What’s up with Google’s logo here?
It’s made in honour of George Boole, who was born exactly 200 years ago on 2 November 1815. He was a mathematician whose work impacted modern logic, algebra and math, and paved the way for modern computer science. He is most famous for constructing a theory on the Boolean, which was named after him.
What is a Boolean, you ask? Here’s a ‘byte sized’ answer!
In programming, we can distinguish several different data types. One of them is the Boolean. Boolean variables can be one of two values, such as ‘true’ or ‘false’, ‘on’ or ‘off’, and ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
There are also several data types that are not Booleans. An example of a data type that is not given in a Boolean value is age, as it is given in a range of numbers, going from 0 to 122 (so far).
In programming, a Boolean is a data type that has but two options
‘True’ and ‘false’ are examples of Booleans that are used in every day machines. Think of street lamps at night. The operating system of the street lamps is constantly checking two things: the darkness, and whether the street lamps are on. The darkness is not given in a Boolean value, as it gets darker slowly, moving past many shades of grey whilst. But whether the street lamp is already on or not is determined by a Boolean. If it is dark enough and the light is on (’true’), nothing should happen. If it is dark enough and the light is off (’false’), the operating system has to respond by turning on the light.
In this way, we can program our computers to respond differently based on Boolean values.
Would you like your children to learn what Booleans are as well? We’ve already developed a lesson plan for children to learn about programming in an easy way. This ‘byte sized’ Boolean lesson is a sneak peek at what the future holds – we’re currently expanding our curriculum and the first lesson of the new curriculum (Lesson 17) will be on Booleans! Students will use their understanding of data types (including Booleans) to create new Bomberbot game levels in the level creator.