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Database Pioneer Michael Stonebraker Wins ACM Turing Award, Computing “Nobel Prize”

Michael Stonebraker, a database pioneer and a serial entrepreneur, won the 2014 ACM Turing Award (which carries $1 million prize) for fundamental contributions to the concepts and practices in modern database systems.

By Gregory Piatetsky, @kdnuggets, Mar 25, 2015.

Michael Stonebraker Michael Stonebraker, a database pioneer who turned many of his ideas into practice, won the 2014 ACM Turing Award for fundamental contributions to the concepts and practices underlying modern database systems.

The ACM citation says
Michael Stonebraker has made fundamental contributions to database systems, which are one of the critical applications of computers today and contain much of the world's important data. He is the inventor of many concepts that were crucial to making databases a reality and that are used in almost all modern database systems. His work on Ingres introduced the notion of query modification, used for integrity constraints and views.

His later work on Postgres introduced the object-relational model, effectively merging databases with abstract data types while keeping the database separate from the programming language. Stonebraker's implementations of Ingres and Postgres demonstrated how to engineer database systems that support these concepts; he released these systems as open software, which allowed their widespread adoption and their code bases have been incorporated into many modern database systems.

Since the pathbreaking work on Ingres and Postgres, Stonebraker has continued to be a thought leader in the database community and has had a number of other influential ideas including implementation techniques for column stores and scientific databases and for supporting on-line transaction processing and stream processing.

Stonebraker was a Professor at Berkeley for 29 years, where he developed the influential Ingres and Postgres relational database systems. Currently he is an adjunct professor at MIT CSAIL where he has been involved in the development of the Aurora, C-Store, H-Store, Morpheus, and SciDB systems. He is also co-founder and co-director of the Intel Science and Technology Center for Big Data at MIT.

Stonebraker turned his research into practice and was a founder of many successful and influential companies, including Ingres, Illustra, Cohera, StreamBase Systems, Vertica, VoltDB, Tamr and Paradigm4.

The ACM Turing Award, widely considered the "Nobel Prize in Computing," carries a $1 million prize with financial support provided by Google.

Recently I attended several of Michael's talks and his presentations were usually the highlight of every meeting - always insightful, interesting, and brilliantly presented the core issues. I am surprised it took ACM so long!

Here are some of his recent presentations :