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The Life and Work of George Boole: A Prelude to the Digital Age
The Life and Work of George Boole: A Prelude to the Digital Age


 
Our Price:19.95
Authors: Desmond MacHale
Affiliation: University College Cork
Publication Year: Hardback September 2014
Pages: 364
Size: 234 x 156mm

ISBN: 9781782050049
Qty:

Description
 
Foreword by Ian Stewart Emeritus Professor of Mathematics, Warwick University, UK

This book, aimed at the general reader, is the first full-length biography of George Boole (18151864) who has been variously described as the founder of pure mathematics, father of computer science and discoverer of symbolic logic. Boole is mostly remembered as a mathematician and logician whose work found application in computer science long after his death, but this biography reveals Boole as much more than a mathematical genius; he was a child prodigy, self-taught linguist and practical scientist, turbulent academic and devoted teacher, social reformer and poet, psychologist and humanitarian, religious thinker and good family man truly a nineteenth-century polymath.

George Boole was born in Lincoln, England, the son of a struggling shoemaker. Boole was forced to leave school at the age of sixteen and never attended a university. He taught himself languages, natural philosophy and mathematics. After his father's business failed he supported the entire family by becoming an assistant teacher, eventually opening his own boarding school in Lincoln. He began to produce original mathematical research and, in 1844, he was awarded the first gold medal for mathematics by the Royal Society.

Boole was deeply interested in the idea of expressing the workings of the human mind in symbolic form, and his two books on this subject, The Mathematical Analysis of Logic (1847) and An Investigation of the Laws of Thought (1854) form the basis of today's computer science and electronic circuitry. He also made important contributions to areas of mathematics such as invariant theory (of which he was the founder), differential and difference equations and probability. Much of the 'new mathematics' now studied by children in school set theory, binary numbers and Boolean algebra, has its origins in Boole's work.

In 1849, Boole was appointed first professor of mathematics in Ireland's new Queen's College (now University College) Cork and taught and worked there until his tragic and premature death in 1864. In 1855, he had married Mary Everest, a niece of the man after whom the world's highest mountain is named. The Boole's had five remarkable daughters including Alicia, a mathematician, Lucy, a professor of chemistry, and Ethel (Voynich), a novelist and author of The Gadfly.

Desmond MacHale is Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at University College Cork, where Boole was the first professor of mathematics.

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In 2015 University College Cork will celebrate the bicentenary of George Boole's birth in 1815. To find out more visit georgeboole.com

Life and Timeline of George Boole
George Boole Legacy

Average Rating: 5 of 5 Total Reviews: 4 Write a review »

  1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
 
The Life and Work of George Boole: A Prelude to th July 15, 2015
Reviewer: CHOICE-M. Mounts, Dartmouth College from USA  
As part of the celebration for the bicentennial of the birth of George Boole, Cork University Press has issued a corrected edition of MacHale's well-researched, scholarly biography of Boole.  Boole Press published the first edition in 1985 under the title George Boole, His Life and Work.  MacHale provides a new preface and Ian Stewart a new foreword; except for the omission of an appendix of additional references, the new edition is an OCR'd reprint.  MacHale (emer., University College Cork, Ireland) creates for general readers an admirable portrait of a brilliant, self-taught mathematician.  Boole's research deeply impacted differential and difference equations, probability theory, and linear algebra; he created Boolean algebra, the foundation for the modern digital world, and he birthed invariant theory and symbolic logic.  MacHale incorporates Boole's correspondence liberally, allowing Boole to be heard.  Little mathematical detail is given. Primarily useful for libraries that do not own the original edition.

Summing Up: Recommended. General readers and lower-division undergraduates.

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  1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
 
The Life and Work of George Boole October 4, 2014
Reviewer: The Irish Examiner from Ireland  
Boole has been fortunate in finding a biographer of the calibre of Dr MacHale

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  1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
 
The Life and Work of George Boole October 4, 2014
Reviewer: The Irish Times from Ireland  
Well researched and written, the book can be thoroughly recommended

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  1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
 
The Life and Work of George Boole October 4, 2014
Reviewer: Times Higher Education Supplement from UK  
MacHale's book is a major achievement and deserves to be a bestseller

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