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Boole Inspired a Literary Mastermind

Boole Inspired a Literary Mastermind
Celebrating George Boole 200
  • 26 Aug 2015 - 26 Aug 2015
  • 20:00
  • Aula Maxima, UCC

George Boole Inspired Sherlock Holmes' Moriarty, argues Des MacHale

Professor Des MacHale joins us in the Aula Maxima for a public evening lecture as part of the George Boole Mathematical Science Conferences which run at UCC from August 17 until August 28. MacHale is a professor emeritus of Mathematics at this University and is a renowned expert on the life and biography of George Boole. His research dates back over 25 years, when 'The Life and Work of George Boole' was first published in 1985. Recently republished by Cork University Press to commemorate the Bicentenial anniversary as part of the George Boole 200 programme, Des MacHale continues to be fascinating by the Boolean Legacy and another book is in the works.

Now, for the first time, Professor Des MacHale is to present compelling evidence that George Boole inspired the character Professor James Moriarty, the criminal mastermind in Sherlock Holme. A fictional character in some of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories, Moriarty is described by his arch-enemy Holmes as the "Napoleon of crime". Open to the public, this non-technical talk will be held at UCC’s Aula Maxima (Great Hall) on August 26 at 8pm. Professor MacHale will present mathematical, personal, visual, and coincidental evidence to back up his case. The story is a long and convoluted one and H. G. Wells, a father of science fiction, is a vital link connecting Doyle and Mary Everest Boole, George Boole's wife. Recent evidence is presented on several Cork people with the surname Moriarty. Professor MacHale is delivering this lecture as part of the George Boole Mathematical Sciences (GBMS) Conference, which is this week welcoming Mathematics experts from across the globe. “Every computer scientist, mathematician, electrical engineer, and logician on the planet already knows about George Boole,” commented Professor Des MacHale. 

“If the Boole—Moriarty link can be established, then every literate person on the planet will know about George Boole too.”

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