The Logician and the Engineer: How George Boole and Claude Shannon Created the Information Age

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9780691151007: The Logician and the Engineer: How George Boole and Claude Shannon Created the Information Age
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Boolean algebra, also called Boolean logic, is at the heart of the electronic circuitry in everything we use―from our computers and cars, to home appliances. How did a system of mathematics established in the Victorian era become the basis for such incredible technological achievements a century later? In The Logician and the Engineer, Paul Nahin combines engaging problems and a colorful historical narrative to tell the remarkable story of how two men in different eras―mathematician and philosopher George Boole and electrical engineer and pioneering information theorist Claude Shannon―advanced Boolean logic and became founding fathers of the electronic communications age. Nahin takes readers from fundamental concepts to a deeper and more sophisticated understanding of modern digital machines, in order to explore computing and its possible limitations in the twenty-first century and beyond.

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"In this book, Nahin brings to life the immense practical outcomes of deep theoretical ideas. Too often, technological advances are seen as isolated inventions and the underlying mathematical and scientific infrastructure goes unappreciated. By following the story of George Boole and Claude Shannon with a lively historical style, and a futuristic extension to quantum computing, Nahin makes the connection of theory and practice into something vivid and compelling."--Andrew Hodges, author of Alan Turing: The Enigma

"From electromechanical relays to quantum computing, Nahin takes us on a delightful exploration of Boolean logic and the careers of George Boole and Claude Shannon. This is a superb book for anyone who wants to understand how that gigahertz chip in their favorite electronic doohickey really works."--Lawrence Weinstein, author of Guesstimation 2.0: Solving Today's Problems on the Back of a Napkin

"Written with the skill and ability that we have come to expect from Paul Nahin, The Logician and the Engineer is an interesting and informative account of the history of formal logic, the lives of its two great investigators, and the applications of Boolean algebra in electronic computation."--Chuck Adler, St. Mary's College

About the Author:

Paul J. Nahin is the author of many bestselling popular math books, including Mrs. Perkins's Electric Quilt, In Praise of Simple Physics, and An Imaginary Tale (all Princeton). He is professor emeritus of electrical engineering at the University of New Hampshire.

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