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The Logician and the Engineer | [Paul J. Nahin]

The Logician and the Engineer

Boolean algebra, also called Boolean logic, is at the heart of the electronic circuitry in everything we use - from our computers and cars, to our kitchen gadgets and home appliances. How did a system of mathematics established in the Victorian era become the basis for such incredible technological achievements a century later?
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Publisher's Summary

Boolean algebra, also called Boolean logic, is at the heart of the electronic circuitry in everything we use - from our computers and cars, to our kitchen gadgets and 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, best-selling popular math writer 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 (1815-1864) and electrical engineer and pioneering information theorist Claude Shannon (1916-2001) - advanced Boolean logic and became founding fathers of the electronic communications age.

Presenting the dual biographies of Boole and Shannon, Nahin examines the history of Boole's innovative ideas, and considers how they led to Shannon's groundbreaking work on electrical relay circuits and information theory. Along the way, Nahin presents logic problems for listeners to solve and talks about the contributions of such key players as Georg Cantor, Tibor Rado, and Marvin Minsky - as well as the crucial role of Alan Turing's "Turing machine" - in the development of mathematical logic and data transmission. Nahin takes listeners from fundamental concepts to a deeper and more sophisticated understanding of how a modern digital machine such as the computer is constructed. Nahin also delves into the newest ideas in quantum mechanics and thermodynamics in order to explore computing's possible limitations in the 21st century and beyond.

The Logician and the Engineer shows how a form of mathematical logic and the innovations of two men paved the way for the digital technology of the modern world.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2012 Princeton University Press (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

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  •  
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 12-14-12
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 12-14-12 Member Since 2010

    I am an avid eclectic reader.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Boolean Algebra"

    This is a book that would have been better if I read it instead of listen or it would be a good book for the e-book with whisper-sync. It was a bit hard to follow unless I took notes. Paul Nahin covered the innovative ideas and history of mathematician George Boole (1815-1864) and electrical engineer Claude Shannon (1918-2001). The book explained classic logic vs Boolean logic in depth. He also covered how Boolean algebra is the bases of electronic circuitry that everything today works on. He covered a great deal on data transmission and its importance in day to day live. The world would not function without this innovated body of work. Allan Robertson did a good job narrating the book.

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kent LAWRENCEBURG, KY, United States 03-16-14
    Kent LAWRENCEBURG, KY, United States 03-16-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    "Not every book should be an audiobook"
    What disappointed you about The Logician and the Engineer?

    The book had lots of equations that were read number for number - I'm evidently too slow to follow when I'm listening to it on the way to work.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Paul J. Nahin again?

    No, the material wasn't suited for an audio recording. I would be afraid of the same problem for any book written by this guy.


    What didn’t you like about Allan Robertson’s performance?

    The narrator was fine, but the material was really dry.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Logician and the Engineer?

    To translate it to an audiobook, more story and less equations would keep it more interesting.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm really interested in learning about Claude Shannon, but this book didn't really help. It's probably more interesting as a written book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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