- File Size: 5144 KB
- Print Length: 244 pages
- Publisher: Princeton University Press (October 28, 2012)
- Publication Date: October 28, 2012
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0091XBUTM
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #464,326 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
The Logician and the Engineer: How George Boole and Claude Shannon Created the Information Age Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
There's none of it.
This is a book on electrical circuit design, by a professor of electrical engineering and mathematics. It is a textbook for the enthusiastic student entering the field. Nahin is clearly far more at ease in formulas than in narrative. The ubiquitous exclamation points and overuse of italics are vivid testament to that. The biography reader will be lost after the first formula is built. This book is about the math, not the people.
But as such, there is nothing wrong with this book. It is clear, organized, inviting, and easy to digest if you are interested in the subject matter. But let's be clear - the subject matter is circuit design, not Boole and Shannon. After chapter three, Boole barely gets mentioned at all, while Shannon pops up here and there because of a relevant paper (and the occasional joke). But these appearances are as scientific references, not biographical events or descriptions.
Ironically, Nahin ends the book with the story of The Language Clarifier, a black box used to interpret legalese so that mere mortals could comprehend what the fatheads (his term) had written. If only the publishers had been required to use it, this book might not be so misleading.
Should you trust a book about logic when itself contains muddled reasoning? I found one section of this book where the author apparently did not read what he wrote. In section 8.1 p 139 ff the author is explaining 'states' with the classic example problem of the two adults and two children on one side of a river, with a boat that holds only one adult or two children, the problem being how to get everyone over to the other side when anyone can row. Fair enough, he shows 10 'states' where everyone ends up safely on the other side of the river.Read more ›
in several ways.
Its first deficiency is that Nahin has relatively little to say
about the putative subjects of his book, filling in with a
congeries of topics of interest to himself. In spite of the
book's sub-title -- "How George Boole and Claude Shannon Created
the Information Age" -- Boole and Shannon are minor actors in
this book. Of its more than 220 pages, one 24-page chapter
provides brief biographies of Boole and Shannon, and another
chapter of the same length discusses Boolean algebra. The bulk of
the book, however, is given over to digital circuit-design,
probability, Turing machines, logic puzzles, and speculations
about future computers.
The reader gets a warning of strange things to come in Chapter 1,
entitled "What You Need to Know to Read This Book." The chapter
focuses heavily, and weirdly, on potentiometers, ending with a
demonstration of the parabolic shape of the resistance-function
of two ganged potentiometers. Oddly for an electrical engineer,
Nahin states that the term "rheostat" is "a rather old-fashioned
word" for a potentiometer. Potentiometers and rheostats are
actually quite different devices. Although both are three-
terminal variable resistors, a potentiometer is a voltage-divider
that uses all three terminals, whereas a rheostat uses two
terminals (the slider and one other terminal) to control current
by connecting a variable resistance in series with the load.
A second deficiency of this book is its pervasive carelessness.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
First, let me just say this rating may be for me as much as for the book itself. Many reviews stated this book had "some" or "a little" math in it necessary for the... Read morePublished 26 days ago by wsk
A definitive explanation for the invention of the computer in its evolving forms.Published 8 months ago by S. Mordushevitz
I enjoyed the parts of this book that were biographical and a bit psycho-philosophical, and I even enjoyed the more technical parts, but the problem is that Dr. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Ronnie Gonzalez
I'm familiar with Boolean logic/algebra, butI had no idea who George Boole was. His story is fascinating. Adding Shannon to the mix made a very interesting read.Published 14 months ago by John G
The Logician and the Engineer provides the interested reader with a short history of George Boole and Claude Shannon as well as a brief overview of how Boolean logic can be used to... Read morePublished 17 months ago by A. Menon
Another great book by Paul J. Nahin. He picks out the most useful and interesting aspects of the work & lives of these two men. Read morePublished on April 27, 2014 by Thorvard
This audio book comes with a PDF of some of the equations presented in this book. I expected the book to reference these equations but instead each equation is read as part of the... Read morePublished on October 22, 2013 by Mikhail I Carter
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