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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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Boole, Shannon, and Probability

Boole, Shannon, and Probability

Chapter:
(p.88) 6 Boole, Shannon, and Probability
Source:
The Logician and the Engineer
Author(s):

Paul J. Nahin

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691176000.003.0006

George Boole and Claude Shannon shared a deep interest in the mathematics of probability. Boole's interest was, of course, not related to the theory of computation—he was a century too early for that—while Shannon's mathematical theory of communication and information processing is replete with probabilistic analyses. There is, nevertheless, an important intersection between what the two men did, which is shown in this chapter. The aim is to provide a flavor of how they reasoned and of the sort of probabilistic problem that caught their attention. Once we have finished with Boole's problem, the reader will see that it uses mathematics that will play a crucial role in answering Shannon's concern about “crummy” relays.

Keywords:   Claude Shannon, George Boole, Boolean algebra, relays, conditional probability, mathematics

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