(Dec. 18, 2013) -- The "Father of Fuzzy Logic" paid a visit to The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Main Campus yesterday after being honored at the third annual World Conference on Soft Computing in downtown San Antonio. Soft computing giant Lotfi A. Zadeh met with President Ricardo Romo, and they exchanged books with one another.
At age 92, Zadeh is a mathematician, electrical engineer, computer scientist, researcher and professor who is most well known for his breakthrough discovery of fuzzy set theory, which is used widely today in many commercial and scientific applications.
Fuzzy logic allows individuals to program computers so they can mimic the imprecise way humans make decisions. This technology is now found in many real-life applications and commercial products including cars that virtually drive themselves, washing machines that automatically pick the right wash cycles and water temperature, and HVAC systems that adjust the temperature based on the number of people in a room.
Despite the advances in technology that uses fuzzy logic and artificial intelligence, Zadeh says human reasoning and emotions are very difficult to capture and machines are not even close to replacing humans.
"Machines can give the impression that they understand, but they don't really understand," he said. "The human mind is capable of doing many things that would be impossible for a robot to mimic. For example, a computer can compose music but is incapable of composing interesting and beautiful music like Tchaikovsky and other great composers."
The third annual World Conference on Soft Computing drew participants from 18 nations to hear keynote presentations from eight scholars on soft computing and to honor Lotfi A. Zadeh and his wife, Fay Zadeh. The conference was co-hosted by UTSA, the Republic of Azerbaijan Ministry of Communication and Information Technology and the Azerbaijan Technical University.
Mo Jamshidi, UTSA Lutcher Brown Endowed Distinguished Chair Professor in electrical and computer engineering, was responsible for dedicating the conference to Zadeh and inviting him to San Antonio.
The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus
This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus
Graduate student uses storytelling to highlight important issues facing children
As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.
At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.
Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.
With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.
Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.