George Boole

What Does George Boole Mean?

George Boole (1815–1864) was an English logician, mathematician and educator. Starting as a schoolmaster in England, he became a professor in mathematics at Queen’s University, Cork, Ireland. He produced two major works in logic, namely “The Mathematical Analysis of Logic” (1847) and “The Laws of Thought” (1854).

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He invented Boolean algebra, which expanded the relationship between logic and mathematics. It later became the basis for checking the validity of logical propositions, done with the help of a two-value binary character – true or false. For his enormous contributions to computer science, especially in digital computer logic, Boole is considered the “father of the information age.”

Techopedia Explains George Boole

A largely self-taught child prodigy, Boole never attended university. He was forced to leave school at 16 years old after his father’s shoe business collapsed. The very same year, he became an assistant teacher, and later opened his own school when he was 20. Soon, George became interested in mathematics and went on to discover a new branch in mathematics known as invariant theory. In 1844, for a paper on differential equations, Boole was awarded the first Gold Medal of the Royal Society of London. Even though Boole had no university degree, in 1849 he was appointed professor of mathematics at Queen’s University solely on the basis of his publications.

Boole was one of the first Englishmen to write on logic. He developed a new type of linguistic algebra, now known as Boolean algebra, as a method to manipulate and mathematically solve logical arguments. Boole proposed that the logical propositions could be reduced to algebraic equations and the mathematical operands can be replaced by logical words such as AND, OR and NOT. He provided general algorithms in an algebraic language which could be applied to different types of complex arguments. In his work “Laws of Thought,” he also tried to find a common method in probabilities.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.