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The Legacy Interviews

The following interviews focus on Boole’s legacy, tracing his acceptance into mainstream science and society. The project highlights Boole’s background, his genius and the diverse nature of his original work.

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This short film, based on extracts from the Boole Legacy interviews, has been on display at the "Life and Legacy of George Boole" exhibition in UCC"s Boole Library. The film is included as a trailer for the legacy interviews project with  support from Cronan O’Doibhlin, Head of Research Collections and Communications, UCC Library. 

  • Clark Barrett

    Associate Professor of Computer Science New York University

  • Muffy Calder

    Vice-Principal, Head of College of Science and Engineering, University of Glasgow

  • Alberto Sangiovanni Vincentelli

    The Edgar L. and Harold H. Buttner Chair of EECS, UC Berkeley

  • Don Knuth

    Professor Emeritus at Stanford University, Recipient of the ACM Turing Award and the Kyoto Prize

  • Madhu Sudan

    Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science, Harvard University

  • Robert Gallager

    Professor Emeritus, Research Laboratory of Electronics, MIT

    Accounts of Claude Shannon

  • Robert S. Kennedy

    Professor Emeritus, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, MIT

    Accounts of Claude Shannon

  • Muriel Médard

    Cecil H. Green Professor of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, MIT

  • Dana Scott

    Professor Emeritus of Computer Science, Philosophy & Mathematical Logic at Carnegie Mellon

  • Sanjit Seshia

    Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, UC Berkeley

  • Luca Benini

    Professor of Digital Integrated Circuits and Systems, ETH

  • Des MacHale

    Professor of Mathematical Sciences, University College Cork

  • Jack Cowan

    Professor of Mathematics & Neurology, University of Chicago

    Accounts of Claude Shannon

  • Robert Cabana

    Director at the Kennedy Space Center, NASA

  • Stanley Burris

    Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Department of Pure Mathematics, University of Waterloo

  • Michel Schellekens

    Professor of Computer Science, University College Cork


About the Interviews

The project 'Conversations on George Boole, the Legacy Interviews', proposed by Prof. Michel Schellekens (UCC, Dept of Computer Science, PhD CMU), traces Boole’s legacy through in-depth interviews with specialists. The interviews were conducted by Michel Schellekens and filmed by UCC cameraman Stephen Bean at UCC and on location at UC Berkeley, the Fields Institute, MIT, Stanford University and NASA's Kennedy Space Centre. The project is supported and coordinated by UCC’s office of the VP for teaching and learning, Prof. John O’Halloran. The interviews provide a rich resource of testimonials by leading experts, sharing unique insights on Boole's Legacy and include personal accounts of encounters with Claude Shannon, whose work modelled switching circuits using Boolean Algebra.

The legacy interviews focus on Boole’s original work, its impact on Mathematics, Logic, Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, as well as industrial applications. The interviews trace the history of Boole’s work, past and current controversies, its acceptance into mainstream science and society, as well as the dramatic impact on industrial development driven in particular by Shannon’s use of Boolean Algebra to model switching circuits. The project also highlights Boole’s background, his genius and the diverse nature of his work, as well as the educational potential of Boolean Algebra  - a concept as fundamental as numbers - for primary and secondary education.

The project was funded by UCC’s Boole Committee, a contribution from the INSPIRE national graduate education programme coordinated by Tyndall National Institute, UCC and a contribution from John Fitzgerald, Director of Information Services, UCC. The legacy project benefited greatly from the generous support of the sixteen interviewees who devoted considerable time and input to the realisation of this work.