The exposition is clear and does not assume any prior knowledge except elementary mathematics and a few basic facts from physics. I recommend this well-written book to all readers interested in the history of computer science, as well as those who are curious about the fundamental principles of digital computing.---Antonín Slavík, Zentralblatt MATH
Nahin leavens the math and engineering with humor and an infectious intellectual curiosity, and the parallels between Boole and Shannon are convincingly drawn. . . . [The Logician and the Engineer] will give your brain a workout, but an enjoyable one.
Although the book is technical, it is always easily understandable for anyone (for those who need it, some basic rules for electrical circuits are collected in a short appendix). It is not only understandable but also pleasantly bantering and at occasions even facetious.---A. Bultheel, European Mathematical Society
Engaging. . . . Nahin assumes some rudimentary knowledge but expertly explains concepts such as relay circuits, Turing machines, and quantum computing. Reasoning through the problems and diagrams will give persistent readers genuine aha moments and an understanding of the two revolutionaries who helped to lay the foundation of our digital world.
Paul J. Nahin really knows how to tell a good story. . . . The Logician and the Engineer is truly a gem.
Meshing logic problems with the stories of two extraordinary men . . . Paul Nahin fashions a tale of innovation and discovery. Alongside a gripping account of how Shannon built on Boole's work, Nahin explores others key to the technological revolution, from Georg Cantor to Alan Turing.
[T]his is a useful and often interesting introduction to the life and work of two intellectual giants who are largely unknown to the general public.---Gareth and Mary Jones, London Mathematical Society Newsletter
The reader is taken on a journey from the development of some abstract mathematical ideas through a nearly ubiquitous application of those ideas within the modern world with so many embedded digital computers. . . . I enjoyed the discussion of Claude Shannon. In the history of the computer and development of the internet and World Wide Web, his ideas and contributions are too often overlooked. He is one of my heroes and I believe that everyone that reads this book will come to the same conclusion.---Charles Ashbacher, MAA Reviews
Part biography, part history, and part a review of basic information theory, this book does an excellent job of fitting these interlocking elements together.
Nahin has had the very good idea of connecting the very different worlds and times of Boole, Shannon, and others to demonstrate that a little Victorian algebra can turn out to be very useful.
This book is not light reading. It would be excellent for advanced high school juniors or seniors with a strong interest in computer science as well as mathematics.---Tom Ottinger, Mathematics Teacher
The problems are varied and indeed intriguing, and the solutions are delightful.
A short but fairly detailed exploration of the genesis of Boolean logic and Shannon's information theory. . . . [G]ood background reading for anyone studying electronics or computer science.---Christine Evans-Pughe, Engineering & Technology
"Written with the skill and ability that we have come to expect from Paul Nahin, The Logician and the Engineer is an interesting and informative account of the history of formal logic, the lives of its two great investigators, and the applications of Boolean algebra in electronic computation."—Chuck Adler, St. Mary's College
"From electromechanical relays to quantum computing, Nahin takes us on a delightful exploration of Boolean logic and the careers of George Boole and Claude Shannon. This is a superb book for anyone who wants to understand how that gigahertz chip in their favorite electronic doohickey really works."—Lawrence Weinstein, author of Guesstimation 2.0: Solving Today's Problems on the Back of a Napkin
"In this book, Nahin brings to life the immense practical outcomes of deep theoretical ideas. Too often, technological advances are seen as isolated inventions and the underlying mathematical and scientific infrastructure goes unappreciated. By following the story of George Boole and Claude Shannon with a lively historical style, and a futuristic extension to quantum computing, Nahin makes the connection of theory and practice into something vivid and compelling."—Andrew Hodges, author of Alan Turing: The Enigma
Most valuable to this reviewer, and likely to many potential readers, is the closing chapter, aptly titled Beyond Boole and Shannon. Here is provided an introduction to quantum computing and its logic, possibly portending the future of computers, yet unmistakably bearing the footprints of the two early pioneers. It is an unexpected yet fitting conclusion to this thoroughly enjoyable read.---Ronald E. Prather, Mathematical Reviews Clippings