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George Boole: The man who shrunk the world into ‘0’s and ‘1’s

George Boole
George Boole (Wikicommons)

Google on Monday dedicated a doodle to the noted mathematician George Boole on his 200th birth anniversary.

Google on Monday dedicated a doodle to the noted mathematician George Boole on his 200th birth anniversary.

If Google is the tallest building in the age of information, Boole can be considered as the man who laid its foundation. He was an English mathematician, logician and philosopher whose legacy of Boolean logic paved the way for designing the electronic structure of computers, and for manipulating information within them.

Boolean algebra was introduced by Boole in his first book The Mathematical Analysis of Logic published in 1847 and was explored in full in his second book An Investigation of the Laws of Thought that came out in 1854.

Today's Google Doodle
Today's Google Doodle (Google)

A modern-day "digital" computer understands only two states - 'on' and 'off' state or 'true' and 'false' - in other words, it understands only two inputs those of '1' and '0'. Boolean algebra helped in converting any text into '1's and '0's, thereby devising a mechanism for communicating with computers. A single 'b'inary dig'it' is called a bit - eight bits make one byte.

For example, a computer doesn't understand the text "Hello world" as it is, instead the text is converted into a series of binary digits (a lot of 1s and 0s) which help it understand the text that we type.

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