Lotfi A. Zadeh

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Lotfi A. Zadeh
Zadeh-barcelona-1997@92x115.gif
Born Lotfi Aliaskerzadeh
(1921-02-04) February 4, 1921 (age 93)
Baku, Azerbaijan SSR
Residence United States
Nationality see article
Fields Mathematics, electrical engineering, artificial intelligence
Institutions U.C. Berkeley
Alma mater University of Tehran,
Columbia University
Thesis Frequency analysis of variable networks (1949)
Doctoral advisor John R. Ragazzini
Doctoral students Joseph Goguen
Known for Founder of fuzzy mathematics,
fuzzy set theory, and fuzzy logic, Z numbers, Z-transform
Notable awards IEEE Medal of Honor (1995)
ACM Fellow

Lotfali Askar Zadeh (born Azerbaijani: Lütfəli Rəhimoğlu Əsgərzadə;[1] February 4, 1921), better known as Lotfi A. Zadeh, is a mathematician, electrical engineer, computer scientist, artificial intelligence researcher and professor emeritus[2] of computer science at the University of California, Berkeley.

Life and career[edit]

Zadeh was born in Baku, Azerbaijan SSR,[3] as Lotfi Aliaskerzadeh,[4] to an Iranian Azerbaijanis father from Ardabil, Rahim Aleskerzade, who was a journalist on assignment from Iran, and a Russian Jewish mother,[5] Fanya Korenman, who was a pediatrician from Odessa.[6][7] The Soviet government at this time courted foreign correspondents, and the family lived well while in Baku.[8] Zadeh attended elementary school for three years there,[8] which he has said "had a significant and long-lasting influence on my thinking and my way of looking at things."[9]

In 1931, when Zadeh was ten years old, his family moved to Tehran in Iran, his father's homeland. Zadeh was enrolled in Alborz College, which was a Presbyterian missionary school, where he was educated for the next eight years, and where he met his future wife, Fay.[8] Zadeh says that he was "deeply influenced" by the "extremely decent, fine, honest and helpful" missionaries from the United States who ran the college. "To me they represented the best that you could find in the United States – people from the Midwest with strong roots. They were really "Good Samaritans" – willing to give of themselves for the benefit of others. So this kind of attitude influenced me deeply. It also instilled in me a deep desire to live in the United States."[9] During this time, Zadeh was awarded several patents.[8]

Despite being more fluent in Russian than in Persian, Zadeh sat for the national university exams and placed third in the entire country.[8] As a student, he ranked first in his class in his first two years. In 1942, he graduated from the University of Tehran with a degree in electrical engineering (Fanni), one of only three students in that field to graduate that year, due to the turmoil created by World War II, when the Soviet Union invaded Iran – whose ruler, the Shah, was pro-German – and split the administration of the country with the British. Over 30,000 American soldiers were also based there, and Zadeh worked with his father, who did business with them as a contractor for hardware and building materials.[10]

In 1943, Zadeh decided to emigrate to the United States, and traveled to Philadelphia by way of Cairo after months of delay waiting for the proper papers or for the right ship to appear. He arrived in mid-1944, and entered M.I.T. as a graduate student later that year.[10] While in the United States, he changed his name to Lotfi Asker Zadeh.[4]

He received an MS degree in electrical engineering from M.I.T. in 1946, and then applied to Columbia University, as his parents had settled in New York City.[10] Columbia admitted him as a doctoral student, and offered him an instructorship as well.[10] He received his PhD in electrical engineering from Columbia in 1949, and became an assistant professor the next year.[7][10]

Zadeh taught for ten years at Columbia, was promoted to Full Professor in 1957, and has taught at the University of California, Berkeley since 1959. He published his seminal work on fuzzy sets in 1965, in which he detailed the mathematics of fuzzy set theory. In 1973 he proposed his theory of fuzzy logic.

Personal life and beliefs[edit]

Zadeh is noted to be "quick to shrug off nationalism, insisting there are much deeper issues in life", and is quoted as stating in an interview: "The question really isn't whether I'm American, Russian, Iranian, Azerbaijani, or anything else. I've been shaped by all these people and cultures and I feel quite comfortable among all of them."[11] Zadeh also notes in the same interview: "Obstinacy and tenacity. Not being afraid to get embroiled in controversy. That's very much a Turkish tradition. That's part of my character, too. I can be very stubborn. That's probably been beneficial for the development of Fuzzy Logic."[12] He describes himself as "an American, mathematically oriented, electrical engineer of Iranian descent, born in Russia."[7]

Zadeh is married to Fay Zadeh and has two children, Stella Zadeh and Norman Zadeh.

Work[edit]

According to Google Scholar, as of June 2014 Zadeh's work had been cited 132,509 times with the 1965 "Fuzzy Sets" paper receiving 49,678.[13]

Fuzzy sets and systems[edit]

Zadeh, in his theory of fuzzy sets, proposed using a membership function (with a range covering the interval [0,1]) operating on the domain of all possible values. He proposed new operations for the calculus of logic and showed that fuzzy logic was a generalisation of classical and Boolean logic. He also proposed fuzzy numbers as a special case of fuzzy sets, as well as the corresponding rules for consistent mathematical operations (fuzzy arithmetic).[14]

Other contributions[edit]

Lotfi Zadeh is also credited, along with John R. Ragazzini, in 1952, with having pioneered the development of the z-transform method in discrete time signal processing and analysis. These methods are now standard in digital signal processing, digital control, and other discrete-time systems used in industry and research. He is an editor of International Journal of Computational Cognition.

Zadeh's latest work includes computing with words and perceptions. His recent papers include From Search Engines to Question-Answering Systems—The Role of Fuzzy Logic, Progress in Informatics, No. 1, 1-3, 2005; and Toward a Generalized Theory of Uncertainty (GTU)—An Outline, Information Sciences, Elsevier, Vol. 172, 1-40, 2005.

Selected publications[edit]

  • 1965. Fuzzy sets. Information and Control. 1965; 8: 338–353.
  • 1965. "Fuzzy sets and systems". In: Fox J, editor. System Theory. Brooklyn, NY: Polytechnic Press, 1965: 29–39.
  • 1972. "A fuzzy-set-theoretical interpretation of linguistic hedges". Journal of Cybernetics 1972; 2: 4–34.
  • 1973. "Outline of a new approach to the analysis of complex systems and decision processes". IEEE Trans. Systems, Man and Cybernetics, 1973; 3: 28–44.
  • 1974. "Fuzzy logic and its application to approximate reasoning". In: Information Processing 74, Proc. IFIP Congr. 1974 (3), pp. 591–594.
  • 1975. "Fuzzy logic and approximate reasoning". Synthese, 1975; 30: 407–428.
  • 1975. "Calculus of fuzzy restrictions". In: Zadeh LA, Fu KS, Tanaka K, Shimura M, editors. Fuzzy Sets and their Applications to Cognitive and Decision Processes. New York: Academic Press, 1975: 1–39.
  • 1975. "The concept of a linguistic variable and its application to approximate reasoning", I-III, Information Sciences 8 (1975) 199–251, 301–357; 9 (1976) 43–80.
  • 2002. "From computing with numbers to computing with words — from manipulation of measurements to manipulation of perceptions" in International Journal of Applied Math and Computer Science, pp. 307–324, vol. 12, no. 3, 2002.
  • 2012. Computing With Words. Principal Concepts and Ideas. Berlin: Springer, 2012.

Awards and honors[edit]

Zadeh is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Association for Computing Machinery, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence and the International Fuzzy Systems Association, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He is also a member of the Academies of Science of Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Finland, Korea and Poland and of the International Academy of Systems Studies in Moscow. He has received 24 honorary doctorates.[2]

Awards received by Zadeh include, among many others:

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ http://diaspora.gov.az/index.php?options=content&id=619
  2. ^ a b "Lotfi A. Zadeh" faculty page from College of Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of California at Berkeley
  3. ^ At this time, the Azerbaijan SSR was an independent republic, created by the Red Army. It would become part of the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic in March 1922, and then part of the Soviet Union in December 1922.
  4. ^ a b McNeil & Freiberger, p.17
  5. ^ "Jews in Computer & Information Science" on the JINFO.org website
  6. ^ Анвар Унугви "Жанет Селимова" (Mamoirs of Lotfi A. Zadeh's cousin in Baku, theatrical director, professor Zhanet Selimova).
  7. ^ a b c Gale, Thomson. Lotfi Asker Zadeh Biography World of Computer Science
  8. ^ a b c d e McNeil & Freiberger, p.18
  9. ^ a b Blair, Betty. Interview with Lotfi Zadeh (December 1999) in "Famous People: Then and Now Lotfi Zadeh, Creator of Fuzzy Logic (1921- )" Azerbaijan International (7.4) (Winter 1999)
  10. ^ a b c d e McNeil & Freiberger, p.19
  11. ^ Blair, Betty. "Short Biographical Sketch". Azerbaijan International, Vol. 2:4 (Winter 1994), p. 49.
  12. ^ Blair, Betty. "Interview with Lotfi Zadeh, Creator of Fuzzy Logic". Azerbaijan International, Vol. 2:4 (Winter 1994), pp. 46 ff.
  13. ^ http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?arnumber=06052364
  14. ^ McNeil & Freiberger, passim
  15. ^ "IEEE James H. Mulligan, Jr. Education Medal Recipients". IEEE. Retrieved September 3, 2011. 
  16. ^ "IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal Recipients". IEEE. Retrieved May 29, 2011. 
  17. ^ "Rufus Oldenburger Medal". American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Retrieved February 12, 2013. 
  18. ^ "IEEE Medal of Honor Recipients". IEEE. Retrieved September 3, 2011. 
  19. ^ "Richard E. Bellman Control Heritage Award". American Automatic Control Council. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  20. ^ "AI's Hall of Fame". IEEE Intelligent Systems (IEEE Computer Society) 26 (4): 5–15. 2011. doi:10.1109/MIS.2011.64.  edit
  21. ^ "IEEE Computer Society Magazine Honors Artificial Intelligence Leaders". DigitalJournal.com. August 24, 2011. Retrieved September 18, 2011.  Press release source: PRWeb (Vocus).

Bibliography

  • McNeil, Daniel and Freiberger, Paul. Fuzzy Logic: The discovery of a revolutionary computer technology - and how it is changing our world. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993. ISBN 0-671-73843-7

Further reading

  • Fuzzy Sets and Systems. The main journal of the field which contains many contributions by its founder.
  • Zadeh, Fay. "My Life and Travels with the Father of Fuzzy Logic". 1998, TSI Press, Albuquerque, NM.
  • Zadeh, Lofti A. "Lotfi Visions", two-part interview with Jack J. Woehr, Dr. Dobb's Journal, July, 1994 (part 1) and August, 1994 (part 2).
  • Seising, Rudolf: The Fuzzification of Systems. The Genesis of Fuzzy Set Theory and Its Initial Applications - Developments up to the 1970s (Studies in Fuzziness and Soft Computing, Vol. 216) Berlin, New York, [et al.]: Springer 2007.

External links[edit]

Zadeh's PhD students