2015 Press Releases

Boole tickles Ó Briain’s fancy

7 Feb 2015
L-R: Professor Pat Fitzpatrick, Arlene Vithaldas, UCC Academy, Dara Ó Briain, UCC Students' Union President Mark Stanton, UCC President Dr Michael Murphy, Crónán Ó Doibhlin, Head of Special Collections, Archives and Repository Services, UCC Library and Professor Desmond MacHale (Boole’s biographer and Emeritus Professor of Mathematics, UCC) Picture: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision.

Comedian Dara Ó Briain visited University College Cork (UCC) this week to share in the celebration of the legacy of George Boole.

Ó Briain is currently performing his hit new show ‘Crowd Tickler’ in the Cork Opera House and accepted an invite from UCC President Dr Michael Murphy to visit UCC whilst in Cork. Beyond reaching millions of people all over the world through humour, Ó Briain has achieved the same feat on behalf of science and mathematics. His unique ability to engage with young people in making the topics interesting and fun has been shown again and again in Dara Ó Briain’s Science Club and Dara Ó Briain: School of Hard Sums, amongst othersHe studied mathematics and theoretical physics at university. 

November 2, 2015 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of George Boole, the first Professor of Mathematics at UCC whose influence on mathematics, logic and probability is such that he has been called the father of the digital age. In the coming year, UCC will continue to celebrate Boole’s bicentenary year with a series of local, national and international events, conferences and exhibitions in conjunction with legacy initiatives such as the establishment of the UCC George Boole Institute. See more at GeorgeBoole.com or @GeorgeBoole200

After signing the UCC Visitors’ Book, Ó Briain viewed George Boole's own copy of An Investigation of the Laws of Thought. While a Professor in Cork, Boole wrote The Laws of Thought, which centred on his famous theory of logic and probabilities and has heavily influenced our present day lives as it contains the mathematics for today's computer systems. Ó Briain enjoyed lunch and a discussion with the President and invited guests. He later viewed the Boole Papers, which are held in UCC Library. 

The co-founder of the world’s two largest electronic design automation companies and the former Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland also visited UCC this week as guest speakers at the George Boole 200 Inaugural Lecturers. Professor Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli, University of California, Berkeley, co-founder of Synopsys and Cadence and Professor Muffy Calder OBE, University of Glasgow, and former Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland discussed how Boolean thought has influenced our modern world.

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