IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Magazine - July 2018 - 42

Tribute

by Mo Jamshdi, Thomas Kailath, Vladik Kreinovitch,
Bijan Tadayon, Saeid Tadayon, James Tien, Rafik Alieve,
Witold Pedrycz, Laczlo Koczy, Imre Rudas, Anthony Nolan,
Takesh Yamakawa, George Bekey, and Mohammad Akbarzadeh-T

Celebrating the Life
of Lotfi A. Zadeh

thick skin and take all your comments
with compliments."
He received more than 35 honorary doctorate degrees and numerous
honors and awards from countries
around the world, including Japan,
The Distinguished Father of Fuzzy Logic Passes Away
the United States, the Soviet Union,
at Age 96
Russia, Azerbaijan, and Iran. He was
also a member of many academies,
among other honors, and more than
30 technical journals bear his name
Columbia
for
the
University
of
Calirof. Lotfi Zadeh, creator of
as honorary editor. In 2011, at age 90,
fornia (UC) at Berkeley, he was a
the field of fuzzy systems and
he published the concept of Z-numwell-established full professor and
many of its branches, passed
bers to add a degree of uncertainty to
scientist in electrical circuits and sysaway on 6 September 2017 at his
the numerical value of
tems engineering.
home in Berkeley, California. Prof.
fuzzy numbers, which
Prof. Zadeh always
Zadeh was born in Baku in the Soviet
was patented in 2013.
thought outside of the
Union (now Azerbaijan) in 1921 to an
That patent was an
box and created numeIranian-Azari father (Rahim Asgharim petus to create a
rous theor ies in his
Zadeh) from Ardebil, Iran, and a Russtartup company, Zfields of expertise. His
sian mother (Fanny Asgharzadeh)
Advanced Computing,
early contr ibutions
from Moscow. When he was ten years
in Potomac, Maryland.
were in circuits and
old, the family moved to Tehran,
Approximately 30,000
systems theor ies at
where the young Zadeh went to the
p a t e nt s h a ve b e e n
both Columbia and UC
American Missionary School (now
filled in the United
Berkeley. In the early
Alborz High School) and learned
States alone based on
19 6 0 s , h e r e a l i z e d
English and Farsi. Later, after graduhis theories of fuzzy
that his knowledge of
ating, he entered the University of
systems, computing
systems engineering Lotfi a. zadeh
Tehran's Daneshkadeh Fanni (School
with words, Z-numbers,
lacked a role for the
of Engineering). After graduation,
and more. His works, ideas, and pathuman being and its reasoning. In
he worked for the U.S. Army in Tehents have penetrated almost every as1965, he published the article "Fuzzy
ran during World War II. In 1944,
pect of our lives, from smart cameras
Sets," where he introduced knowlhe moved to the United States and
to the smooth transmission of cars,
edge-based linguistic mathematics,
attended the Massachusetts Instielevators, home appliances, Google
e.g., the values "short" or "tall" for
tute of Technology in Cambridge. He
searches, and more.
height. These words are known as
went on to receive his M.S. and Ph.D.
Over the last few years, old age
fuzzy variables. He unveiled a new
degrees in electrical engineering from
caught up to Prof. Zadeh, and his wife
way of looking at uncertainty simiColumba University in New York.
Fay Zadeh's (Sand's) passing several
lar to, but not the same as, probability
On 20 March 1946, during Nowruz,
months ago was unbearable to him.
theory. Naturally, he was confronted
he married Fay Sand, the daughter of
The loss of Prof. Zadeh is a great one
with scientists and engineers who
a Latvian immigrant in Tehran. Prof.
to humanity and the science of artilooked at systems theory in an exact,
Zadeh started his academic career
ficial intelligence (AI) and systems
binary manner versus his fuzzy set,
at Columbia University, New York,
and control engineering. Fields like
which can take on infinite values bein 1949, and by 1959, when he lef t
systems engineering, computer scitween false (zero) and true (one). He
ence, mathematics, and more have
accepted
all
criticisms
with
a
grain
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/MSMC.2018.2833898
lost a giant in those fields. I express
of salt a nd used to say, "I have a
Date of publication: 18 July 2018

P

42

IEEE SyStEmS, man, & CybErnEtICS magazInE July 2 0 1 8



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Magazine - July 2018

Contents
IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Magazine - July 2018 - Cover1
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IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Magazine - July 2018 - Contents
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IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Magazine - July 2018 - Cover3
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