*Macmillan Science Library: Mathematics*. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.

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## Boole, George

*British Mathematician 1815–1864*

**Digital logic** is the set of rules applied to data (numbers, symbols, words) that are entered into a computer. These instructions direct computers and are called **machine code**. This code uses the **binary** digits 1 and 0 to switch **transistors** on or off. The basic operators that perform these tasks are AND, OR, and NOT. A hundred years before electronic computers were conceived, George Boole proposed this binary or digital logic.

Born to working-class English parents, Boole later supported himself and his parents as a school instructor. Frustrated by the inferior mathematics texts used to educate pupils, Boole was led to change the world of numbers. With only a basic science background, Boole labored 5 years to learn mathematics, eventually publishing in the *Cambridge Mathematical Journal.* His reputation was heightened in 1847 when he published *The Mathematical Analysis of Logic,* which introduced Boole's ideas on the two-valued...

This section contains 732 words(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page) |