George Boole


George Boole Essay, Research Paper

George Boole was a mathematician in the 19th century. He helped establish modern symbolic logic and created algebra of logic, which they now called Boolean algebra. Boolean algebra is basic to the design of digital computers that we use today.

George s father, a tradesman, gave Boole his first math lessons. He also taught George how to make optical instruments. Boole was mostly self-taught in math, even though he spent a few years in public schools and had a little help from his father. After a while, his father s business started to decline. Boole now had to work to support his family. At the age of 16, he started teaching in village schools in the West Riding in Yorkshire. At the age of 20, Boole opened his own school in Lincoln.

Whenever George had some leisure time on his hands, he would read mathematics journals. Most of these journals were from 18th to early 19th century French mathematicians. After he spent a while reading these books, he started solving complex problems in algebra. Boole also realized that his algebra could also be applied to logic. Boole submitted many of his own compositions to the Cambridge Mathematical Journal beginning in 1839 with his work Researches on the Theory of Analytical Transformations . His works were mostly about differential equations and the algebraic problem of linear transformation. These works emphasized on the concept of invariance. In 1844, Boole discussed how methods of algebra and calculus could be combined. He wrote about this in another work of his called Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society .

In the year 1854, Boole published another work called An Investigation into the Laws of Thought, on Which Are Founded the Mathematical Theories of Logic and Probabilities , which he regarded as a mature statement of his ideas. In the year, 1854 started the logic of algebra, or Boolean algebra. Boolean algebra is two-valued in that it involves a subdivision of objects into separate classes, each with a given property. Different classes can then be treated as to the presence or absence of the same property. In 1857, Boole was elected as a fellow of the Royal Society.

These are some of the many reasons why Boole has helped the modern use of Boolean algebra and other things that have to do with logic. It is also because of him that we have computers. Without logic, or Boolean algebra, we probably would not have computers today.

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