Starting with comparing quantities using simple Python scripts (eg 4>7 returns FALSE), students went on to discover the genius of George Boole and how his work over 150 years ago formed the foundation for the first digital computer in the 1940’s, heralding the start of the modern ‘digital age’.
The application of the AND, OR and NOT Boolean Logic operators to simple electronic circuits was investigated by the use of interactive graphical computer models. This helped students understand that modern digital devices are just elaborate arrangements of billions of miniature on/off (0/1) switches packed together on a CPU.
Students also discovered that modern search engines, like Google, make use of Boole’s insights and that Mr Venn’s much-loved diagrams makes it so much easier to visualise results of ‘power searches’ done using Boolean Logic.
Students are sure to walk away from their current investigations thinking “I never new history, mathematics and technology were so intertwined and that our amazing digital age has resulted from standing on the shoulders of giants that are so far back in our past!”