03:18 GMT29 October 2020
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    Although the internet and digital technology are generally considered to be fairly new inventions, online experts are today celebrating the 200 anniversary of the birth of George Boole, the man credited with laying down the foundations of the digital age.

    British mathematician Boole, who was born on November 2, 2015, has been praised by computing experts for his contribution to modern technology, and has even been honored with a Google Doodle tribute for his work, which many say facilitated the growth of modern computing.

    Boole is best known for his work on Boolean Logic, a system where all mathematical equations can only boil down to two different variables — such as 'true' or 'false', or 'on' and 'off'.

    Following Boole's death in 1864, Russian logician Victor Shestakov put Boolean Logic into practice by using the system to design electrical switchboards.

    The simple two-variable system went on to form the foundations of computer codes, with Boole's way of simplifying complex ideas into simple statements, key to the processes of search engines like Google, which converts searches into results.

    Although Boole left school at the age of 16 and had no formal education beyond primary school, he proved to be a highly intelligent man as he managed to teach himself key mathematic principles, as well as French, German, Latin and Greek.

    Due to Boole's growing reputation among mathematical circles, in 1849 he became the first professor of mathematics at the — then — newly established Queen's College in Cork, Ireland, which has since been renamed University College Cork.

    Many have argued that Boole's abstract thinking ultimately led to his demise. He became ill after walking to work in the rain, delivering lectures in soaking wet clothes.

    Instead of treating the illness in conventional means, Boole ordered his wife to pour buckets of water over his head while he tried to recover in bed. However, the treatment ultimately proved unsuccessful and Boole died in 1864 at the age of 49.


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