Monday, November 2, 2015

Schools : Bicentenary of George Boole

Google doodle George Boole's 200th anniversary

George Boole would be 200 years old today. Google this Monday celebrates the mathematician George Boole’s 200th birthday with an interactive doodle on its homepage. His legacy of Boolean algebra laid the foundations of digital age.

George Boole was an English mathematician, philosopher and logician. He worked in the fields of differential equations and algebraic logic, and is best known as the author of The Laws of Thought. 

University College Cork is oeganizing the  big event George Boole 200A year-long celebration of the life and legacy of George Boole. In preparing for the celebrations we are working closely with Cork City Council and the University of Lincoln.

It shows the search engine's colourful sign in action with a demonstration of the logic gates used in computing that are derived from Boolean functions.
So when the "x" and "y" of the second "g" in Google light up, they activate the other letters depending on the logic gates beneath them.
When both are activated, the first "G" lights up because the logic gate states "x AND y".
But when neither are showing, the "l" and "e" at the end of Google light up because their logic gates are "NOT y" and "NOT x" respectively.
So, as we can see, the theory can be used both for input when dealing with software and the behind-the-scenes coding that allows computers to run different commands depending on the user's actions.
Many of us his works were primarily in the fields of differential equations, probability and algebraic logic.
His lasting theory, Boolean logic, is a form of algebra where all the values (or variables) are either "true" or "false".

George Boole


George Boole the Inventor of Boolean logic was born on this day in 1815. 

Spurred on by a mystic experience - Boole was a philosopher - in which God called him to explain how the mind processes thought. He decided to do this in a mathematical form and all for the Glory of God.

Boole become a renowned mathematician, logician and philosopher (despite no formal schooling) and his work served as the basis for modern computer science., a University of College Cork website that is dedicated to him, says the Boole “invented a new kind of mathematics by classifying thought and codifying it using algebraic language.”
Many of us his works were primarily in the fields of differential equations, probability and algebraic logic.
Boole become a renowned mathematician, logician and philosopher (despite no formal schooling) and his work served as the basis for modern computer science.
And, had he lived, he would have seen the amazing influence of his mathematical work on today's computer-reliant society.
His lasting theory, Boolean logic, is a form of algebra where all the values (or variables) are either "true" or "false".
In the 1930s, Boolean Algebra was applied to the first electrical circuits that would one day become our modern computers.
Boole first produced his binary logic in Lincoln, where he lived most of his life. It was set out in “The Mathematical Analysis of Logic”, published in 1847.
In 1855, Boole was awarded the Keith Medal by the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Two years later, he was elected as Fellow to the prestigious Royal Society of London.
Boolean Logic was to become the basis of modern computing and he is also thought of as the founder of the field of computer science.
Boole was one of the early thinkers of artificial intelligence, but he didn't live long enough to see it develop.
He died in County Cork, Ireland, in 1864 aged just 49 of Pneumonia after he walked for two miles in the rain and then gave a lecture while in his wet clothes.


The celebration of George Boole 200 (1815-2015) features an ambitious range of projects and events including the documentaryvideo above.

Memorial plaque
Lincoln, has finally broken cover to celebrate the Grandfather of digitality by installing a memorial plaque in a high-profile site in the city centre.

It will lay flat, on top of a large existing plinth, at the junction of Lincoln High Street and Silver Street.  This is only metres from where Boole lived and was born.  It is also in the middle of the pedestrianised city centre where thousands of visitors pass by.

The memorial was unveiled on Boole’s 200th birthday, today, November 2nd 2015.


Another awesome interactive Google doodle that we can include into the maths curriculum! And this one is special for the screen-generation. He is the 'father' of modern computing used in the digital age.

It is not the first time that I include doodles of the day in school curricula. It's a wonderful motivation and it can surprise your students. 

Doodles are funny surprises and sometimes spontaneous changes that we can include into our lessons as a motivation to teach about e famous mathematianswriters, poets, artists, pioneers, scientists.

Everyday we must include something captivating in our lessons, even we are teaching important skills in serious curriculum. Passion is what will make our students enter in the classroom waiting for something special in the middle of a lesson everyday. 

I am not a maths' educator. However sciences are important as humanities.

After all, this day is just a start. We can introduce George Boole in different lessons to organize an event for example and develop some activities.

Schools are very important environments of teaching and learning. They have an important role aiming to renew and reinvigorate global knowledge since schools have the mission to educate children and adolescents as future citizens.

These resources are educational challenges to promote some good values in the new generations that will be vigilant and helping to find path towards precious solutions to society and planet. Humanities and Sciences are the basic curricula.

Here some activities that I think might involve your students but you are free to propose your own ideas, of course:

  • Organize an open day (today or/and nex week) in your school with students to highlight the importance of science for world development;
  • Open a discussion in the classroom to enphazise  the many different ways science & technologies touch our daily lives;
  • Contact national and local media (radio, newspapers) to highilight the importance of celebrating the bicentenary of George Boole;
  • Ask students to write news, articles, bio, comics, in the classroom about the importance of science for sustainable societies and include them in the school newspaper or create a page on Instagram.
  • Organise a Minecraft or Candycrush school game competition;
  • Build classroom-to-classroom connections between schools via the Internet:  school websites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Pinterest, to share science projects that will interest students;
  • Organize a visit to Science Museum, Planetarium, Campus laboratories near your school. Museums, planetarium, even an exhibition are awesome practical lessons.

Levels: All levels (different activities for different ages and grades).


Asked at one point if he thinks Boole is important, Lord David Puttnam retorts “I guess, no George Boole, no Google, no Amazon, no Intel. That makes him pretty important”. 

The huge impact of George Boole’s work on technology today is explored in this stunning new film commissioned by University College Cork. Narrated by Oscar-winning actor Jeremy Irons and produced by multi award-winning Oxford Film and Television, The Genius of George Boole assembles industry leaders and academics from across the globe to explore the life and importance of one of the world’s greatest unsung heroes.

Join the great events of the bicentenary of the birth of George Boole, to celebrate his legacy and incredible contribution to the digital world we live in. Over 30 countries are particpating.

  • Why are mathematicians encouraging children to play computer games? 

  • What do games like Candycrush and Minecraft have to do with George Boole
Register your class and join over 55,000 students across the globe and take part in UCC brings Boole2School. 

Register now to download our free printable math lessons plans that show you a different approach to teaching STEM skills through real world puzzles and fun activities. 


Some of the photos from the @Boole2School activities today at University College Cork.

Almost 65,000 students in 39 countries took part in this Global Initiative today to celebrate the life and legacy of George Boole.

Explore George Boole 200 and you find a great number of resources to include into your maths curriculum. Invite your students to do the same. Let them breaking knowledge on the importance of Boole at the digital age they are living.

Other resources:

Some thoughts:

President Michael D Higgins used a visit to Google’s headquarters in Silicon Valley "to warn against advances in technology leaving behind citizens or human skills that are perceived to be no longer wanted."

However this thought would be a good discussion to propose to your students. I would love to know some conclusions.

However had he lived, he would have seen the amazing influence of his mathematical work on today's computer-reliant society.

So as you see, can we say thar formal learning is a non captivating methode? Of course, not! In the digital age, it's impossible! 

Well, there are a lot of funny and engaging activities about Sciences and Humanities that we can create and share with our students, in face-to-face teaching completed in informal learning (online learning).

Believe me! You will have motivated students. They will learn enthusiastically science today, tomorrow literature or arts.

To us, "the attitude" of changing methods, and creative minds to facilitate different learning activities at our young students!

"He was a brilliant thinker, the possessor of a truly original mind. His story is our story: the creation of one of the great intellectual pillars that support our modern world. It is the story of a remarkable man, beautifully told."

Ian Stewart,  Prof. of Mathematics, University of Warwick


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