Lincolnshire

Crowdfunding bid to mark Victorian coder George Boole

George Boole Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption George Boole's Boolean logic is still used today in mobile phones, computers, apps and search engines

An appeal to create a memorial to a Victorian mathematician whose work is still used in computer programming has begun.

George Boole, who was born in Lincoln in 1815, invented Boolean logic, a system of AND, OR or NOT statements.

It is still used in games, apps and search engines, including Google, which allows people to use plus or minus to narrow results.

The Lincoln Boole Foundation is asking people to submit their design ideas.

Dave Kenyon, co-director of the foundation, said it was important George Boole, the "grandfather of digitality", was recognised for his work.

"Everything that has a chip in it uses this guy's ideas," he said.

Mr Kenyon said although George Boole was respected by other Victorian mathematicians he was generally not well known.

The group has opened an international competition, asking people to come up with design ideas for the memorial, ahead of a crowdfunding bid on social media sites.

Crowdfunding is a way of financing projects by asking a large number of people, typically via the internet, to give money.

The group said it hoped to have chosen a design by November 2015, 200 years after George Boole was born.

It also wants global internet companies such as Google and YouTube to get involved.

Boolean logic

Image copyright Google
Image caption George Boole lived in Pottergate, in Lincoln's historic quarter

George Boole told a friend in 1851 Boolean logic could be "the most valuable if not the only valuable contribution that I have made or am likely to make to science and the thing by which I would desire if at all to be remembered hereafter".

All there is to commemorate him in Lincoln is a Boole memorial window in the cathedral, a plaque on his Pottergate house and a mention on an obelisk to city greats in St Marks.

The mathematician died on 8 December 1864. He is buried in Ballintemple, Cork, Republic of Ireland, where he spent his final years.

Read more about George Boole and the AND OR NOT gates.

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