His name may not be as familiar to the average layperson as Marie Curie, Thomas Edison, or Albert Einstein. But Dr. Lotfi Zadeh, winner of the 2009 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Electrical Engineering, is joining an elite group that includes these and other men and women whose groundbreaking work in science, technology, and engineering has earned them one of the prestigious Franklin Institute Awards.
To honor Dr. Zadeh, the inventor of fuzzy logic, the College of Engineering’s Center for Advanced Communications (CAC) and the Franklin Institute are cosponsoring a workshop titled “Fuzzy Logic and Its Applications” on April 22 in the Connelly Center. Dr. Zadeh himself will cap the lineup of distinguished speakers from academia and industry. In addition to the presentations, the event includes breakfast, lunch, and a tour of the CAC’s labs. It is open to the public but requires registration.
“We were eager to bring this workshop to campus because it provides students and faculty with an opportunity to interact with the scientists responsible for launching and advancing the field, especially the medalist,” said Dr. Moeness Amin, Director of the CAC and a member of the Franklin Institute's Committee on Science and the Arts.
According to the citation, Dr. Zadeh is being recognized “for his invention of fuzzy sets and pioneering research in soft computing—new paradigms for solving problems in control systems, decision networks, artificial intelligence, and neural systems.” Dr. Zadeh has been affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley, since 1959. He published his first paper on fuzzy logic in 1965, providing a basis for a qualitative approach to the analysis of complex systems in which linguistic, rather than numerical, variables are used to describe system behavior and performance. Fuzzy-logic applications range from car engine control and video camera image stabilization to earthquake prediction and document archiving.