The Logician and the Engineer

The Logician and the Engineer

How George Boole and Claude Shannon Created the Information Age

Book - 2012
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Baker & Taylor
Examines how mathematician and philosopher George Boole and electrical engineer Claude Shannon became the fathers of the information age by advancing Boolean logic, and looks at the influence of other factors, including the Turing machine.

Princeton University Press

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.

Book News
Nahin is honest from the beginning: this book is not for everyone. He describes a level of math that includes algebra and knowing how matrices multiply, and he describes a level of electrical bakcground that includes the basics of polarities and Ohm's law for resistors and the circuit laws of Kirchoff. So he's not insisting on electronics background or much computer knowledge. The presentation is essentially a dual biography of the two men and explication of their discoveries, which are at the heart of the computer revolution. Annotation ©2013 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: Princeton : Princeton University Press, [2012]
ISBN: 9780691151007
Branch Call Number: 510.922 N141L 2012
Characteristics: pages cm


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Jul 02, 2017

The Logician and the Engineer is a meandering mess of words. I read a few chapters and realized this is not a book about George Boole and Claude Shannon.

I've been writing software for 35 years and am a huge fan of computer history. This book was a huge disappointment.


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