Boolean Algebra!

It's logical really.


The following pages are intended to give you a solid foundation in working with Boolean Algebra. Boolean Algebra is also sometimes referred to as Boolean Logic or just Logic. It is a method of representing expressions using only two values (True and False typically) and was first proposed by George Boole in 1847.


This Boolean Algebra tutorial is divided into 3 sections In general I recommend you work through them in order but if you've come here just to learn about a specific topic then who am I to slow you down, just head straight on over.

Keep reading below to get started with Boolean Algebra or skip to one of the following sections.

  1. Boolean Algebra Basics - What is Boolean Algebra and an overview of the basic operators.
  2. Boolean Algebra laws - The basic set of applications and implications of the operators.
  3. Boolean Algebra expressions - Using the rules to manipulate and simplify Boolean Algebra expressions.

So why should I learn Boolean Algebra?

Boolean Algebra is fundamental to the operation of software and hardware which we use everyday. If you are in IT then understanding Boolean Algebra is advantageous in many ways.

If you aren't in IT, posessing an understanding of Boolean Algebra can still be very useful. Even if you never formally use it, learning it will have an impact on how you view the world and how you see and solve problems. It will improve your thinking and make you a more powerful problem solver. It will also allow you to represent and think about processes in alternative ways in order to better understand them, and then to potentially simplify them.

It is my belief that learning Boolean Algebra can be beneficial for pretty much everybody and more importantly, is also fun.

Learning Boolean Algebra

The basics of Boolean Algebra is generally quite easy to pick up. Then the learning curve gets a bit steep. A large part of this is that it's quite abstract. You're best bet is to work out what strategies and approaches will best help you better visualise and understand what is going on. Here are a few ideas to get you started but everyone is different. You'll need to find out what works best for you.

  • Go over things several times, with a good break inbetween. You'll be surprised how something might make little sense the first time you read it but if you leave it for a bit to let it stew in your mind then come back to it it makes more sense on the second reading.
  • Draw it out on paper. I come across a lot of students which are lazy and say "nah, it's ok, I'll just work through it in my head." For abstract things like Boolean Algebra this doesn't work once you hit a certain level of complexity. A little bit of time and effort to draw it out on paper will save you many hours of frustration. It will also make it really easy to retrace your steps when things start to not quite go right.
  • Speak it out loud rather than just doing it in your mind. It might seem silly but when you speak it rather than just think it you will see it from a different perspective and this can help to better understand what is going on.
  • Practice!! The more you practice, the more your mind will put the pieces of the puzzle together on these abstract concepts. The more things will start to make sense.

If you take this approach you should find that it's quite a pleasant path to Boolean Algebra mastery. You may also find our Problem Solving Tutorial to be worth a quick read.