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Boole, George (1815–1864)





George Boole
English mathematician and philosopher who is regarded as one of the founders of computer science. His great contribution was to approach logic in a new way, reducing it to a simple algebra and thus incorporating logic into mathematics. He pointed out the analogy between algebraic symbols and those that represent logical forms; his algebra of logic became known as Boolean algebra and is now used in designing computers and analyzing logic circuits.

Although he never studied for a degree, Boole was appointed to the chair of mathematics at Queens College, Cork, Ireland, in 1849. One day in 1864 he walked the two miles from his home to the College in pouring rain and then lectured in wet clothes. A fever followed but whether this alone would have caused his demise is unknown. Certainly his condition wasn't helped by his wife, Mary (a niece of Sir George Everest, after whom the mountain is named), who, following the principle that remedy should resemble cause, put Boole to bed and threw buckets of water over him. He expired shortly after.


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   • Boole (Stott), Alicia


Related categories

   • MATHEMATICIANS
   • COMPUTERS, ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, AND CYBERNETICS