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Genrich Altshuller
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Genrich Altshuller

Genrich Saulovich Altshuller (October 15, 1926 - September 24, 1998) was born in Tashkent. He created the Theory of Solving Inventive Problems (TRIZ), in English called Theory of Inventive Problem Solving -- TIPS. Working as a clerk in a patent office, Altshuller embarked on finding some generic rules that would explain creation of new, inventive, patentable ideas. During one of the Stalin's purges he was imprisoned for political reasons and continued his studies with his fellow inmates while in a prison camp. After his release, Altshuller settled in Baku, Azerbaijan. He worked as a publicist, essayist, and a science fiction writer.

A full-fledged TRIZ movement developed among Russian engineers and other technically inclined people by the 1970s, and Altshuller played the role of its intellectual leader. He lectured at TRIZ congresses, published articles and books and corresponded with various TRIZ practitioners. He became the founding member and the president of the Russian TRIZ Association. A number of his close friends and students have become the most prominent thinkers and teachers of the movement, popularizing TRIZ in Russia and abroad.

Altshuller left Baku in early 1990s amidst post-Soviet-breakup violence in the area. He settled in Petrazovodsk (in north-eastern Russia) with his wife, Valentina Nikolaevna Zhuravleva, and granddaughter. As a result, Petrazovodsk became the center of the TRIZ Association. He died in 1998 because of Parkinsonism complications.