Lincoln to celebrate city-born digital founder

The University of Lincoln is encouraging people in the city to celebrate a 19th century Lincoln-born mathematician next week, for his contribution to technology today.

George Boole was a Lincolnite.

George Boole, born in 1815, came up with Boolean algebra that is applied to electronic chips in most tech items.

The university is concerned that the people of Lincoln don’t realise the connection they have with modern technolgy, so it has organised Boolfest on October 29.

The programme will hold many lectures on science, technology and religion, as well as a GPS treasure hunt known as geocaching (pictured).

On November 1, president-elect of academic union UCU Terry Toad will hold a guest lecture regarding Boole’s input into electronics today.

Festival Organiser and senior lecturer in media and communications Dave Kenyon said: “Boole was the self-taught son of a Lincoln shopkeeper, yet he became one of Europe’s most highly regarded mathematicians, inventing Boolean logic which was to become the heartbeat of electronic chips.

“At the time he had no notion of where his ideas would eventually lead.

“Although Boole moved to Cork in later life to teach at the university and is buried there, he never forgot Lincoln and often visited his parents here.

“Boole made his mathematical breakthrough here in Lincoln, hence winning the Royal Medal which was the equivalent in those days of winning the Nobel Prize.

“In Ireland, he published the book that built upon his breakthrough and which is seen as his expression of his developed theory, but we feel we can justifiably lay claim to Lincoln being the cradle of the digital age.

“It’s about time he was celebrated properly here and so we’re launching Boolefest, which commemorates the man by enjoying the arts and sciences.”

All the events are free to the public — see event listings.

Source: University of Lincoln