It's pretty easy to figure out who was responsible for the Fourier
transform, ditto for the Laplace.
Does anybody out there know who dreamed up the z transform (Please tell
me it wasn't someone named 'Z')?
Wescott Design Services
"The techniques of the z-transform method are not new, for
they can be actually traced back as early as 1730 when
DeMoivre introduced the concept of the 'generating function'
(which is actually identical to the z-transform) to
Jury, E. I., Theory and Application of the z-Transform
Method, (c) 1964, John Wiley & Sons, New York, Page 1.
References at the end of Chapter 1 show:
 Helm, H. A., "The z-Transformation," B.S.T. Journal, Vo
38, No. 1, 1956, pp 177-196
 Lago, G. V., "Additions to z-Transformation Theory for
Sampled-Data Systems," Trans. AIEE Vol. 74, Part II, 1955,
His name actually _ends_ with z: Witold Hurewicz, in 1947. It was named
in 1952 by a sampled-data control group at Columbia University, one of
who's grad student members taught a course at CCNY a year or two later
that I audited and promptly forgot.
Complex variables have been known since the time of Cauchy in the 18th
century - remember all those contour integrals? You mean for engineering
applications I presume? Also sampled systems were known in stats by
Whittaker in the 1920s I think in Edinburgh who also discovered the sampling
theorem.I also heard (in this newsgroup) that it was Prof Zadeh who coined
the term z-transform though he did not name it Z after his own name.
Nyquist -- Swedish -- 1927
Kotelnikov -- Russian
Zhukovskii (Joukowski) -- Russian
In mathematics today the conformal mapping of the complex
plane z z + 1/z is called the Joukowski transformation.
This gave Zhukovskii :-
... a means of designing aerofoils using conformal
mappings and the techniques of complex variables. Those
Joukowski aerofoils were actually used on some aircraft, and
today these techniques provide a mathematically rigorous
reference solution to which modern approaches to aerofoil
design can be compared for validation.
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Complex variables are a bit removed from difference equations. The
analysis of sampled data was cumbersome until Hurewitz simplified it.
Like many other simple ways to look at something, you can find lots of
antecedents once it is isolated. (Special relativity is implicit in
Maxwell's Treatise. Maxwell masked it with "aether".)
Hurewicz was Polish, but born under the Czar's rule.
"Witold Hurewicz's father was an industrialist. Witold attended school
in a Russian controlled Poland but with World War I beginning before he
had begun secondary school, ..."
"A method for solving linear, constant-coefficient difference
equations by Laplace transforms was introduced to graduate engineering
students by Gardner and Barnes in the early 1940s. They applied their
procedure, which was based on jump functions, to ladder networks,
transmission lines, and applications involving Bessel functions. This
approach is quite complicated and in a separate attempt to simplify
matters, a transform of a sampled signal or sequence was defined in 1947
by W. Hurewicz as
[not reproduced here]
which was later denoted in 1952 as a "z transform" by a
sampled-data control group at Columbia University led by professor John
R. Raggazini and including L.A. Zadeh, E.I. Jury, R.E. Kalman, J.E.
Bertram, B. Friedland, and G.F. Franklin.
"The Hurewicz equation is not expressed in the same way as the z
transform we have introduced -- it is one-sided, and it is expressed as
a function of the sampled data sequence f rather than the complex number
z -- but the relationship is clear, and the applications were similar
from the beginning. So perhaps the z transform should really be called
the "Hurewicz transform".
"In any case, it is presumably not an accident that the z transform was
invented at about the same time as digital computers."
Make of this what you will. I first heard if Hurewicz in 1953 or so,
from an instructor who joked that symbolic logic is just "Booleshit".
Don't confuse him with Hurwitz.
It was I who asked Julius Kasuma (by the way, what's
happened to Julius?) to ask Prof. Zadeh if the
z-transform (created by Zadeh and his colleagues at
Columbia University years ago) was named after Zadeh himself.
Julius was a grad student at Berkeley at the time of my
question and Prof. Zadeh was also at Berkeley.
Julius approached the professor & according to Julius,
Prof. Zadeh said they used the letter
"z" because that letter wasn't typically used for anything
else (like "e" for voltage, "i" for current, "R" for
resistance, etc.) in electral engineering.
He formalized the already known results (due to Whitaker, Kotelnikov,
Hartley, and Nyquist) and mentions at the front of one of his papers on
sampling that these ideas are known to anyone skilled in the art. But he is
the one that connects them together in a formal sense. Also he goes on to
define entropy (as applied to information and not thermodynamics) and then
provides both the noiseless and noisy coding theorems, both of which are
"A Mathematical Theory of Communication" A must read for DSPers
I got into this thread late: but it wasn't Laplace that invented the
S-transform: it was Olover Heavaside. It's sometimes called the
Pure mathematicians rejected his work because of a lack of proof to
their expected standards but engineers used it becuase it worked.
Engineers still use Heaviside Functions albeit modified to conform more
to the pure mathematicians Laplace transform.
Hilbert Transforms were ofcourse developed by Hilbert and the Dirac
delta by Dirac. Hilbert incidently had developed relativity before
Einstein: Einstein who had read Hilberts papers simply 'gazzumped' him
to publication and has been reaping the publicity since.
The "delta function" came before Dirac, but it was little known. He
popularized the concept and showed how useful it can be to applications in
Really? Which aspects of relativity theory did David Hilbert invent?
Most detailed histories of almost any scientific activity show that
there was someone who did some piece of work and another who later
realized that it had a much broader scope. The recognition tends
to go to the worker who realizes the importance.
All of the Maxwell equations were know before Maxwell but they had
not been collected into a system to provide a common example of this.
Einstein's special relativity used the known Lorentz transformation.