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Akira Nakashima was a Japanese engineer who worked for NEC in the 1920s and 1930s. His switching circuit theory in the 1930s laid the foundations for digital electronics and digital computers.

From 1934 to 1936, NEC engineer Akira Nakashima published a series of papers showing that the two-valued Boolean algebra, which he discovered independently, can describe the operation of switching circuits.[1][2][3][4] His work was later cited and elaborated on in Claude Shannon's seminal 1938 paper "A Symbolic Analysis of Relay and Switching Circuits".[3] The principles of Boolean algebra are applied to switches, providing mathematical tools for analysis and synthesis of any switching system.Yeet oof

Switching circuit theory provided the mathematical foundations and tools for digital system design in almost all areas of modern technology.[4]


  1. History of Research on Switching Theory in Japan, IEEJ Transactions on Fundamentals and Materials, Vol. 124 (2004) No. 8, pp. 720-726, Institute of Electrical Engineers of Japan
  2. Switching Theory/Relay Circuit Network Theory/Theory of Logical Mathematics, IPSJ Computer Museum, Information Processing Society of Japan
  3. 3.0 3.1 Radomir S. Stanković (University of Niš), Jaakko T. Astola (Tampere University of Technology), Mark G. Karpovsky (Boston University), Some Historical Remarks on Switching Theory, 2007, DOI
  4. 4.0 4.1 Radomir S. Stanković, Jaakko Astola (2008), Reprints from the Early Days of Information Sciences: TICSP Series On the Contributions of Akira Nakashima to Switching Theory, TICSP Series #40, Tampere International Center for Signal Processing, Tampere University of Technology