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The Princeton Companion to Mathematics by Imre Leader, June Barrow-Green, Timothy Gowers

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VI.43 George Boole

b. Lincoln, England, 1815; d. Cork, Republic of Ireland, 1864Boolean algebra; logic; operator theory; differential equations;difference equations

Boole, who never attended secondary school, college, or university, was almost entirely self-taught. His father was a poor shoemaker who was more interested in building telescopes and scientific instruments than making shoes—the result being that his business failed and Boole had to leave school at the age of fourteen and take a job as a junior teacher to support his parents, sister, and two brothers. By the age of ten he had mastered Latin and Ancient Greek, and by the age of sixteen he could read and speak French, Italian, Spanish, and German fluently. From his father he got a ...

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