Welcoming Remarks – Vladek Kreinovich
Thank you Greg. At this time I’d like to call on Vladik Kreinovich who is president, North American Fuzzy Information Processing Society, which we call NAFIPS. He’s also professor of computer science, University of Texas.
Thank you very much for the introduction and it’s great to be here. Let me say a few words why we have annual conference of the North American Fuzzy Information Processing Society, and this year we decided to make it part of this big Wiener Congress. You may not … Not maybe everybody may be familiar what is the relation. Actually, Professor Lotfi Zadeh, who is the author and the father of fuzzy logic, he worked a lot on Wiener stuff. He was doing a lot of analog reasoning. That was the reason why he came up with the concept of fuzzy logic. At that time there was a kind of controversy, I’m not afraid of this word, between people who were doing analog things like Wiener and people who were doing digital things following logic. Since Lotfi Zadeh was doing his work, he had the tax book written which was very popular at that time and still popular on linear systems and was doing a lot of things on control. He realized that a lot of things can be made much easier and much more adequate if we add continuity to the logic. He came up with the idea of fuzzy logic, where instead of just saying that something is true or false, you take into account the degree of confidence in different statement. We feel that this has kind of helped to bring this, what used to be the controversy, into actually a merger and now whatever you call it, cybernetics, informatics, whatever it is. It’s the joint field where both discrete and continuous things apply. Please attend. The whole purpose is to mix and match. Please, if you’re not familiar with the fuzzy, please attend our talks. We’ll try to attend the talks which are not related to fuzzy. There will be a general meeting on Wednesday, right before the banquet. Instead of just going home, kind of going to the hotel room, please come. There will be a general meeting. The general meeting we vote for the new ideas, we vote for the new members of the board, we will hear announcements about the next conferences and everybody who is here is automatically a member of NAFIPS so you can add this to your resumé, that you’re all now members of North American Fuzzy Information Processing Society. I want to also greet you. It so happened, I am the president. William Melek will be the president right after this conference. He couldn’t attend. He was the one who participated the most. I am the lame duck president for the next three days. He was the one who’s doing all the work. Unfortunately he had to go on family things. I’m also want to welcome you on part of IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society. This is the society which the very word cybernetics means that definitely this is a society that continues to do all the work that initiated by Norbert Wiener and by others. Please participate in the activities. This is a conference sponsored by IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society, and actually a lot of fuzzy research is also sponsored by this society. Usually our NAFIPS conferences are sponsored by this society. This is like an umbrella organization that includes a lot of research, a lot of things that are going here. If I have one more minute?
One more minute.
Okay. As a person originally from Russia, I’m very happy to be here because Russia has a very special relation with Road 128 and with Wiener. In Stalin’s time, Stalin, as you may have heard, was a dictator in Russia at that time. At the end of his life he decided that he knows a lot about science so first he decided the genetics is the wrong science, then cybernetics, he called it a whore of imperialism. Luckily after he died, and Khrushchev came to power cybernetics became very popular. Wiener’s book were published and hundred’s of thousands of copies. There was a journal cybernetics and everything. When Khrushchev came here, most Americans remember Khrushchev came and said, “We will bury you.” In reality he loved everything here. He especially loved the area around Road 128. When he came back, he got a meeting of the Central Committee and he said, “We need to build something like that, where the scientist can work on their research, where the squirrels will just go from one tree to another.” And so they had an area in Novosibirsk in Akademgorodok, where I happened to get my PhD, which everybody knew was patterned after Road 128, with the houses and everything. To see the original, it’s very exciting and it’s very interesting to me. Welcome again and thank you very much for coming.