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  • 11/29/2003

George Boole

(11/2/1815- 12/8/1864)

English mathematician who was the author of several classic works on mathematical logic. As a child, he taught himself Latin and Greek in the belief it would enable him to rise above his wretched lower-class existence. He spent four years teaching at elementary schools, at which time he studiedMécanique Céleste andMécanique Analytique on his own. Following this, he discovered the usefulness of invariants.
His most important work was in the separation of symbols from operations and creation of mathematical logic. In the worksThe Mathematical Analysis of Logic (1847) andInvestigation of the Laws of Thought (1854) he established formal logic and Boolean algebra (the algebra of sets). InTreatise on Differential Equations (1859), he pointed out parallels between differential operators and the rules of algebra.

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