George Boole was born in Lincoln, England on November 2, 1815 to a family struggling with finances. His mother worked as a maid and along with shoemaking, George’s tradesmen father also developed instruments and tinkered as an amateur scientist. His father would be George’s first teacher.
A child prodigy, George started school at the young age of one and a half. There is an amazing story about regarding his intelligence as a youngster. Only two and a half, George went missing one day. Although his parents searched all over for him, they couldn’t locate him. Finally, in downtown Lincoln, they noticed a very energetic crowd. It turned out that young George was right in the middle of the ...view middle of the document...
By age twenty, George founded and opened his own private school in Lincoln in 1834.
Mathematics initially sparked George’s interest as a tool to explain problems in the development of instruments. His interest was nurtured by copious amounts of self-education. Soon, by 1838, he was submitting many different “original papers” to the “Cambridge Mathematical Journal” (Britannica). These papers were often on “differential equations and the algebraic problem of linear transformation, emphasizing the concept of invariance” (Britannica). This concept of invariance later was developed into invariant theory, a new branch of mathematics. After many published articles, George established himself as an adept mathematician. In 1844, the Royal Society awarded George a gold medal for mathematics from his paper, “Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society” (Britannica).
With new-found confidence from his recent accomplishments, George applied and was accepted in to the Queen’s College Cork as a “Professor of Mathematics” (Reville). Although he had little formal education and no official degree, George’s keen mind and work ethic drove him to the top.
George not only exhibited a logical character but also a personal one. His friends called him an inspiration and despite George’s genius, he always remained humble and modest. Although he received the Royal Society’s gold medal in 1844 and a honorary degree from the University of Dublin, never did he pursue the awards earned from his mathematical discoveries. Unfortunately, George never lived to his full potential, as he died prematurely on December of 1864. At his peak of intellectual prowess, pneumonia developed and George’s life of mathematical progress ended with lung suffusion.
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