The academic home of George Boole, University College Cork (UCC) in Ireland, celebrated its 175th anniversary on December 30; on that date, in 1845 the university formally came into being as Queen's College Cork (QCC).
QCC was founded as one of three Queen’s Colleges located in Belfast, Cork, and Galway, under an Act “to enable her Majesty” – Queen Victoria – “to endow Colleges for the Advancement of Learning in Ireland".
Professor Desmond MacHale has just published a unique and exciting collection of George Boole's poems entitled: 'The Poetry of George Boole'.
The purpose of this little book is twofold. First, and most importantly, it is to collect and preserve the seventy or so surviving poems written by the mathematician and logician George Boole (1815-1864) and to comment upon what light his poetry throws on his character and personality.
Second, it is to discuss a much-neglected topic, the interaction between Science and the Arts, with particular reference to mathematics and poetry.
Poetry clearly meant a great deal to George Boole, both to read and compose. From his early teens until about 1855, he used poetry as a form of recreational activity, possibly as a form of relaxation from his more serious work in logic and mathematics. He was a competent, if not exceptional, translator and versifier, who now and then wrote lines of real poetic merit. And in the debate about reciprocal contributions by artists to the sciences, it would be difficult to find even a single established poet who made even a minor contribution to mathematics.
Strong mathematical skills are critical factors in the future development of the economy, and teachers are in the front-line of fostering such skills among the young. On Sunday 26 May, a unique and special ceremony took place in University College Cork's Aula Maxima (home of the beautifully ornate stained-glass Boole Window), where accolades, tributes and awards were given to pioneering secondary school teachers and students of mathematics in Ireland.
Photo: Portion of Boole Memorial Window in the Aula Max, University College Cork
The Voynich Manuscript is one of the world’s most mysterious books written in code. The manuscript gets its name from Wilfred Michail Voynich (1865-1930), George Boole’s son-in-law.
Several attempts by world class codebreakers (including Alan Turing) have failed to definitively unravel its meanings. Written in an unknown code, this early fifteenth-century Italian volume, has been described as:
‘the longest, the best known, the most tantalising, the most heavily attacked, the most resistant and the most expensive of all cryptograms.’
It has recently been announced that Prof Geoffrey Hinton (great-great grandson of George Boole) has won the Turing Award 2018 along with Yoshua Bengio and Yann LeCun - two other proponents of deep learning, a popular form of Artificial Intelligence (AI). This achievement is great news for the field of artificial intelligence and, in particular, machine learning. The Turing Award is widely regarded as the ‘Nobel Prize in Computer Science’.
Such AI is increasingly used in products that people use every day - from smart speakers to Facebook. Deep learning is also seen as a promising, though not flawless, tool for the development of self-driving cars and other futuristic technologies.
Through the George Boole Papers held in UCC Library , we get a great insight into life of an academic living in Cork in the nineteenth century. Boole was obviously a considerate family man and wrote frequently to his family in Lincoln as the collection of his personal papers show. On 17th March 1851, the feast day of St. Patrick (patron saint of Ireland), he writes to his sister Mary Ann and sympathises with her on her recent ill health. As is the Irish condition, he speaks about the weather and how it might interfere with his plans for the day.
University College Cork are pleased to host Boole book launch:"New Light on George Boole" on 22nd November at 5.45 pm and all are welcome to attend.
UCC will host the launch of new book: "The Continued Exercise of Reason: Public Addresses by George Boole (M.I.T. Press), Ed. Brendan Dooley" on Monday 1st October and all are welcome to attend.
This new book contains lectures, many never before published and offers insights into the early thinking of the mathematician and polymath George Boole.
"George Boole was a great lecturer on many topics, not only a writer on his specialty. The book grew out of a project in UCC library and became an edition of texts representing another side of the great mathematician, to the one usually talked about, and a chance to take a deep dive into a period and culture that are still misunderstood." Prof Brendan Dooley, Professor in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences at UCC
Photo: Prof Brendan Dooley
This year, St. Michael’s Church, Church of Ireland, Church Road, Blackrock will host a Boolean event as part of Cork Culture Night on Friday, 21st September at 7.30 pm.
Members of the audience will be treated to pipe organ music on arrival together with a brief history of this beautiful building. All this will bring you gently into the main event: a free lecture on George Boole’s links to St Michael’s where he is memorialized and buried.
University College Cork [UCC] cordially invites you to our 11th Public Boole Lecture: "The Search for Randomness" by Stanford University Professor Persi Diaconis on 11th September, 2018 at 6.30 pm (refreshments at 6.00 pm). Venue: Lecture Theatre G05, Western Gateway Building, UCC, Western Road, Cork, T12 XF62 Ireland. Admission is free and all are welcome to attend.
George Boole was one of the nineteenth century’s great thinkers, a genius, Professor of Mathematics and humanitarian. As the inventor of Boolean logic – the basis of the modern computer – he is regarded as one of the founders of digital electronics.
He was born in Lincoln, England on 2 November 1815, the first of four children to John and Mary Ann Boole.
Entrepreneurship and innovation are just two of the many attributes of George Boole’s personality
George Boole (1815-1864)
The campus of University College Cork (UCC) is full of many interesting buildings and features. From the Lewis Glucksman Gallery in the Lower Grounds to the Stone Corridor of the Main Quadrangle to the Crawford Observatory, UCC is a great place to spend some leisurely time.
Photo: Crawford Observatory, UCC, Ireland
UCC Visitors’ Centre acts as a central point of information for the many visitors to the university. The Centre is located along the Stone Corridor in the North Wing and is the cultural and historical heart of campus.
UCC Visitors’ Centre organizes many impressive events and historical tours of the college, as well as tours for primary schools, secondary schools, and visiting dignitaries. It also stocks a huge range of official UCC merchandise.
Alyssa Hinton is an art professor and art educator who also happens to be the great-great-granddaughter of George Boole. Having earned her B.F.A. from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and her MA in Art and Design from North Carolina State University, she is now an internationally recognised mixed media artist and art educator in the United States. In 2002, she developed a freelance curriculum entitled Art for Life that specialised in contextual learning solutions for troubled youth. She later adapted this programme for various art residencies, including an IBM Enterprise Learning workshop applied to business planning and leadership styles.
Today, she has kindly agreed to give a rare interview about her work, her life and her interests.
George Boole had strong opinions about pain in childbirth: In the newly discovered letter (from the Boole Papers in the Boole library at UCC) written by Boole on 21 June 1856 thanking Dr. John Bury, a Medical Doctor from Chester, England, for his advice during their first pregnancy
"I think that a great deal of suffering, certainly to the mother and probably to the child, is due to the neglect of Nature’s plainest dictates."
UCC are delighted to announce a free three-day Creative Concepts design workshop created by Alyssa Hinton, George Boole's great-great-granddaughter in The River Room, Glucksman Gallery (24th to 26th May, 2017).
George Boole (1815-1864) was one of the forefathers of the Information Age and the first Professor of Mathematics at Queen's College Cork (now UCC). Computers, information storage and retrieval systems, electronic circuits and indeed the whole digital age depend on the simple but ingenious mathematical system he invented, Boolean Algebra. So it was fitting to have a George Boole Prize at BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition.
The exhibition is now in its 53rd year, making it one of the world’s longest standing events exhibiting secondary school students’ abilities in the areas of science and technology. The UCC George Boole Award for Excellence in Mathematics, sponsored by Arup, is one of numerous special awards presented at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition. The prize was awarded to the group that demonstrated the best use of mathematics in their project.
Create a visual paradox, see and draw sounds, illustrate a dream, composite a personal narrative, re-interpret common images, or transform a photograph!
The “Creative Concepts” workshop will help students and staff of varied levels and disciplines expand their perceptive ability and intuitive intelligence. Drawing and collage will serve as the basis for exploring and conveying provocative themes and concepts.
The art process is an inter-relational way of structuring information that stresses relationships as opposed to facts. Participation involves a whole brained experience of exploring and integrating information, where analogies are drawn and "the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts.” The art process deals with complexity and ambiguity and enhances our ability to consider differing viewpoints. There are always many solutions to one problem. Because of this, art activities can ultimately aid in the development of the higher order thinking skills necessary for creative problem solving in all realms of living.
Unusual, yet cohesive solutions to visual problems are found by tricking the rational mind into “losing its grip.”
The Unitarian Church in Princes Street is the place to be on Cork Culture Night ( September 16th, 7pm & 8 pm) where there will be two talks on "The Legacy of George Boole".
Photo of The Unitarian Church, Princes St., Cork
George Boole (1815-1864) is often referred to today as: “a Forefather of the Information Age”. However,it is not widely known that music was among his many talents.
This year, 2016, is the 100th anniversary of the death of George Boole's wife, Mary Everest Boole (1832-1916), niece of the Surveyor General of India, Sir George Everest, after whom the world’s highest mountain is called. The Booles were well-matched, as she was also unconventional, intelligent, and mathematical in her own right.
In 1983, Gerry Kennedy set off on a journey from Russia to the USA, via China and Japan, to visit others involved in the global peace movement. Twenty years later he discovered that he had followed in the footsteps of two dynasties of radical thinkers and doers to whom he was unknowingly related.
"Gerry (Kennedy) adopted a unique approach: a hybrid of biography, travel, politics and opinion . . . a captivating and thought-provoking exposition." Leeds Litfest review, April 2016
The UCC Visitors' Centre is delighted to announce the return of the hugely enjoyable, historical and interactive George Boole Walking Tour.
There are many experts on George Boole, but who better than the man himself to bring the past to life and transport you to 1849? Boole will guide you through the history of UCC and outline his relationship with the college.
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George Boole is set to get film star treatment in a new documentary about his life and legacy, launching September 1st, at 22:35 on RTE 1. The film features big names in the industry including David Puttnam and Oscar-winning actor Jeremy Irons.
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An ambitious ‘town and gown’ plan to restore the building where the mathematical genius George Boole lived is coming closer to fruition and will feature a visitor and interpretive centre dedicated to education and innovation in computer science and mathematics, honouring his legacy, writes Eoin English.
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University College Cork’s first professor of mathematics, George Boole was much more than a mathematical genius. He was a child prodigy, a whistleblower, a linguist, a social reformer and a poet – and he may even have given fictional detective Sherlock Holmes a run for his money. Clodagh Finn introduces an unsung architect of the modern age.
This November, in a rather amazing feat of time travel and bilocation, George Boole will simultaneously appear in classrooms across Ireland and the world – or at least, his work and his legacy will. Over 400 classes around Ireland have already registered to deliver Boolean Logic lessons on George Boole Day, Monday, 2 November 2015. Schoolchildren around the world will have the opportunity to take part in fun and interactive lessons that are specially designed to introduce young thinkers and innovators to concepts pioneered by the mathematician.
A resolution from the UN General Assembly has declared October 20 2015 to be World Statistic Day, honoring the legacy of George Boole and the importance of data analysis. The theme is 'Better Data, Better Lives' and the last World Statistic Day in 2010 was a great success, celebrated around the world.
On Tuesday 7th May 2015, the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht announced that 5 Grenville Place, George Boole’s house, is to receive a generous grant from the Structures at Risk Fund, 2015.
The poetry of George Boole has inspired Robert Creed, a final year student in the B.Mus degree program at UCC, to compose a slow air in his memory.
This week we asked Professor Des MacHale why we should celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Professor Boole.
Science and religion have distinctly different functions, and, so long as each sticks to its last, there is no need for conflict between them, writes Professor Emeritus Willie Reville.
A project using smart technology to help the plight of the humble honey bee has won a global competition for UCC students against challengers from MIT/Boston University (2nd) and TU Delft (3rd). The students used a Boolean themed project which was also inspired by Shakespeare, entitled: (2B) OR!(2B): From the beehive to the cloud and back.
A recent visit to India by Professor Patrick Fitzpatrick, Chair India Strategy Group and Dr Christopher Shepard, Vice-Chair India Strategy Group provided the opportunity for the Cork delegation to introduce the George Boole 200 celebrations to India. Pictured above are Professor Patrick Fitzpatrick and Dr Christopher Shepard, along with Ms Minakshi Batra, Director UCC-India.
Yesterday an Taoiseach, Mr. Enda Kenny T.D. joined Dr Michael Murphy, President of University College Cork to launch details of the university’s year-long celebrations in 2015 to mark the bicentenary of George Boole (1815-1864). In an event, spanning two cities, the celebration of QCC/UCC's first professor of mathematics was brought to the attention of the nation.