Professor Lotfi Zadeh is a legend in his own time. He is the inventor of “Fuzzy Logic,” a theory now widely used in many disciplines and environments, particularly as it pertains to development and manufacturing of computer hardware, software, and robotics. Those who know this theory know that it is much to do with math, technology, and, well, logic. In my non-technical state, the best way for me to describe Fuzzy Logic is to say that it revolves around not the black and white areas of “absolute” in matters, but around the thousand shades of grey in between, and how to describe, quantify, and utilize them. No wonder even students of philosophy are among those doing research on his theory. He is originally from Baku, Azarbaijan, but spent 14 years in Iran between the ages of 10 and 24, when he graduated from Tehran Technical University. He is now 86 years old, a Professor Emeritus at Berkeley’s Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department, and continues to work, research, and speak at conferences worldwide. In addition to his credentials, he holds 26 honorary doctorate degrees from universities all over the world. This man and his lovely wife, Fay, are my friends. He is funny and full of life, appearing dapper and dressed in European style clothing. He speaks many languages, including a sweet and fluent Farsi. He tells short, funny stories and has a mind which is sharp as a blade. We spend our time talking about the world, politics, and life in general. His approach to life and its many dimensions is astounding. He forgets nothing, and remembers everything. He tells short and meaningful stories and shares his bittersweet take on issues. Tonight he told me a funny story. Being a Russian himself, many of his stories are about Russians. He said a Russian runs into his friend. His friend is walking awkwardly and obviously in pain. He asks him why he is walking that way and his friend says: “It’s because my shoes are too tight.” The first man asks why his friend wouldn’t consider wearing shoes in his own size. He says: “Well, you see, recently I went bankrupt. Then my wife died. My son is a gangster now and my daughter is a prostitute. The only joy and relief I feel in my life is when I go home and take off these tight shoes.” His anecdote represents a clear and sound mind, the one that gave “Fuzzy Logic” to the world. There is nothing fuzzy about Lotfi. There is no fuzziness to the way I feel, honored and special when I grab my chopsticks, eat, and enjoy my time next to Lotfi and Fay. Life is clear and meaningful tonight. I don’t feel fuzzy tonight. http://www.iranian.com/Shorts/2007/march2007.html#5

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