George Boole FRS (1815 - 1864) was best known for his discussion on reducing logic into simple algebra, thus including the principles of it in mathematics. It had before been the realm of Aristotle’s philosophy, and Boole’s work to simplify and distil this into equations was probably one of the major contributors to computing as we know it. Indeed Digital computing with binary would probably not be where it is today without his work.

It is Boole who distilled the AND, OR and NOT logical binary operations.

Boole also contributed significantly to other areas of mathematics, such as various aspects of calculus and probability. He had been raised in Lincoln, which at the time was a very industrial town, and as such, he came from a working class background. However, it was his father who had a great passion for mathematics who passed on this aspect to his son.

George Boole (1815- 1864)

A friend of the family taught Boole to read Latin, and because of his quick mind, Boole was translating Latin poetry from before he was 12. It was not long before he was fluent in French, German and Italian. It was in Lincoln the George Boole made contributions to The Cambridge and Dublin Mathematical Journal, which contrived to get him noticed by the professors of the period. This was no longer surprising, as by the age of 16 he was an assistant teacher, and by 20 he had opened his own school.

He held a Professorship of Mathematics at Queens College in Cork and was awarded a number of honours, receiving a Royal Society Royal Medal in 1844 and later becoming an Elected Member of the Royal Society in 1857. However, he was also immortalised, after having a Lunar crater named “Boole Crater” after him. To achieve these coming from what were the working class of the time was something most couldn’t have even dreamed of.