Boole, Shannon and the Electronic Computer

A reblog to mark the centenary of the birth of Claude Shannon, pioneer of information theory..

The Renaissance Mathematicus

Photo of George Boole by Samuel Prout Newcombe  Source: Wikimedia Commons Photo of George Boole by Samuel Prout Newcombe
Source: Wikimedia Commons

In 1847, the self-taught English Mathematician George Boole (1815–1864), whose two hundredth birthday we celebrated last year, published a very small book, little more than a pamphlet, entitled Mathematical Analysis of Logic. This was the first modern book on symbolic or mathematical logic and contained Boole’s first efforts towards an algebraic logic of classes.

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Although very ingenious and only the second published non-standard algebra, Hamilton’s Quaternions was the first, Boole’s work attracted very little attention outside of his close circle of friends. His friend, Augustus De Morgan, would falsely claim that his own Formal Logic Boole’s work were published on the same day, they were actually published several days apart, but their almost simultaneous appearance does signal a growing interest in formal logic in the early nineteenth century. Boole went on to publish a much improved and expanded…

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2 Responses to “Boole, Shannon and the Electronic Computer”

  1. Peter, you once misspelled Shannon as Shandon.

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