George Boole: The Genius
George Boole was a British mathematician, and he is known as the inventor of Boolean Algebra. His theories combined the concepts of logic and mathematics, and hence he is known as the father of mathematical logic. This combination of mathematics and logic came to be known as Boolean algebra, and is the basis of digital electronic design, which is used in fields ranging from telephone switching to computer engineering. Because of the utilization of the concepts of Boolean algebra in electronics and computers, George Boole is regarded by many as the father of computing also.
George was born on 2nd November, 1815 in Lincoln, England. His father, John Boole was a shoemaker, and his mother a housewife. John Boole proved to be a great influence in George’s life due to his keen interest in science and mathematics. He shared his passion with his son, and started teaching George at an early age. By the time he was seven, George was deeply in love with mathematics, and used to be lost in the world of mathematics. He acquired a reputation as a child genius, and one day, he was found spelling difficult words for people’s amusement after going missing from school.
George was from a poor family, and his parents could not afford to pay fees for grammar school, so the child genius ended up going to a small school called Mr. Bainbridge’s Academy. He made fast progress in studies, and was soon assisting teachers in teaching and grading. His exploits weren’t limited to just math and science either; he loved to read and learn, and was very well read in a lot of subjects. His father John also introduced him to literature and Latin, but George soon learned all his father had to offer. After that, John found George a tutor – bookseller William Brooke. Mr. Brooke turned out to be a great asset for George; he gave George access to all the books in his store, and also taught him. Mr. Brooke and George ended up being lifelong friends. However, just knowing Latin was not enough for George. He added Greek to his repertoire, and this was completely self-taught. He also went on to study French, German, and Italian. In May 1930, the local paper published George’s translation of Greek poet Meleager’s work, and this got George his reputation as a boy genius.
By age 16, George had to start seeking employment. His father’s business was failing, and his earnings were the sole income of the family. At his first job, he was asked to convert to Methodism or resign, and he chose to resign. Then he worked at various elementary schools as a teacher before opening up his own school at the young age of twenty. His teaching philosophy was that education should be well balanced, and no subjects should be ignored, as they were essential to understanding other subjects properly.
While providing for his family by...