Joseph Goguen

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Joseph Goguen in 2004.

Joseph Amadee Goguen (28 June 1941 – 3 July 2006) was a computer science professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of California, San Diego, USA, who helped develop the OBJ family of programming languages. He was author of A Categorical Manifesto and founder[1] and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Consciousness Studies. Standard implication in product fuzzy logic is often called "Goguen implication".[2]

Goguen received his Bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University in 1963, and his PhD in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1968, where he was a student of the founder of fuzzy set theory Lotfi Zadeh.[3] He taught at UC Berkeley, the University of Chicago and University of California, Los Angeles, where he was a full professor of computer science.[4] He held a Research Fellowship in the Mathematical Sciences at the IBM Watson Research Center, where he organized the "ADJ" group. He also visited the University of Edinburgh in Scotland on three Senior Visiting Fellowships.

From 1979 to 1988, Goguen worked at SRI International in Menlo Park, California. From 1988 to 1996, he was a professor at the Oxford University Computing Laboratory (now the Oxford University Department of Computer Science) in England and a Fellow at St Anne's College, Oxford.

Goguen's research interests included category theory (a branch of mathematics), software engineering, fuzzy logic, algebraic semantics, user interface design, algebraic semiotics, and the social and ethical aspects of science and technology. He also studied the philosophy of computation and information, formal methods (especially hidden algebra and theorem proving), and relational and functional programming. With Rod Burstall he developed the theory of institutions, a category-theoretic description of logical systems in computer science. He wrote a retrospective of his work, Tossing Algebraic Flowers Down the Great Divide.[5]

Goguen was a practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism. Specifically, since the early 1970s he was a student of Chögyam Trungpa and, after his death in 1986, of his son Sakyong Mipham.[1] During the late 1970s and early 1980s, he was a faculty member of the science program at the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado.


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  1. ^ a b Burstall R.: My friend Joseph Goguen. In K. Futatsugi et al. (Eds.): Goguen Festschrift, Springer-Verlag, Lecture Notes in Computer Science 4060:25–30, 2006.
  2. ^ Hájek P.: Metamathematics of Fuzzy Logic. Kluwer, Dordrecht, 1998, sect. 2.1. ISBN 0-7923-5238-6.
  3. ^ Zadeh L.A.: Joseph Amadee Goguen (1941–2006)—A personal tribute. Fuzzy Sets and Systems 158:809–810, 2007. doi:10.1016/j.fss.2007.01.001
  4. ^ Goguen, Joseph (October 23, 2005). "Brief Biography of Joseph Goguen". University of California, San Diego, USA. Retrieved September 26, 2011. 
  5. ^ Goguen, J. A., Tossing Algebraic Flowers Down the Great Divide, University of California, San Diego, USA.

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