Development of the binary number system and the foundations of computer science. (English)

Math. Enthus. 11, No. 3, 513-540 (2014).

Summary: This paper discusses the formalization of the binary number system and the groundwork that was laid for the future of digital circuitry, computers, and the field of computer science. The goal of this paper is to show how Gottfried Leibniz formalized the binary number system and solidified his thoughts through an analysis of the Chinese I Ching. In addition, Leibniz’s work in logic and with computing machines is presented. This work laid the foundation for Boolean algebra and digital circuitry which was continued by George Boole, Augustus De Morgan, and Claude Shannon in the centuries following. Some have coined Leibniz the world’s first computer scientist, and this paper will attempt to demonstrate a validation of this conjecture.