Who is George Boole: the mathematician behind the Google doodle


Who is George Boole


George Boole, a British mathematician, logician and philosopher whose work served as the basis for modern computer science, is being celebrated with a Google Doodle on what would have been his 200th birthday.

Boole, who was born November 2, 1815, in Lincoln, England, and died December 8, 1864, in County Cork, Ireland, is best known as the author of The Laws of Thought and inventor of Boolean algebra.

“His legacy surrounds us everywhere, in the computers, information storage and retrieval, electronic circuits and controls that support life, learning and communications in the 21st century,”, a University College Cork website dedicated to him, says. “Boole laid the foundations of the information age. His pivotal advances in mathematics, logic and probability provided the essential groundwork for modern mathematics, microelectronic engineering and computer science.”

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“His pivotal advances in mathematics, logic and probability provided the essential groundwork for modern mathematics, microelectronic engineering and computer science.”

Born 200 years ago on November 2, his algebraic approach to logic, in which all values are reduced to either “true” or “false”, is still used today.

He also devised a type of linguistic algebra, now known as Boolean algebra, the three most basic operations of which are “and”, “or” and “not”.

The “XOR” gate that activates the first “o” is known as an “Exclusive OR” gate, meaning it only turns on when one and only one of x or y are true.

Nowadays, this logic underpins all digital devices, existing in almost every line of computer code, and has transformed the way we live our lives.

For example, searching Google for two words, say “David Cameron”, includes an “AND” function, meaning both the values “David” and “Cameron” need to show up in search results.

Boole, who lived much of his life as a professor at University College Cork in Ireland, was also an early thinker on the theory of artificial intelligence, believing that all human thought could be reduced to a series of mathematical rules, and advocating machinery as a way to replace human drudgery.

In layman’s terms, his theory of logic is premised on predicting what happens for each of these binary states.

A largely self-taught child prodigy, Boole never attended university and was forced to leave school at 16 years old after his father’s shoe business collapsed. He became an assistant teacher the same year and opened his own school when he was 20.

He was just 24 when he published his first paper, Researches on the Theory of Analytical Transformations in the Cambridge Mathematical Journal.

Six years later, in 1847, he published his first book The Mathematical Analysis of Logic, where he introduced the concept of “symbolic logic” where mathematical symbols are used to represent classes or sets of objects, and the symbols are manipulated through mathematics.

In 1849, he was appointed the first professor of mathematics at Queen’s College, Cork (now University College Cork (UCC)) in Ireland.

Boole’s landmark book The Laws of Thought appeared in 1854, laying out rules of logic and their application to probability and was followed by books on differential equations and the calculus of finite differences.  Sadly, in late 1864, George Boole was struck down by pneumonia at the age of 49.  He’d walked to the college in heavy rain a fortnight earlier, and the wet sheet treatment allegedly meted out by his wife, a big fan of homeopathy, probably didn’t help.

China devalued the yuan after a run of poor economic data


China devalued the yuan on Tuesday after a run of poor economic data, guiding the currency to its lowest point in almost three years in a move it billed as free-market reform.

The central bank described it as a “one-off depreciation” of nearly 2 percent, based on a new way of managing the exchange rate that better reflected market forces, but economists said the timing suggested it was also aimed at helping exporters.

Data released at the weekend showed that China’s exports tumbled 8.3 percent in July, hit by weaker demand from three huge trading partners – Europe, the United States and Japan.

“We think the move is aimed to ease pressure on China’s weak exports performance in recent months and relieve imported deflation pressure,” said Guo Lei, economist at Founder Securities in Shanghai.

The world’s second-largest economy has slowed markedly this year and some economists believe it is expanding at much less than the official 2015 target of 7 percent. Even if it meets the target, growth will come in at a 25-year low.

“Since China’s trade in goods continues to post relatively large surpluses, the yuan’s real effective exchange rate is still relatively strong versus various global currencies, and is deviating from market expectations,” the central bank said.

“Therefore, it is necessary to further improve the yuan’s midpoint pricing to meet the needs of the market.”

China manages the exchange rate CNY=CFXS through an official midpoint, from which it can vary 2 percent each day. On Tuesday, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said it was now basing the midpointCNY=SAEC on market makers’ quotes and the previous day’s closing price.

The bank then weakened the midpoint to 6.2298 per dollar on Tuesday morning, compared with Monday’s 6.1162 fix – the biggest-ever one-day adjustment to the midpoint.

In the past, the central bank set the midpoint using formula based on a basket of currencies, but the methodology has never been publicized and many believed that in practice the midpoint was frequently used as a way to bend the market to policy goals.

Under the new method, market forces would have more ability to take the yuan lower in the weeks ahead, raising the possibility of competitive currency depreciations world-wide.

However, Beijing would still have a large say in setting the new midpoints, given the heavy influence of state banks in daily trade of the yuan.


The Australian dollar AUD=D4 lost 1 percent against the dollar on China’s devaluation, and the South Korean won also lost ground, though traders suspected authorities in Seoul were selling dollars to smooth that currency’s fall. [USD/]

But talk of a global currency war was mooted.

“What is really important is for markets to observe where the renminbi really goes over the next few days to see whether this is indeed a one-off adjustment or a sustained trend,” said Vishnu Varathan, economist with Mizuho Bank in Singapore.

Tuesday’s move marks a retreat from China’s strong-yuan policy, which had been designed to support domestic demand, help Chinese firms to borrow and invest abroad, and encourage foreign firms and governments to make greater use of the currency.

Until Tuesday, yuan volatility had vanished and traders suspected that the PBOC, with state-owned banks, had been propping up the currency against depreciation pressure.

It had been locked in an extremely narrow intraday range since March, with rates varying over a range of only 0.3 percent. On Tuesday, the spot yuan price touched its weakest point since September 2012 in early trade.

In addition to the weak export data, China also reported a continuing slide in producer prices at the weekend to a near six-year low in July, increasing the pressure on manufacturers.

However, one economist doubted Beijing was reacting only to the weak data and said the move was part of its reform agenda to help the yuan become an international reserve currency.

“I don’t think this is a reaction to the weak trade data over the weekend, I think it’s because of the SDR,” said Zhou Hao of Commerzbank AG in Singapore, referring to Beijing’s push for the yuan to be included in a basket of reserve currencies known as Special Drawing Rights (SDR), which are used by the International Monetary Fund to lend money to sovereign borrowers.

The Chinese government “needs to have a market-based mechanism and it needs volatility,” he said.

The IMF proposed in a report this month to put off any move to add the yuan to its benchmark currency basket until after September 2016, and it gave mixed reviews of Beijing’s progress in making key financial reforms to its currency market.

Sundar Pichai is the new Google CEO


India-born Sundar Pichai has been named CEO of Google as part of a surprise corporate overhaul that saw the search giant forming a new parent company called Alphabet Inc.
Pichai, 43, the current company vice-president, has worked on some of the company’s best-known products, from the Chrome browser to the Android mobile software.

Google chief executive Larry Page announced the change on Monday, saying he will hold the same title at Alphabet. Co-founder Sergey Brin will be the president at Alphabet, the new holding company for the tech giant’s newer ventures such as research arm X Lab, investment unit Google Ventures and health and science operations.

Sundar Pichai, the man who runs Android,  is now the CEO of Google, a Google that has morphed and become the part of a larger entity called Alphabet. Larry Page, who will now be the CEO of the larger entity, made the announcement in a blogpost and said he was excited to see Pichai take on the role of Google CEO.

We take a look at his rise in Google.

Sundar Pichai was born in 1972 and grew up in Chennai. An IIT Kharagpur alumnus, he later attended Stanford for MS and Wharton for his MBA. Pichai’s father was an engineer with GEC. Before he joined Google, Pichai worked in engineering and product management at Applied Materials and in management consulting at McKinsey & Company.

Pichai joined Google in 2004 and was the driving force behind Google Chrome browser and the Chrome OS. Initially, Pichai started with handling the ‘Google’ search toolbar in the upper right corner of Web browsers, well before the launch of Google’s own browser. This was the time when Microsoft’s Internet Explorer was still dominant across the world. The success of the Google Toolbar, was what helped build his reputation at the company.

In 2008, the Google Chrome browser was launched by Pichai’s team.  In 2011, Pichai was promoted to Senior VP and also took charge of Gmail and Google Docs.

But perhaps the biggest responsibility that Pichai was Android in 2013 when he replaced Andy Rubin, the man who developed the platform. Pichai continued to be in charge of Chrome as well.

His promotion was seen as a sign that Google might eventually merge Android — its very successful mobile OS– with the Chrome OS, although that has not happened so far.

At the end of 2014, Pichai was made the Google Product Czar with all product heads, with the exception of YouTube’s Susan Wojcicki, reporting to Pichai. He was directly reporting to Larry Page. In August 2015, Pichai has been named the CEO of Google itself, a promotion that was bound to happen soon.

Pichai’s dominance at Google has been very visible especially since his promotion as Android head. In fact, he has become the sole face of Google’s senior ranks at its annual I/O developer conference, which is one of the most awaited and watched events from the company.

So what helped Pichai’s dynamic rise in Google?

According to various profiles and news reports, the new Google CEO is a known team player and one who can handle tough negotiations.

A profile on The Information pointed out that when Pichai reported to Marissa Mayer (who is now the Yahoo CEO), he was known to wait for long hours outside her office in order to ensure that his team got the performance scores they deserved. Additionally, what helped Pichai was his nice-guy nature and the fact that he retained the best of his team.

post on Quora by a former Google employee, which had been written at the time of Pichai’s promotion to Google Product Head, said Pichai “avoided making enemies” at the company and “navigated” Google’s “politics to make his team successful”. Another profile on Fortune noted that Pichai was “universally well-liked at Google”.

More importantly Pichai had come to be Page’s right hand man and even accompanied the Google CEO when the latter was trying to acquire WhatsApp, according to the report on The Information. Pichai is also believed to have played a major role in Google’s acquisition of Nest.

Another BusinessWeek profile pointed out that Pichai had led the negotiations when Samsung and Google’s relationship had taken a turn for the worse over the South-Korean company’s launch of its own Magazine app with the Galaxy Note 3.

Of course, for India Pichai’s promotion also means a lot. After Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, he become the second Indian man to head one of the most important technology companies in the world.


Seiko Announces Inauguration of First “Seiko Premium Boutique” in Ginza, Tokyo, with Wang Leehom as First Customer


TOKYO, Aug. 6, 2015  — Shinji Hattori, President & CEO of Seiko Watch Corporation, along with Seiko’s brand ambassador in Asia Wang Leehom officially announced the inauguration of the world’s first “Seiko Premium Boutique” on July 29 inTokyo.

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The boutique is the first shop to carry Seiko’s three luxury brands exclusively; Grand Seiko, Credor and Galante, and is situated in the high-end Ginza shopping district. Wang Leehom is a famous Chinese-American singer and actor and has been Seiko’s brand ambassador since 2011.

After a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Hattori at the boutique, Wang Leehom stepped into the brand-new store as the first customer and enjoyed Seiko’s very special products displayed there, including Credor Spring Drive Minute Repeater which sells at 33,000,000 yen.

He has later attended a press conference which was held at Wako, a famous landmark specialty store owned by Seiko in the heart of Ginza.

“Showcasing our prestigious collections, this boutique will offer a true window to the Seiko world and visitors will experience the uniqueness of Seiko’s craftsmanship and Japanese hospitality,” Hattori said at the press conference.

“It is my great honor to have a chance to attend this festive occasion in the center of Tokyo. I was deeply impressed with Seiko’s masterpieces such as Credor Minute Repeater. They are true culmination of legendary Japanese craftsmanship and cutting-edge technologies,” Wang Leehom said.

Wang Leehom at Seiko Premium Boutique:
(Traditional Chinese:
(Simplified Chinese:

The press conference was also attended by Seiko’s top six master craftsmen, and the masterpieces elaborately hand-crafted by these craftsmen are to be displayed at the boutique. Also there will be special occasions to demonstrate their award-winning skills at the boutique in the future.

About Seiko Watch Corporation:
Seiko Watch Corporation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Seiko Holdings Corporation which was established in 1881. Seiko is one of a few true “manufacturers” that design, develop and produce all components of luxury watches and possess traditional craftsmanship and most advanced technologies.

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:

©2015 PR Newswire. All Rights Reserved.

French swimming on top of the world for 10 years

french swimming
Sunday, August 2, 2015, Kazan (Russia). The relay 4 x 100 meters man of the France team, composed of Fabien Gilot (left), Jeremy Stravius ​​(back) Mehdy Metella (right) and Florent Manaudou, just won the gold medal at the World Championships. AFP / CHRISTOPHE SIMON

For ten years, France has become a major nation of the world swimming through its world and Olympic medals. Back in the good figures on French results.

The men’s 4 x 100 meters is the most striking symbol for ten years, the swimming French imposes. And has become one of the most successful teams in the world, sometimes before the ogres Australian, American and Russian.

Currently taking place in Kazan (Russia), the French relay has signed its fourth international victory since the 2012 Olympics Florent Manaudou and her band will be, once again, the great favorites at next year’s Rio Games.  But how France , who won almost nothing, is it gone from darkness to light in this discipline? Under international charts (Worlds and Olympics) everything seems to have changed in Athens in 2004.

Laure Manaudou , a girl of 18, is then titrated in the 400 meters freestyle, 52 years after Jean Boiteux over the same distance. At those Games, France enquille five medals thanks again to the ladies, Laure Manaudou, Malia Metalla or Solenne Figuès.  Since it is the raid on international medals.Between the 2004 Olympics and 2015 World Championships (still provisional results as at Monday, August 3 to 18 hours), France has brought back 56 medals, including 18 gold! It may be noted flamboyant success of Yannick Agnel (200m at the 2012 Olympics), Alain Bernard (100m at the 2008 Olympics) or the little brother, Florent Manaudou (50 m for the 2012 Olympics), now leader of the Blues. In the previous century, France had won “only” 32 international medals. An abysmal difference. 

Premier Leagues – A Glimpse into future


Reckon Chelsea, Man Utd, Man City and Arsenal will compete for the top four places in the English Premier League forever? Not according to Football Manager.


Someone has run a simulation of the English Premier League for 1000 years through Football Manager 2015 – and the results make for interesting reading.

On 4th March this year “Lorf_Yimzo” set Football Manager 2015 powering through 1000 years of English football. It took 58 days of real world time to get to 3015 in the game.

Now, armed with the results of a thousand year’s worth of Premier Leagues, FA Cups, League Cups and European tournaments, Lorf_Yimzo took to the Football Manager subreddit to offer us a glimpse into the future.

First, the working out: Lorf_Yimzo used a points system to determine which club was the best all time:

  • PL 1st Place – 5
  • PL 2nd Place – 3
  • PL 3rd Place – 1
  • FA Cup Win – 5
  • FA Cup Runner-Up – 2
  • League Cup Win – 4
  • League Cup Runner-Up – 1
  • Champions League Win – 6
  • Champions League Runner-Up – 3
  • Europa League Win – 4

Tallying the results, the most successful club ever is Sheffield United, closely followed by Burnley. Sheffield United, it turns out, win 168 Premier League titles.

Southend and Arsenal end up being enormously successful, too. (There’s a joke in there somewhere about Arsenal still being fourth even after 1000 years of trying.) The mighty Barnsley end up being the fifth most successful English team ever, with Rotherham in sixth. Chelsea FC, by far the greatest team the world has ever seen, are in fact nowhere to be seen. Sigh.

There are some wonderful statistics to be had in 3015. Here are a few:

The highest English attendance ever is 112,278, for Burnley’s home match against Preston on 3rd March 2843. The Harry Potts Arena, Burnley’s future home, has a capacity greater than the population of the actual town. Bet Danny Ings regrets moving to Liverpool already!

The Premier League’s oldest goalscorer ever turns out to be Bournemouth’s David Foster, who at the age of 42 years and 30 days scored in a 3-2 win versus Liverpool in 2934. Take that, Teddy Sheringham.

The highest ever transfer fee is an eye-watering $127m for Jeremy Lannoy, who in 2044 went from Bordeaux to… Coventry. Oddly, that record transfer fee stands for nearly 1000 years. Money, eh? No-one really understands it.

Some ancient statistics stand the test of time, however, such as Man Utd’s 9-0 win over Ipswich 1995 (biggest win), and Arsenal’s Invincibles of 2004 (most games without losing).

Lorf_Yimzo documents the simulation in century chunks.

Here’s how it begins:

  • 2000s: The first surprise of the sim, was Derby winning the Premier League in 2021 with Southampton coming in 3rd. They fell pretty quickly, but then a surprisingly dominant Stoke took over, trading titles with Man U and occasionally Newcastle. Coventry also had a dominant spell, winning 6 titles in 7 years. Arsenal and Burnley entered the mix as contenders as well as Nottingham Forest and Blackburn. The century ended with a very dominant Man U.

And here’s how it ends:

  • 2900s and 3000s: The last century starts with a feud between Bromley and Burnley, which is broken up by Rotherham. This battle continues through until a resurgent Hull gets in the way. This opens the door for Brentford, Ipswich, and Man City to become regular title contenders. The 3000s turn into a struggle between Brentford, Ipswich, and Nottingham Forest with the very last title ever going to Hull City.


American Pharoah Wins Haskell Invitational


American Pharoah Wins Haskell Invitational after winning the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes to become the 12th Triple Crown winner and first in 37 years, American Pharoah’s return was greatly anticipated. Fifty-seven days after the Belmont, the 3-year-old son of Pioneerof the Nile looked better than ever in his eighth consecutive victory.

American pharoah

“That was nerve-racking,” Baffert said after his eighth win in the Haskell, five more than any other trainer. “I was getting pretty nervous.”

Sent off at odds of 1-10, American Pharoah became the shortest price winner in Haskell history, returning $2.20 for a $2 win bet.

Keen Ice rallied for second at 18-1 odds, followed by Upstart, Competitive Edge, Top Clearance, Dontbetwithbruno and Mr. Jordan. The winning time for the 1⅛-mile race was 1:47.95 — 0.95 seconds off the Haskell record.

American Pharoah’s next start is now the biggest question in racing. There’s no answer yet, but options include the Travers at Saratoga on Aug. 29, the Pennsylvania Derby on Sept. 19 and the Awesome Again at Santa Anita on Sept. 26.

American Pharoah followed many of his Triple Crown colleagues by winning his first start after three grueling races in five weeks. Of the 11 others, seven won in their return and one, Count Fleet, was retired after the 1943 Belmont with an injury.

American Pharoah opened his career with a loss before reeling off eight in a row — seven of them Grade 1 races. With the $1.1 million payday in the Haskell, his career earnings soared to $5.6 million.

As he was led back to the winner’s circle, the cheers continued.

“I couldn’t believe the crowd, how loud it was,” an emotional Baffert said, his voice breaking. “It was a great crowd. I love bringing my horses here. Thank you for being behind Pharoah the whole way.”

The long day at Monmouth Park began with gates opening at 9 a.m. and fans strolling into the Jersey Shore track after waiting in line for hours, some since 5 a.m. But it wasn’t until late afternoon until the place looked packed.

When American Pharoah was led into the paddock, the crowd stood 15 deep around the railing, straining to get a cellphone photo of the colt. And the horse came through with a truly remarkable performance.

“It’s very rare that I’m speechless, but I am extremely proud,” Zayat said. “I couldn’t be happier that this is happening in the great state of New Jersey. This is a superstar. He has touched everybody’s heart.”


Storms hit Michigan – Wind & rain make a powerful pair


MACKINAW CITY, Mich. — Storms carrying strong winds and rain have pounced on Michigan, cutting power in some areas, snapping trees and knocking over at least one recreational trailer on the Mackinac Bridge.


The bridge connecting the peninsulas was temporarily closed at one point Sunday as winds hit 65 mph. Power outages were reported in the Traverse City area.

Storms rolled into Michigan’s thumb region, and forecasters say southeastern Michigan could be vulnerable to high winds throughout the evening.

The National Weather Service warned people about dangerous swimming conditions up and down the Lake Michigan coast, with waves as high as 6 feet. Near Lake Huron, campers had to dodge falling branches at Harrisville State Park.