You are here

GBMS Theme 2: From Boole's Algebra of Logic to Boolean Algebra, and Beyond

Date: 27 - 28 Aug 2015

Venue: Western Gateway Building, UCC, room WGB13 Ground Floor. (except for GBMS plenary talks or IMS talks. These take place on the first floor: WGB 1.07).




Registration will take place on Monday August 24 from 19:00 - 21:00 via a welcome reception at the "staff common room", located in the Quadrangle on UCC's main campus. See for a virtual tour. Enter the first door to the right of the tower, go up the stairs until you arrive at the first landing. The door to the staff common room is the first on your left at the end of the landing. The quadrangle is indicated as building 56 on the map. Further registration opportunities are available at our registration desk, WGB ground floor, on Tuesd Aug 25 - Friday Aug 28 from 8 - 11 am. 

Directions to Western Gateway Building (WGB)

Western Gateway Building on Google Maps

Virtual tour of Western Gateway Building

On-campus cafeterias and restaurants


Steering Committee

  • Steven Givant (Mills College)
  • Wilfrid Hodges (University of London)
  • Angus Mcintyre (Queen Mary London)
  • Michel Schellekens (UCC)
  • Dana Scott (Carnegie Mellon & UC Berkeley) 


  • Aoife Hennessy (WIT)
  • Michel Schellekens (UCC)

Invited Speakers

  • Stanley Burris (University of Waterloo)
  • Amirouche Moktefi (Tallinn University of Technology)
  • Don Monk (University of Colorado Boulder)
  • Vaughan Pratt (Stanford University)
  • Hilary Priestley (University of Oxford)
  • Stevo Todorcevic (University of Toronto and CNRS, Paris)

Topics of interest include

  • Boole's original Algebra of Logic
  • Boolean Algebra and its role in logic, model theory and universal algebra
  • Novel applications of Boolean Algebra

Provisional schedule 


For early arrivers: 

Please note the Public lecture on August 19 by Hans Maassen, George Boole Focus Programme in Mathematical Sciences: The Breakdown of Boolean Logic in Quantum Physics. A further public lecture on August 26 by Des McHale, George Boole Focus Programme in Mathematical Sciences: Sherlock Holmes, James Moriarty, and George Boole. 


Tuesday August 25

GBMS plenary talk/Domains XII (WGB 1.07)

16:30 - 17:30 Dana Scott, Setoids/Modest Sets/PERs: Adding and using types with a type-free λ-Calculus.

Note: all theme 2 talks take place in room WGB13 Ground Floor of Western Gateway Building, except GBMS-plenary talks and IMS talks, taking place in WGB 1.07


Thursday August 27 

09:00 - 10:00 Vaughan Pratt (Invited Speaker and GBMS plenary speaker (theme 2), WGB 1.07), Aristotle, Boole, and Chu: Duality since 350 BC. 

10:00 - 10:30 coffee break 

10:30 – 11:00 Leonard Kwuida, Contextual Generalization of Boolean Algebras 

Note: 11:00 – 12:00 IMS talk, Stanley Burris, A Primer on Boole’s Algebra of Logic (Part 1) 

12:00 - 13:30 lunch 

Afternoon: excursion to Blackrock, St. Michael’s Church and Kinsale yachting harbor 

Evening: conference dinner 


Friday August 28 

09:00 - 10:00 Don Monk (Invited Speaker and GBMS plenary speaker (theme 2), WBG 1.07), Some cardinal functions on Boolean algebras 

10:00 - 10:30 coffee break 

10:30 - 11:00 Simon Decaens, A meeting between two theories: the development of Boolean Algebra and Lattice Theory in the 1930s 

11:00 - 11:30 Juan Luis Gastaldi, The content of numerical signs: The problematic meaning of numerical coefficients in Boole’s Algebra of Logic 

11:30 - 12:30 Stevo Todorcevic (Invited Speaker), On the Horn-Tarski analysis of Boolean algebras

12:30 - 14:00 lunch 

14:00 – 15:00 Stanley Burris (Invited Speaker), Justifying Boole's Algebra of Logic (Part 2)

15:00 – 16:00 Hilary Priestley (Invited Speaker), Beyond Boolean algebras: lattice-ordered algebras and related ordered structures

16:00 – 16:30 coffee break 

16:30 – 17:30 Amirouche Moktefi (Invited Speaker), George Boole and the generalisation of logical processes (Skype talk)

17:30 – 18:00 Javier Legris, Symbolic Knowledge in Boole's Algebra of Logic (Skype talk)

18:00 - 18:30 Steve Buckley, Boole, commutativity conditions, and ring-theoretic probabilities

Note: Dana Scott's Boole lecture "My Life with Boolean Algebra" will take place at the George Boole Bicentenary Celebration during the opening on the evening of Friday August 28, from 19:15 - 20:30.



Speaker Bios

Stanley Burris, University of Waterloo

Joined the Pure Math. Dept. at the University of Waterloo in 1968, and has published over 70 research papers since then. Research Associate to Alfred Tarski in 1971. Did research in Universal Algebra for over two decades, with a primary interest in Boolean constructions and decidability, leading to the 1981 Memoir “Decidability and Boolean Constructions” with Ralph McKenzie, and the popular textbook “A Course in Universal Algebra” with H.P. Sankappanavar. With increasing interests in computer science, in 1996 published “Logic for Mathematics and Computer Science”. In the 1990s started work on asymptotics and logic, leading to the 2001 book “Number Theoretic Density and Logical Limit Laws”. Has studied the history of logic, especially in the 19th century, for over two decades, leading to clarifying several aspects of Boole’s algebra of logic and the article “George Boole” in the online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Being an avid fan of Photoshop, and of recognition of women in mathematics, spearheaded the MAA Women of Mathematics poster project, strongly supported by the MAA President at the time (2007-2008), Joseph Gallian.

Amirouche Moktefi, Tallinn University of Technology

Dr. Amirouche Moktefi is a research fellow at the Chair of Philosophy, Tallinn University of Technology (Estonia) and an invited lecturer at the Estonian Business School. He holds a PhD in History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Strasbourg, France, 2007. He has been teaching mathematics, logic, philosophy, philosophy of science and communication in several universities and schools. His research interests include the history of symbolic logic, the philosophy of mathematical practices, diagrammatic logic and the theory of logical opposition.

Don Monk, University of Colorado, Boulder

​PhD 1961 at Univ. Calif. Berkeley under Alfred Tarski. Asst. Prof. - Assoc. Prof. - Prof. at University of Colorado, Boulder, 1962 -2015. Retired June 2015. Visitor at Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule, Zurich many times; also at Freie Universitat Berlin, Chechoslovak Academy of Sciences, Humboldt Universitat Berlin, Univ. of Calif., Berkeley, Ben Gurion University, Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Author of 9 books, co-editor of 4. 85 publications.

Vaughan Pratt, Stanford University 

Vaughan Pratt is Professor Emeritus of Computer Science at Stanford University.  He obtained his Ph.D. from Stanford under Donald Knuth.  He taught at MIT from 1972 to 1981 and thereafter at Stanford. He is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery.  He has published over a hundred papers, over half of which are on logic, including dynamic logic as a marriage of modal logic and regular expressions and logics of concurrent behaviour based on Chu spaces.  In other areas he is known for the Pratt parser, Pratt certificates, the Knuth-Morris-Pratt algorithm, and the Sun logo.  In his retirement he wrote a number of Wikipedia articles on logic including sections 2-8 of "Boolean algebra" and all of "Boolean algebras canonically defined".  He is currently working on model complexity of global climate.

Hilary Priestley, University of Oxford 

Hilary Priestley is Professor of Mathematics (Emeritus) at the Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, and a Senior Research Fellow at St Anne's College. She received her DPhil from the University of Oxford for a thesis which included the duality for distributive lattices now known as Priestley duality.  Her research has focused on duality theory and its applications, principally for lattice-ordered algebras, and on connections with, in particular,  lattice theory, universal algebra and domain theory.  She is the author of three textbooks, including Lattices and Order, coauthored with Brian Davey.

Stevo Todorcevic, University of Toronto and CNRS

Stevo Todorcevic was educated at the University of Belgrade where he received a B.S. degree in 1977, a Master degree in 1978, and a Ph.D in 1979. He is known for his Ramsey-theoretic approach to mathematical problems, the side-condition method in Forcing, the invention and development of walks on ordinals and their characteristics, and other research that bridge between different areas of mathematics. In 2012 he won the CRM-Fields-PIMS prize for these research contributions.’

Excursion to St. Michael's church, Blackrock, Thursday Agust 27. Guided tour by Des McHale. Visit to Kinsale yachting harbour and gourmet center. 

Participants who registered for the excursion (or excursion and conference dinner) take the bus at 14:00 (for departure at 14:15).

Collection Point: UCC main gate junction, Western road, where bus lane ends (across the road from old Erinville Hospital)
Departure 14:15 for St. Michael’s church, Blackrock, arrival in Blackrock around 14:45

Guided tour at St. Michael's church by Des McHale.

Departure 15:20 to Kinsale from Blackrock, arrival in Kinsale around 16:00. 

Departure 19:00 (at location specified by driver during tour). Departure for participants who only signed up for the excursion (i.e. don't take part in conference dinner). Bus drop-off at River Lee Hotel, UCC main gate or Cork city center. 

Departure 22.15 from Blue Haven Hotel (conference dinner). Departure for participants who signed up for conference dinner. Bus drop-off at River Lee Hotel, UCC main gate or Cork city center. 

Learn more about George Boole 200: