I frequently attended Zadeh’s seminar in the 1990s.
I often saw him in the Gourmet Ghetto.
Once, I heard him give a talk on “computing with words” that I thought was far fetched.
Now that is what I am working on – like every contract, warranty, legal papers, birth certificate, license, degree,… that keep the economy and society functioning.
Zadeh has a unique view shaped by a Muslim father, Jew mother, and Christian education and admiration for American missionaries.
born in Azerbaijan to an Iranian Azerbaijani father and a Russian Jewish mother, Fanya Korenman, who was a pediatrician from Odessa. In 1931, when Zadeh was ten years old, his family moved to Tehran in Iran, his father’s homeland. Zadeh was enrolled in Alborz College, a Presbyterian missionary school.
Zadeh says that he was “deeply influenced” by the “extremely decent, fine, honest and helpful” missionaries from the United States who ran the college. “To me they represented the best that you could find in the United States – people from the Midwest with strong roots. They were really ‘Good Samaritans’ – willing to give of themselves for the benefit of others. So this kind of attitude influenced me deeply. It also instilled in me a deep desire to live in the United States.”
During this time, Zadeh was awarded several patents. Despite being more fluent in Russian than in Persian, Zadeh sat for the national university exams and placed third in the entire country
Professor in the Graduate School, Computer Science Division Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720 -1776
Director, Berkeley Initiative in Soft Computing (BISC)
The basic ideas underlying soft computing in current incarnation have links to many earlier influences, among them Prof. Zadeh’s 1965 paper on fuzzy sets; the 1973 paper on the analysis of complex systems and decision processes; and the 1979 report on possibility theory and soft data analysis. BISC Program is the world-leading center for basic and applied research in soft computing. The principal constituents of soft computing (SC) are fuzzy logic (FL), neural network theory (NN) and probabilistic reasoning (PR), with the latter subsuming belief networks, evolutionary computing including DNA computing, chaos theory and parts of learning theory. Some of the most striking achievements of BISC Program are: fuzzy reasoning (set and logic), new soft computing algorithms making intelligent, semi-unsupervised use of large quantities of complex data, uncertainty analysis, perception-based decision analysis and decision support systems for risk analysis and management, computing with words, computational theory of perception (CTP), and precisiated natural language (PNL).