• 1815 November 02
    (b.) -
    1864 December 08


George Boole's father, John Boole (1779?1848), was a tradesman of limited means, but of "studious character and active mind". Being especially interested in mathematical science and logic, the father gave his son his first lessons; but the extraordinary mathematical talents of George Boole did not manifest themselves in early life. At first, his favorite subject was classics. He was very weak when he was born. It was not until his successful establishment of a school at Lincoln, its removal to Waddington, and later his appointment in 1849 as the first professor of mathematics of then Queen's College, Cork in Ireland (now University College Cork, where the library, underground lecture theatre complex and the Boole Centre for Research in Informatics are named in his honour) that his mathematical skills were fully realized. In 1855 he married Mary Everest (niece of George Everest), who later, as Mrs. Boole, wrote several useful educational works on her husband's principles. Boole's work (as well as that of his intellectual progeny) was relatively obscure, except among logicians. At the time, it appeared to have no practical uses. However, approximately seventy years after Boole's death, Claude Shannon attended a philosophy class at the University of Michigan that introduced him to Boole's studies. Shannon recognised that Boole's work could form the basis of mechanisms and processes in the real world and that it was therefore highly relevant. In 1937 Shannon went on to write a master's thesis at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in which he showed how Boolean algebra could optimize the design of systems of electromechanical relays, then used in telephone routing switches. He also proved that circuits with relays could solve Boolean algebra problems.
  • Date of Birth:

    1815 November 02
  • Date of Death:

    1864 December 08
  • Gender:

  • Noted For:

    Inventor of Boolean logic
  • Category of Achievement:

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