Google Doodle, John Venn Birthday, and Cuteness: Venn Diagram Go!

Image: Google

Google’s doodle is truly celebrational today with logician John Venn’s 180th birthday’s doodle.

Most of us learned about Venn diagrams in school: logical and geometric illustrations of overlaps and differences between class memberships. The colorful and playful doodle that we enjoy today offers a game of selecting two categories to compare. Google combines them and shows the surprise commonality between them, all in adorable cartoon style. Select carefully and you might find a familiar singing astronaut!

The Google Doodle team reports that they wanted to imbue the doodle with the nostalgia of our school days. They also reference circles in the design repeatedly. The look is both nostalgic and charming and the mechanism is fun.

John Venn taught at Cambridge, where he developed Venn diagrams, a system of using the degree to which circles (each representing a class of things or ideas) overlap to indicate how much the classes have in common. If there is nothing in common, the circles have no overlap. The more commonality, the larger the overlapping areas. Venn also did further work on logic and probability, and also invented a machine to bowl balls for cricket practice.

venndoodle2
Example of Google’s Venn diagram. (Image: Screen capture of Google doodle by K. Moore)

I imagine John Venn thought his diagrams would never look this cute, much less in a mere 180 years!

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Kay works with engineers, scientists, and programmers as a writer and editor, which she prefers over working with muggles. When sufficiently caffeinated, she geeks out over words, communication, biology, needlework, and recreational sports. And, of course, chocolate. Her children _may_ have been exposed to D&D at a too-young age, but they continue to play happily to this day.