Systems, Man & Cybernetics - July 2015 - 45

thus return to serious research and
biology, neurophysiology, econodevelopment at the highest scienmetrics, operations research and
Zadeh submitted
tific levels. The fact that IT had
other fields. [47, p. 856f]
been applied successfully in so
Zadeh became a protagonist of
his paper "Fuzzy
many fields (the concepts of inforthe system-theoretical approach in
Sets" to the editors
mation, entropy, and redundancy
EE. In 1963, together with Desoer,
of Information
were even being used in psycholhe published Linear System Theoogy, economics, and the social sciry: The State Space Approach [48],
and Control in
ences) was good news, but it also
which became a standard textbook.
November 1964, and
obscured the abstract meaning
In 1969, together with Elijah Lucian
of these terms: "Indeed, the hard
Polak (born 1931), he edited the
it was published the
core of IT is essentially a branch of
volume System Theory [54]. In his
following June.
mathematics, a strictly deductive
contribution to this volume, "The
system" [32].
Concepts of System, Aggregate, and
Shannon was pushing back
State in System Theory," Zadeh prea ga i n st t he i nterd i scipl i na r y
sented the state space approach.
expansion of his mathematical theory and thus against
In an interview, Zadeh recalled, "System theory became
Wiener's cybernetics as well. He concluded by calling
grown up, but then computers took over. In other words,
upon the future authors of the journal to publish only
the center of attention shifted...So, before that, there were
the clearest and the best efforts: "Research rather than
some universities that started departments of system
exposition is the keynote, and our critical thresholds
sciences, departments of system engineering, something
should be raised" [32].
like that, but then they all went down. They all went down
Three months later, Wiener took the opportunity to
because CS took over" [29].
respond. His plea was similarly, "Back to the roots!" He
could not avoid-for the sake of the old argument over
Many Values in Princeton
priority-referring to the different opinions on the roots
At the end of the 1940s, Zadeh moved from MIT to Columof the theory. His editorial had as its title the question
bia University, but he remained very close to Guillemin,
"What Is Information Theory?" The reader was informed
both personally and professionally. They were in agreein the first sentence that Shannon and Wiener ought to
ment on many points regarding technical issues of combe considered the founders of IT, the second sentence
munication engineering and were both vociferous in their
concurred with the statement in Shannon's earlier forecalls for a greater mathematical foundation for EE in
word that IT was not a magic key, and this third sentence
research and teaching. When different specialties began
followed: "I am pleading in this editorial that IT go back
to emerge within EE in the 1950s, various professional
to its slogans and return to the point of view from which
groups were formed within the tradition-rich IRE, which,
it originated: that of the general statistical concept of
at the time, also published its own transactions.
communication" [37].
The first volume of IRE Transactions on Circuit Theory
With references to the statistical character of the mechanwas published in December 1952, and its editorial board
ics of Josiah Willard Gibbs (1839-1903) and quantum theory
included Guillemin and Zadeh. A special issue on Fouthat dominated physics as a whole, Wiener also placed IT in
rier integral papers was published in September 1955.
this overall context: "What I am here entreating is that comGuillemin, who had been an early and vocal proponent of
munication theory be studied as one item in an entire context
incorporating the Fourier integral theory into the EE curof related theories of a statistical nature and that it should
riculum, took on the task of writing an introduction to this
not lose its integrity by becoming a special vested interest
field [12], while Zadeh, together with the mathematician
attached to a certain set of slogans and clich├ęs" [37].
Kenneth Sielke Miller, coauthored a paper about the generWiener was clear in his dismissal of Shannon's purism:
alization of the Fourier integral [19].
I hope that these transactions may encourage this
The contributions to the Symposium on Information
integrated view of communication theory by extendTheory, which was held in September 1950, were published
ing its hospitality to papers which, while they bear on
in February 1953 in the first edition of IRE Transactions
communication theory, cross its boundaries, and
on Information Theory. Shannon and Wiener were memhave a scope covering the related statistical theories.
bers of the founding editorial board of this new journal,
In my opinion, we are in a dangerous age of overspeand, in March and June 1956, each wrote an editorial to
cialization." [37]
demonstrate his own view about this new technological
Shannon's entreaty to concentrate on the core of IT paintdiscipline. Under the title "The Bandwagon," Shannon
ed him into a scientific corner; it was much more desirable
called for readers to bear in mind that, despite all the
for the statistically based IT to draw from as many scienpopularity that IT had enjoyed over the previous few
tific areas as possible.
years, it was not a "universal remedy" and that they should
Ju ly 2015

IEEE Systems, Man, & Cybernetics Magazine

45



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Systems, Man & Cybernetics - July 2015

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