by Manel Abdellatif and Zarah Khanidahaj,
PhD candidates at Polytechnique School of Montreal
Lotfi Ali Zadeh is the inventor of Fuzzy Logic despite long years of opposition.
In 1942, Dr Zadeh received an electrical engineering degree from the University of Tehran. But instead of taking the comfortable route and becoming a professor in Iran, he was determined to emigrate to the United States where he got a Master degree from MIT in 1946 and PhD from Columbia University in 1949. His choice was due to the limited research opportunities in his native country and his passion for the scientific research.
The idea of fuzzy logic came in July 1964. It took several years to be widely spread and accepted in the scientific community. An estimated 3,000 patents have been applied for and 1,000 granted. The Japanese, with 2,000 scientists involved in Fuzzy Logic, incorporated Fuzzy Logic in the design of consumer products, such as household appliances and electronic equipment.
The personality of Ali Zadeh had an important part in his final success. Zadeh never refused to discuss his ideas. He never tried also to tempt people to abandon their own opinions and ideas while of course discussing them. He also ignored all the denunciations voices: "Fuzzy theory is wrong, wrong, and pernicious," said William Kahan, a highly regarded professor of computer sciences and mathematics at the University of California at Berkeley in 1975.
Moreover, Dr Zadeh was surrounded by people of all races, religions and countries, and today the community of researchers in fuzzy logic as well as fuzzy methods is spread all over the world.
Trillas, E. (2011). Lotfi A. Zadeh: On the man and his work. Scientia Iranica, 18(3), 574-579.