Michael Stonebraker, serial database genius, brings home Turing Award


Michael Stonebraker, the database prodigy who could also be rightfully called a serial entrepreneur, to borrow an overused phrase, on Wednesday won the A.M. Turing Prize, computer science’s highest award.

Now an adjunct professor at MIT CSAIL (the university’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory), Stonebraker pioneered many key database concepts since his days as an undergraduate at Princeton University and later at the University of Michigan. Before joining MIT he was a professor of computer science at the University of California at Berkeley for nearly 30 years.

Stonebraker founded or helped found Ingres, an early SQL database now known as Actian; PostgreSQL, still of the most popular open-source databases around; Streambase an event-processing database that is now part of Tibco; and Vertica, which Hewlett-Packard purchased in early 2011.

His latest effort, Tamr, aims to apply both machine learning and good old-fashioned human know-how to make sense…

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