George Boole Celebrations

Adam Donovan, who plays George Boole in the UCC tours; Dr. Michael Murphy, President, UCC; and Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at UCC, Patrick Fitzpatrick, with pupils from Bunscoil Chríost Rí, Greenmount National School and St. Maries of the Isle in Cork. (PHOTO: Daragh McSweeney / UCC)

By Julia Brodsky, Editorial Assistant
December / January 2016

On November 2nd, 2015, schoolchildren all over the world engaged in a lesson in Boolean mathematics and logic through the launch of University College Cork’s Bring Boole2School program. The date marks the bicentennial anniversary of the birth of George Boole, the English mathematician, logician, and philosopher who is often called the “forefather of the information age.” Boole was a math professor and dean at UCC whose application of algebra to human thought processes gave birth to “Boolean logic.” This logical process is now used in designing virtually all of the technology we use on a daily basis.

George Boole was born in Lincoln, England and received little formal education beyond primary school. His knowledge of languages and advanced mathematics was almost entirely self-taught, and he began teaching at the age of 16 to support his family. In 1849 he was appointed as the first professor of mathematics at UCC (then Queens College, Cork), where he remained the rest of his life. He published four books and numerous papers, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, and won the Keith Prize before passing away in 1864.

Bring Boole2School is part of the George Boole 200 Program, which runs throughout 2015 and celebrates Boole’s life and legacy. ♦

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