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The Logician and the EngineerHow George Boole and Claude Shannon Created the Information Age$
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Paul J. Nahin

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691176000

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691176000.001.0001

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Boolean Algebra

Boolean Algebra

Chapter:
(p.43) 4 Boolean Algebra
Source:
The Logician and the Engineer
Author(s):

Paul J. Nahin

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691176000.003.0004

This chapter discusses how Boole cast logic into algebraic form. Boole was interested in symbolic analysis years before he wrote his Laws of Thought. In fact, others before him—in particular, the German mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646–1716)—had pursued a similar goal of reducing logic to algebra, but it was Boole who finally succeeded. What Boole described in his books is not exactly what modern users call Boolean algebra, but nevertheless it is from Boole that the modern presentation springs. The chapter first describes the essence of what Boole did using the language of sets. It then discusses Boole's algebra of sets, examples of Boolean analysis, and visualizing Boolean functions.

Keywords:   George Boole, Boolean algebra, Boolean analysis, mathematics, sets, Boolean functions

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