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Lotfi Zadeh: Google Doodle celebrates Azerbaijani-American mathematician and pioneer of fuzzy logic theory

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Google Doodle celebrates world-renowned Azerbaijani-American mathematician Lotfi Zadeh (Lütfi Rəhim oğlu Ələsgərzadə; لطفی زاده‎), a computer scientist, electrical engineer, artificial intelligence researcher, on November 30, 2021.

Who was Lotfi Zadeh?

Lotfi Zadeh Lütfi Rəhim oğlu Ələsgərzadə لطفی زاده
Lotfi Zadeh

Lotfi Aliasker Zadeh was born on February 4, 1921, in Baku, Azerbaijan SSR, as Lotfi Aliaskerzadeh. Lotfi Aliasker Zadeh (Lütfi Rəhim oğlu Ələsgərzadə; لطفی علی‌عسکرزاده was a mathematician, computer researcher, electrical engineer, artificial intelligence scientist and professor emeritus of computer science at the University of California, Berkeley.

The Soviet government at this time courted foreign journalists, and the family lived well while in Baku. Zadeh went to elementary school for three years there.

In 1931, when Zadeh was ten years of age, his family moved to Tehran in Iran, his father’s homeland. Zadeh was joined up with 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.

Regardless of being more fluent in Russian than in Persian, Zadeh sat for the national university exams and set third in the whole country. As a student, he ranked first in his class in his initial two years.

In 1942, he graduated from the University of Tehran with a degree in electrical engineering, one of just three students in that field to graduate that year, because of the turmoil made by World War II, when the United States, Britain, and the Soviet Union attacked Iran.

In 1943, Zadeh decided to emigrate to the United States and made a trip to Philadelphia via Cairo after months of postponing waiting for the appropriate papers or for the right boat to show up. He showed up in mid-1944 and entered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as a graduate student soon thereafter. While in the United States, he changed his name to Lotfi Aliasker Zadeh.

He got an MS degree in electrical engineering from MIT in 1946, and afterward applied to Columbia University, as his parents had settled in New York City. He obtained his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Columbia in 1949 and became an assistant professor the next year.

Zadeh educated for ten years at Columbia was elevated to Full Professor in 1957. In 1959, Zadeh joined the faculty of the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.

For the duration of his life-long research career, Zadeh has made two significant, yet rather distinct, scientific contributions: (1) linear system theory and classical control systems, and (2) fuzzy sets, fuzzy logic, and related science and technology.

Zadeh’s first significant research contribution, notable among researchers of his generation in the Electrical Engineering community, is really in the area of classical control systems.

His pioneer work, co-authored with Charles Desoer, ”Linear System Theory: The State Space Approach” established a critical foundation for all modern approaches to system analysis and control.

The second, and the most notable, contribution of Zadeh’s research is his life-long dedication to the creation, upgrade, and real-world impacts of a wide collection of science and technology that depends on fuzzy sets and fuzzy logic.

He published his seminal work on fuzzy sets in 1965, in which he depicted the inspiration (human-like reasoning) and detailed the mathematics of fuzzy set theory. In 1973 he proposed his theory of fuzzy logic. Together, fuzzy sets and fuzzy logic, give the essential foundations to an expansive class of related innovations.

Zadeh became the Chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley in 1963. He started and finished (in 1968) the transformation of the Department of Electrical Engineering (EE) at UC Berkeley to the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS).

In 1973, Lotfi Zadeh got the lofty (Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers) IEEE Education Award, to a great extent in acknowledgment of his performance as chair of EE and afterward EECS.

Other significant services to UC Berkeley incorporate his Academic Senate committee memberships: Academic Planning & Resource Allocation (1992-95); Committees (1969-70; 1980-81); Courses of Instruction (1975-80); and Faculty Awards (1990-92).

Professor Zadeh graduated more than 50 Ph.D. students, a large number of whom proceeded to become leaders across numerous areas of engineering, management, and the data sciences.

Known as a thoughtful yet brilliant thinker, Zadeh got countless awards all through his career, including an honorary professorship from the government of Azerbaijan in 1993.

Zadeh died in his home in Berkeley, California, on September 6, 2017, at 96 years old. He is buried in the first Alley of Honor in Baku, Azerbaijan, the city where he was born.

Google Doodle for Celebrating Lotfi Zadeh

On November 30, Google featured a Doodle on its home page for celebrating Lotfi Zadeh.

In 1964, while considering how to program software for handwriting acknowledgment, a mathematician, computer scientist and electrical engineer named Lotfi Zadeh imagined a new mathematical technique. His fuzzy logic theory offered an option in contrast to the unbending yes-no logic, trying to copy how individuals see the world.

Fuzzy logic would ultimately be embraced by academia and industry the same, adding to medicine, economic modeling, and consumer products, for example, anti-lock braking, dishwashers, and elevators, to give some examples.

To honor his controversial innovation, Google on Tuesday, 30 November 2021, devoted its Doodle to Zadeh on the 57th anniversary of the concept’s creation.

The Doodle exhibits his concept, showing an option in contrast to the black-or-white Boolean logic, which decides the membership of a given class dependent on one (yes) or zero (no). His theory gave a way to calculate intermediate values between yes and no.

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