Lotfi Zadeh was a Persian computer scientist, mathematician, and artificial intelligence researcher. He is best known for proposing fuzzy mathematics that consists of fuzzy logic, fuzzy algorithms, fuzzy information, fuzzy events, fuzzy languages, and much other fuzzy stuff.
The concept of fuzziness occurred to Lotfi Zadeh in 1964 when he was left alone in his parent’s apartment in New York with a canceled dinner plan. Once the concept hit him, it didn’t take him long to put all his thoughts together and write and finally publish a paper on it. Here are seven facts about Lotfi Zadeh, the Father of Fuzzy.
1. Lotfi Zadeh Met His Wife in a Missionary School
When Lotfi Zadeh was ten, his family moved to Tehran, Iran and he was enrolled in Alborz High School, a mission school. He studied in that school for eight years and further, met his future wife there. Fay Zadeh, his wife, commenting on the same said that Lotfi Zadeh was deeply influenced by the missionaries who ran the college.
2. Lotfi Zadeh Was One of the Three Students to Graduate in 1942
In 1942, Lotfi Zadeh graduated with a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Tehran. Surprisingly, only three students graduated that year. It was because the educational sector was deeply affected by the turmoil created by World War II. The World War ultimately led to the invasion of Iran.
3. Lotfi Zadeh Created a New Middle Name
Lotfi Zadeh soon moved to the United States to complete his education at MIT. When he was in the United States, he decided to shorten the family name and in the process, he ended up creating a new middle name from the part of the name that he previously removed. He then became popularly known as Lotfi Aliasker Zadeh. He received his MS degree in electrical engineering in 1946.
4. Lotfi Zadeh Is Also an Alumnus of Columbia University
After getting his MS degree from MIT, Lotfi Zadeh moved to Columbia University to complete his Ph.D. in electrical engineering and he received his doctoral degree in 1949. The very next year, he became an assistant professor at Columbia University and taught there for ten long years and he was also promoted to full professor in 1957.
5. Lotfi Zadeh Didn’t Believe in Nationalism
Lotfi Zadeh shrugged off nationalism when asked about it. He said that there are many other deeper issues in life. While explaining the same he said that it didn’t matter whether he was an American, Russian or Iranian because he has been influenced by the people and culture of these nations and he is comfortable that way. He described himself as “an American mathematically oriented, electrical engineer of Iranian descent and born in Russia.”
6. A Report That He Died Was Released One Month Before His Actual Death
Lotfi Zadeh died on 6 September 2017 in his home situated in Berkeley, California at the age of 96. Many highly respectable people attended his funeral. A month before his actual death, the University of Tehran mistakenly published a report about his death, which was withdrawn several days later.
Azerbaijani-American engineer & professor Lotfi Zadeh invented “fuzzy logic,” a mathematical concept applied in technology like:
🚉 A Japanese subway system
🚙 Anti-skid technology in cars
💻 Cybersecurity software
— Google Doodles (@GoogleDoodles) November 30, 2021
7. His work is Highly Cited
Lotfi Zadeh’s work has received a high number of citations. According to Google Scholar, as of November 2021, his work received a total number of 269,091 citations. His paper alone on Fuzzy sets received 122,743 citations.
Recently, he was honored by Google Doodle too. Google Doodle celebrated Lotfi Zadeh on his 57th anniversary of the concept creation of Fuzzy Logic. While honoring him, Doodle demonstrated his concept as an alternative to Boolean logic. Fuzzy logic is now widely used in academia and industry dealing with economic modeling, medicine, and consumer products.