintemple, Coounty Cork, Ireland
English mathematician whose development of symbolic logic laid the foundations for the operating principles of modern computers.
Boole was the son of a tradesman, from whom he learned the principles of mathematics and optical-component manufacturing. From the early age of 16 he taught in a number of schools in West Yorkshire, and when only 20 he opened his own school in Lincoln. There, at the Mechanical Institute, he avidly read mathematical journals and the works of great mathematicians such as Lagrange, Laplace and Newton and began to tackle a variety of algebraic problems. This led to the publication of a constant stream of original papers in the newly launched Cambridge Mathematical Journal on topics in the fields of algebra and calculus, for which in 1844 he received the Royal Society Medal.
In 1847 he wrote The Mathematical Analysis of Logic, which applied algebraic symbolism to logical forms, whereby the presence or absence of properties could be represented by binary states and combined, just like normal algebraic equations, to derive logical statements about a series of operations. This laid the foundations for the binary logic used in modern computers, which, being based on binary on-off devices, greatly depend on the use of such operations as "and", "nand" ("not and"), "or" and "nor" ("not or"), etc. Although he lacked any formal degree, this revolutionary work led to his appointment in 1849 to the Chair of Mathematics at Queen's College, Cork, where he continued his work on logic and also produce treatises on differential equations and the calculus of finite differences.
Principal Honours and Distinctions
Royal Society Medal 1844. FRS 1857.
Boole's major contributions to logic available in republished form include George Boole: Investigation of the Laws of Thought, Dover Publications; George Boole: Laws of Thought, Open Court, and George Boole: Studies in Logic \& Probability, Open Court.
1872, A Treatise on Differential Equations.
Further Reading
W.Kneale, 1948, "Boole and the revival of logic", Mind 57:149.
G.C.Smith (ed.), 1982, George Boole \& Augustus de Morgan. Correspondence 1842– 1864, Oxford University Press.
—, 1985, George Boole: His Life and Work, McHale.
E.T.Bell, 1937, Men of Mathematics, London: Victor Gollancz.

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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