IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Magazine - July 2018 - 46

and visited Berkeley. He was always
very encouraging and supportive,
and, gradually, we became friends. In
some plenaries, he cited my results
presented earlier in the Soda Hall. I
keep several "relics," including gifts
from him, and I dearly remember when
he and Fay attended my 50th birthday celebration in Honolulu.
-Laczlo T. Koczy
A Man by Any Other Name...
Lotfi!
The name for me means a superior
life. A life dedicated to science, Nobel
Prize-level achievements in science,
a man of vision and initiatives, the
paterfamilias of the worldwide fuzzy
family, a kind person, and a very good
friend of mine. After our long-term
personal cooperation and his collaboration on the scientific life of Óbuda
University, Budapest, Hungary, he
became an honorary member of the
university and received the Honorary
Citizen Award in 2004.
In 2011, the senate of Óbuda University awarded Prof. Zadeh the doctor honoris causa-the honorary
doctor title of Óbuda University for
his outstanding work in the sciences,
pioneering conceptualization of fuzzy
sets and fuzzy logic, and constant
commitment to strengthening the global network of the fuzzy community.
The ceremony was transmitted via
the Internet to Budapest, allowing
the senate and doctoral council of the
university to take part in the event.
-Imre Rudas
The Color Whisperer
Imagine that everyone saw the world
in black and white. Then, a quiet and
gentle man innovated the color pencil. At first, it was so strange and
different that it was rejected. But
he kept on working, redrawing the
world in color. Finally, after years of
being the color whisperer, his ideas
spread to surround the planet. Now,
everyone uses color, but few even
know the name of the gentle spirit
who caused the transformation. Prof.
46

neighbor was his daughter Stella. My
wife and I became friends with Stella
and her husband, and we followed the
tragedy of her cancer. We spoke to
her husband frequently and followed
her transfer to the Mayo Clinic, where
-Anthony Nolan
she sadly pa ssed away. We have
now lost contact with her husband,
Stand by Me
who has remarried and, while he still
It was in Hawaii in 1984 when I first
practices law, has a second career as
met the great scientist, Prof. Zadeh,
a fiction writer.
where I presented my
Prof. Zadeh was a
talk on my first fuzzy
genius and a gentlelogic chip in analog
His works, ideas,
man, and I am fortucurrent mode. Since
nate to have known
then, I had been supand patents
him as a colleague
ported by him to difhave penetrated
and friend. I believe
fuse the importance
almost every
that his contributions
of fuzzy hardware
to engineering that
systems, especially
aspect of our
made it possible to
the several types of
lives, from smart
design imprecise sysfuzzy logic chips,
tems in an optimum
fuzzy controller, fuzzy
cameras to the
way are still not fully
computer, and more.
smooth transappreciated. Most
Prof. Zadeh used to
mission of cars,
people don't realize
stand by me to prothat he also had a
vide support and sugelevators, home
mar velous sense of
gestions for every
appliances,
humor. I recall sitting
important opportuwith him and a small
nity, such as estabGoogle searches,
group of friends while
lishing the national
and more.
he kept us laughing
fo u n dation, Fuzzy
for hours with endLogic Systems In less stories; he was
stitute, in 1990 and
a great storyteller and rare human being.
organizing seven international conferences on fuzzy systems (the so-George Bekey
called IIZUKA Conference) from 1988
to 2000 in Iizuka, Japan.
A Visionary and Inspiration
I first met Prof. Zadeh when I was a
-Takeshi Yamakawa
novice Ph.D. degree student at the
1992 World Automation Congress in
Genius and Gentleman
Santa Fe, New Mexico. Back then,
My wife and I were living in Encino,
fuzzy logic was big in Japan, and Prof.
a suburb of Los Angeles, in the San
Zadeh was traveling the world introFernando Valley of California when
ducing his grand vision everywhere.
a new couple moved in next door.
He was a true visionary, respected
Both houses had mailboxes at the
academician, and great inspiration
street; our houses were on a hillside,
to many of us who followed in his
set back from the street. One day,
footsteps. However, his revolutionwhen I went to check for mail, the
ary ideas also had their critics, which
new lady from next door was also
Prof. Zadeh took with great humilthere at her mailbox. I introduced
ity. Perhaps this was another lesson
myself and, when I shared details
to be learned from this great man.
about my work, she said, "Oh, my
It always amazed me how he could
father is also a professor of electrisimply introduce a new concept or
cal engineering. Maybe you've heard
word, only to be followed by so many
of him; his name is Lotfi Zadeh." My
Zadeh kept innovating, teaching, and
mentoring others and sharing with
whoever asked, because he knew he
was making the world a better place.

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



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