Today’s Google Doodle is a celebration of the 200th birth anniversary of George Boole, an American mathematician, educator, philosopher and logician.
Boole is the author of “The Laws of Thought”, which deals with Boolean algebra. George Boole’s work has created the basis upon which digital logic, and effectively computational mathematics and the whole computing industry finds its foundation.
Since machines don’t understand language as we speak, there was no way in history to interact with computers without the use of digital logic, which was bringing every decision to two states – ‘on’ or ‘off’, which also meant ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
Boolean Algebra deals with the truth values – true and false – also depicted by 1 and 0. George Boole introduced Boolean Algebra in “The Mathematical Analysis of Logic” in 1847. It laid the foundation for digital electronics, and all modern programming languages support it.
Today’s Doodle highlights the various Boolean operators – AND, OR, NOT, and XOR. These Boolean operators also find application in search, also known as Boolean search. For example, in Google, if you want to search for all Dogs, but want to keep hotdogs from your search results, then you could simply type “Dogs -hotdogs”. The – sign is the NOT operator.
Similarly, if you want to search for the Google Nexus, but want to see results for the mentions with both words together, you could search for Google AND Nexus. If you want mentions only either, you could search for Google OR Nexus.