herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Dara gets sneak peak of maths legend's papers

DARA O Briain said it was a 'no-brainer' to use his hit Crowd Tickler comedy tour to pay homage to one of his mathematical heroes.

The comedian, who studied maths and theoretical physics at university, admitted he was "absolutely thrilled" to accept an invitation from University College Cork (UCC) to view the papers of 19th Century academic, Prof George Boole.

"It was a very kind invitation and I was delighted to accept," he said.

UCC's first mathematics professor is not only credited with being one of the outstanding teachers of his generation but his theories on logic helped underpin the development of the modern computer.

The Cork college is now celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Prof Boole with a year-long programme of events.

This includes a joint-venture to redevelop Prof Boole's old house on Grenville Place, so it can be used as a museum and cultural centre.

O Briain was given a personal tour of the university's archive and was allowed view George Boole's own copy of The Laws of Thought, one of the landmark works on maths and logic.

While a Professor in Cork, the UK-born academic wrote the book which dealt with his famous theory of logic and probabilities and massively influenced the development of modern computer systems.

He was then guest of honour at a special lunch before signing the UCC visitor's book.

The comedian was given a campus tour by UCC President Prof Michael Murphy before departing for his Crowd Tickler show in Cork Opera House last night.

The Wicklow star is a life-long campaign for a greater appreciation of maths, physics and science.

hnews@herald.ie

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