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The Logician and the Engineer: How George…
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The Logician and the Engineer: How George Boole and Claude Shannon Created… (edition 2017)

by Paul J. Nahin (Author)

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834248,380 (2.94)1
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.… (more)
Member:ibsdimag
Title:The Logician and the Engineer: How George Boole and Claude Shannon Created the Information Age
Authors:Paul J. Nahin (Author)
Info:Princeton University Press (2017), Edition: Illustrated, 248 pages
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The Logician and the Engineer: How George Boole and Claude Shannon Created the Information Age by Paul J. Nahin

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English (3)  Italian (1)  All languages (4)
Showing 3 of 3
Deceptive title..I should have read the reviews...thought I was getting a semi-biographical piece. If I wanted a book on logic, I would have picked a book on logic. One chapter on the two and very loose references to them during the remainder electronic/logic discussions. Look elsewhere if you actually want to read about those two fascinating men. ( )
  Razinha | May 23, 2017 |
I enjoyed learning more about Boole but I think the author missed the mark— assuming his mark was to make a strong connections between Boole and Shannon. He did make the connections, but once his introduction was complete, the intersection of their work made only brief appearances. It works well for leaning the logic of basic logic constructs, but it's not that interesting to read. ( )
  ndpmcIntosh | Mar 21, 2016 |
Despite the title, the detailed description of this book on its cover and in accompanying material by its publisher, it is NOT a biography. It only gives the appearance of being biographical. The title subjects only make their (brief) appearance in chapter three. Then it's on to the real business - math. I was expecting a very cool, parallel story of how the 19th century Boole foreshadowed the brilliant 20th century Shannon, how there were parallels in their lives, how coincidences piled up, how hints from one resulted in achievements in the other - how Shannon cashed in on what Boole couldn't even imagine from his own work. How Shannon redeemed Boole.

There's none of it.

This is a book on electrical circuit design, by a professor of electrical engineering and mathematics. It is a textbook for the enthusiastic student entering the field. Nahin is clearly far more at ease in formulas than in narrative. The ubiquitous exclamation points and overuse of italics are vivid testament to that. The biography reader will be lost after the first formula is built. This book is about the math, not the people.

But as such, there is nothing wrong with this book. It is clear, organized, inviting, and easy to digest if you are interested in the subject matter. But let's be clear - the subject matter is circuit design, not Boole and Shannon. After chapter three, Boole barely gets mentioned at all, while Shannon pops up here and there because of a relevant paper (and the occasional joke). But these appearances are as scientific references, not biographical events or descriptions.

Ironically, Nahin ends the book with the story of The Language Clarifier, a black box used to interpret legalese so that mere mortals could comprehend what the fatheads (his term) had written. If only the publishers had been required to use it, this book might not be so misleading. ( )
  DavidWineberg | Oct 18, 2012 |
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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.

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