Courses/Computer Science/CPSC 203/CPSC 203 2007Fall L04/CPSC 203 2007Fall L04 Lectures/Lecture 15

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Lecture 15

Today we introduce 'ground 0' in computer science. Boolean logic. The basic construct on which everything else is built. The core idea is that at the lowest levels a computational system can only distinguish between two states -- call it 1 and 0 -- and everything is built up from that groundwork.

The objectives of today's class are:

  • House Keeping
    • Assignment 1 submission -- Technical Glitches -- contact your TA directly
    • Reminders:
      • Final Exam Date and Time has been set: Monday Dec 17, 12-2p.m. (room unknown).
      • Mid-term results will be posted by Next Monday

  • Topics
    • Quick 2nd look at Assignment 2 in preparation for next week's labs
    • Introduction to Boolean Logic


  • Boolean Logic
  • Circuit
  • Terms of Boolean Logic

From Venn Diagrams to Boolean Logic

  1. Venn Diagrams Revisited
  2. The Idea of a Truth Table (as a logical function).
  3. The Idea of a Circuit (as a way of physically implementing a Truth Table).
  4. The Basic Truth Tables and Functions (on which everything else is built)

The terms of Boolean Logic were illustrated by their respective Truth Tables. See also Wikipedia: (note that in class we used 1 where they use "T", and we used 0 where they use "F"). Truth table values were then related to Logic gates: Finally, logic gates were combined to build more complex circuit diagrams :

For more on Boolean Logic please see:

A Computer Sciece oriented summary of Boolean logic is at:


TIA 4th Edn: Chapter 9 pp 406- 431 TIA 3rd Edn: Chapter 9 pp 386 - 409


The primary resource for this lecture was:

  • Ones & Zeros -- Understanding Boolean Algebra, Digital Circuits and the Logic of Sets. 1998. By John R. Gregg

Supplementary References are:

  • Logic. A Very Short Introduction. 2000. By Graham Priest.
  • Logic Made Easy. How to Know When Language Decieves You. 2004. By Deborah J. Bennett.
  • Feynman Lectures on Computation. 1996. By Richard P. Feynman.