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George boole house to be saved as part of 2015 celebrations

Thursday, 20th February, 2014 12:00am

The derelict former home of world-famous mathematician George Boole will be refurbished. He conceived of Boolean algebra at UCC, whose research laid the groundwork for modern computing.

UCC, where Boole was the first Professor of Mathematics, will celebrate 200 years since his birth next year with a string of events, including plans to restore the house at 5 Grenville Place.

The celebration of the Year of George Boole (YOGB) was announced by UCC President Michael Murphy in January 2013. Other events include conferences, a new statue to Boole, the establishment of an institute in his name and a documentary on his life and legacy.

The Lincoln-born mathematician's former home suffered a structural collapse in 2010 and has been derelict since.

Eoin Lettice is a lecturer in the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences at University College Cork. He has campaigned for something to be done about the house on his blog Communicate Science  and is delighted that it will be repaired.

“I've been writing about it since the collapse happened. It seems like it was languishing in this state of disrepair so it's great to see advanced plans.

“The whole idea of a celebration of George Boole is wonderful news and it's great to re-emphasise him and his connection to UCC. The YOGB committee are appealing for private partners. The idea is to be partnered with private donors and Cork City Council. It's something that UCC and Cork City Council needed to do,” he added. As yet, no future use for the building seems to have been decided on.

In 2015 UCC will commemorate Boole's legacy, marking the bicentenary of his birth on 2 November 2015, under the banner of the Year of George Boole.

Through an extensive programme of events, the life and works of George Boole will be celebrated culminating with the establishment at the university of the George Boole legacy which will enable the ongoing celebration of George Boole and the long established tradition of world-class research in academic disciplines associated with him. The full list of events include: Conferences on mathematics, computer science and Boole's extended family history; Exhibitions in UCC library and connection to Boole's birthplace in Lincoln; An outreach programme for schools and the public to aid the understanding of science; A documentary on Boole's life, legacy and extended family; A republication of Professor Des MacHale's seminal biography of George Boole; There may also be plans for a statue of Boole, as well as music and works in other media; An exhibition in the Glucksman Gallery about art and Boole; The establishment of the UCC George Boole Institute.

City councillor Kieran McCarthy, who has campaigned on this issue, said, "it's important the city finds finance to secure the legacy of this international figure".

For more info, see www.ucc.ie/en/yogb/life.

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