• Oct 2, 1930
    (b.) -
    Apr 29, 1985


A pioneer in) the field of pattern recognition (within computer image analysis) and machine intelligence, he is considered to be the “father of automatic pattern recognition”, and is widely recognized for his extensive contributions to the field. He was responsible for contributing a deep theoretical foundation to the area by pointing out the basic similarity between recognizing the patterns in pictures or other data and recognizing the patterns in an English sentence. Building on this idea, he formulated the concept of a grammar for patterns, which led to the area of syntactic and semantic pattern recognition. Syntactic pattern recognition is a form of pattern recognition, in which each object can be represented by a variable-cardinality set of symbolic, nominal features. This allows for representing pattern structures, taking into account more complex interrelationships between attributes than is possible in the case of flat, numerical feature vectors of fixed dimensionality, that are used in statistical classification. It can be used instead of statistical pattern recognition if there is clear structure in the patterns. Born in Nanking, China (now Nanjing), one of China's historical capitals, he received his B.S. degree from National Taiwan University in 1953. He received his M.A. degree from the University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada in 1955, and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois in 1959. After holding positions at Seattle University he joined the faculty of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana in 1960; first as Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering. He was rapidly promoted to Associate Professor, then Professor; and in 1975, he was named the W. M. Goss Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering. He was associated with the founding of the Laboratory for Applications of Remote Sensing (LARS) at Purdue. He and others organized the First International Conference for Pattern Recognition (ICPR) in 1973 and he served as its Chairman. The Conference later evolved into the formation of the International Association for Pattern Recognition by 1976 and he was elected as its President. He reorganized the Pattern Recognition Committee, serving as its first Chairman in 1974, which led to the founding of the IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence (TPAMI). He served as its first Editor-in-Chief in 1978. He gave invited lectures in China almost every year for decades; and in 1978 he was a Member of the Academia Sinica (the national academy of Taiwan) headquartered in the Nangang District of Taipei. He was instrumental in establishing the Microelectronics and Information Science and Technology Research Center at the National Chiao Tung University in 1984. Among his many honors were: election to membership in the National Academy of Engineering in 1976; he received the Senior Research Award of the American Society for Engineering Education in 1981; and he was awarded the IEEE's Education Medal in 1982. In addition, he was a Fellow of the IEEE, and in 1971 he was a Guggenheim Fellow. In honor of the memory of Professor King-Sun Fu, The International Association for Pattern Recognition (IAPR) gives the biennial King-Sun Fu Prize to a living person in the recognition of an outstanding technical contribution to the field of pattern recognition. The first King-Sun Fu Prize was presented in 1988, to Azriel Rosenfeld. Among his works are: in 1968, “Sequential Methods in Pattern Recognition”, Academic; in 1970, “Sequential Methods in Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning”, New York: Academic; in 1974, “Syntactic Methods in Pattern Recognition”, New York: Academic; in 1980, “Statistical Pattern Classification Using Contextual Information”, Wiley and in 1982, “Syntactic Pattern Recognition and Applications”, Prentice-Hall. He died of a heart attack in April 1985 in Washington, D.C. He was survived by his wife and three children.
  • Date of Birth:

    Oct 2, 1930
  • Date of Death:

    Apr 29, 1985
  • Noted For:

    Pioneer in the field of pattern recognition (within computer image analysis) and machine intelligence
  • Category of Achievement:

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