Google Celebrates On/Off/Yes/No Logic Pioneer George Boole

By Gary Cutlack on at

Google's back to doing the worthy and educational doodles after its Halloween gaming outing, with today seeing the 200th anniversary of the birth of maths innovator George Boole marked with a flashing animated thingy on the search giant's entry portal.

Boole is one of the many people with a claim to be the founder of today's computer-led society, thanks to his work on logic, the on/off true/false world of hard facts that power the hardware of our phones, laptops, spaceships, microwaves and... you get the idea. Most things apart from hula hoops.

Lincolnshire-born Boole had an interesting pre-maths career running a boarding school while learning his maths trade, eventually going on to specialise in algebra and publish papers that would land him the position of professor of mathematics at Cork University, back in 1849, way before calculators meant anyone could do equations and it was therefore quite impressive.

In short, you've probably heard of Boolean algebra and equations, which was him. Today, his former home at the University of Cork is staging the George Boole bicentenary celebrations, with a series of conferences and events -- and a maths-themed Boolean art exhibit -- helping remind people that there was a time before we had computers to tell us when to stand up and how long to brush our teeth for. [ via Google]