On a History of Fuzzy Sets and Systems

3 Apr 2013
12:00 pm

470 Stephens Hall

Event Type

Rudolf Seising
Adjoint Researcher, European Centre for Soft Computing

“Prof. Dr. Lotfi A. Zadeh, the founder of the theory of Fuzzy sets,
in the 1950s at Columbia University in New York.”


In 1965, Lotfi A. Zadeh, a professor of electrical engineering with the University of California at Berkeley, published the first papers on his new theory of Fuzzy Sets and Systems. Since the 1980s, this mathematical theory of “unsharp amounts” has been applied with great success in many different fields. Thanks not least of all too extensive advertising campaigns for fuzzy-controlled household appliances and to their prominent presence in the media, first in Japan and then in other countries, the word “fuzzy” has also become very well-known among non-scientists. On the other hand, the story of how Fuzzy Set Theory and its earliest applications originated has remained largely unknown. In this project, the history of the theory of Fuzzy Set s and Systems and the ways it was first used will be incorporated into the history of 20th century science and technology. Influences from system theory and cybernetics stemming from the earliest part of the 20th century are considered alongside those of communication and control theory from mid-century.

Prof. Dr. Lotfi A. Zadeh, in his office at UC Berkeley, Soda Hall in August 2012.













Rudolf Seising Rudolf Seising

Fundamentals of Soft Computing
European Centre for Soft Computing Mieres (Asturias), Spain

Short Biography:

Dr. Seising is an Adjoint Researcher at the European Centre for Soft Computing in Mieres (Asturias), Spain. His main areas of research comprise historical and philosophical foundations of science and technology.

After a study of Mathematics and Physics at the Ruhr-University of Bochum (Germany) he obtained his Ph.D. at the Faculty of Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, and Statistics of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich (Germany), with a Thesis on Probabilistic Structures in Quantum Mechanics. At the same university he completed later the German Habilitation in history of science with the thesis: The Fuzzification of Systems: The Genesis of the Theory of Fuzzy Sets and their first Applications – Their Development until the 70s in the 20th century (Springer 2007).

Among other books he edited Views on Fuzzy Sets and Systems from Different Perspectives. Philosophy and Logic, Criticisims and Applications. (Springer 2009), with Veroníca Sanz Soft Computing in Humanities and Social Sciences (Springer 2012), with Enric Trillas, Claudio Moraga and Settimo Termini On Fuzziness (Springer 2013), and with Marco Tabacchi Fuzziness and Medicine: Philosophical Reflections and Application Systems in Health Care (Springer 2013).

Dr. Seising has been Scientific Assistant for computer sciences at the University of the Armed Forces in Munich from 1988 to 1995 and for history of sciences at the same university from 1995 to 2002. From 2002 to 2008 he was with the Core unit for Medical Statistics and Informatics at the University of Vienna Medical School, which in 2004 became the Medical University of Vienna. Since 2005 he is College Lecturer at the Faculty of History and Arts, at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich. From April to September 2008 he was acting as Professor for the history of science at the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena (Germany) and from September 2009 to March 2010 at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich. He has been several times Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley.

Since 2004 he is Chairman of the IFSA Special Interest Group “History” and since 2007, of the EUSFLAT Working Group “Philosophical Foundations”.




This event is sponsored by CSTMS.
Additional sponsorship comes from:  Office for the History of Science and Technology

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