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Public Lectures

Public Lecture - Boole Lecture Series - 2015 Lecture

Date: 28 Aug 2015 19:15

Venue: Boole 4, Boole Lecture Theatres, UCC

Speaker: Dana Scott (Carnegie Mellon) Short Bio

Title: My Life with Boolean Algebra

Abstract: In 1950 the speaker entered UC Berkeley as a first-year major in Mathematics and very soon was confronted with learning about Boolean algebras. Scott then received his doctorate at Princeton University (Ph.D. 1957) Scott subsequently taught at the University of Chicago (1958 - 60) before returning to Berkeley to become an Assistant and then Associate Professor (1960 - 63). He taught Logic and Mathematics at Stanford University as an Associate Professor (1963 - 67), before he was promoted to Full Professor (1967 - 69). Between 1968 and 1969 he accepted a visiting professorship in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Back in the U.S., he taught Philosophy and Mathematics at Princeton University (1969 - 72), and then went as the first Professor of Mathematical Logic at Oxford University, UK (1972 - 81). 

Scott subsequntly became an internationally recognised mathematical logician whose work has spanned computer science, mathematics, and philosophy. He made seminal contributions to automata theory, modal logic, model theory, set theory, and the theory of programming languages, He has made fundamental contributions to contemporary logic and is known for his creation of domain theory, a brand of mathematics that is essential for analysing computer programming languages. He taugh Computer Science, Mathemathical Logic and Philosophy at Caernegie Mellon University (1981 - 89) before becomming Hillman Professor of Computer Science (1989 - 2003). He also taught Symbolic Computation and Logic for one year 1992 - 93 at the University of Linz, Austria. He became Professor Emeritus in July 2003. Over the years he has supervised the Ph.D theses of 51 graduate students, some solely, some jointly.

With Honorary doctorates from the Rijksuniveriteit Utrecht (1986), the Technical University of Darmstadt (1995), the University of Edinburgh (1995), the University of Ljubljana (2003), and St. Andrews University, Scotland (2014). Scott has also received among other awards the Leroy P. Steele Prize from the American Mathematical Society (1972), the Harold Pender Award, University of Pennsylvania (1960), the Rolf Schock Prize in Logic and Philosophy, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (1997), the Bolzano Medal for Merit in the Mathematical Sciences awarded by the Czech Academy of Sciences (2001), and the Gold Medal of the Sobolev Insitute of Mathematics, Novosibirsk, Russia (2009).

His talk will first review elementary ideas and definitions, and then discuss the impact of the work of nine 20th-century pioneers the speaker knew personally. The concluding section will outline prospects for future applications, list some outstanding problems, and point out key influences on the foundations of mathematics.


Public Lecture - George Boole Focus Programme in Mathematical Sciences

Date: 19 Aug 2015 20:00

Venue: Aula Maxima, North Wing of Main Quadrangle, UCC

Speaker: Hans Maassen (Radboud University, Nijmegen) Short Bio

Title: The Breakdown of Boolean Logic in Quantum Physics

Abstract: On this bicentenary of George Boole of Cork, we consider the role of Boolean logic in physics, and contrast it with the quantum logic proposed by Birkhoff and von Neumann in 1936. Although the latter work is not widely known, it could arguably be considered as a major breakthrough in our thinking about the material world. Boolean thinking needs replacement in quantum physics. Starting from this point of view we discuss the phenomenon of entanglement, the impossibility of copying quantum information, and some further quantum phenomena.

Join us in the Aula Maxima for a public lecture as part of the George Boole Mathematical Sciences Conference. Learn about cutting edge mathematical research and listen as Prof. Hans Maassen (Radboud University, Nijmegan) explains the Breakdown of Boolean Logic in Quantum Physics. 


Public Lecture - George Boole Focus Programme in Mathematical Sciences

Date: 26 Aug 2015 20:00

Venue: Aula Maxima, North Wing of Main Quadrangle, UCC

Speaker: Des MacHale (University College Cork) Short Bio

Title: Sherlock Holmes, James Moriarty, and George Boole

Abstract: Professor Des Machale joins us in the Aula Maxima for a public evening lecture as part of the George Boole Mathematical Science Conferences which run at UCC from August 17 until August 28. MacHale is a professor emeritus of mathematics at UCC and is a renowned expert on the life and biography of George boole. His research dates back over 25 years, when 'The Life and Work of George Boole' was first published in 1985. Recently republished by Cork University Press to commemorate the Bicentenial anniversary as part of the George boole 200.

In this non technical talk we explore the theory that the character of Professor James Moriarty, master criminal and the arch nemesis of Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, is based on that of Professor George Boole. We present evidence that is mathematical, personal, visual, and coincidental to back up the theory. The story is a long and convoluted one and the author H.G.Wells, the inventor of Science Fiction, is a vital link that connects Doyle and Mary Everest Boole, George Boole's wife. Recent evidence is presented on several Cork people with the surname Moriarty. 

"If the Boole-Moriarty link can be established, then every literate person on the planet will know about George Boole too."

Learn more about the George Boole 200 programme at: