Happy birthday, George Boole


One of the forefathers of modern computing and information retrieval, George Boole was born 200 years ago today.  Google has celebrated today with a characteristically fun Doodle.

For much of the search logic operating behind Google and the choice of AND, OR and NOT operators available in many library search platforms, which allow you to ask for things containing all the terms you enter (apples AND pears), any one of them (apples OR pears) or all but one of them (fruit NOT apples), you can thank 19th century mathematician, philosopher and logician George Boole.

Boole developed a method of algebraic logic that was later taken up by other giants in the developing field of computing and information science, most famously by Claude Shannon, who discovered that telephone routing switches could be set up using electromagnetic relays to solve Boolean algebra problems, demonstrating that calculations could be performed by electrical switches, which went on to be developed into the first calculating machines that foreshadowed computers.

You can discover more about George Boole on the UCC George Boole 200 website.

Video source: http://georgeboole.com/

Assistant Librarian (Promotions) at the University Library. An enthusiastic advocate of libraries, diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice for all, inside and outside the workplace.

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