Abstract: This Turing Award talk intermixes a bicycle ride across America during the summer of 1988 with the design, construction and commercialization of Postgres during the late 80’s and early ‘90’s. Striking parallels are observed, leading to a discussion of what it takes to build a new DBMS. Also, indicated are the roles that perseverance and serendipity played in both endeavors.
Dr. Stonebraker has been a pioneer of data base research and technology for more than a quarter of a century. He was the main architect of the INGRES relational DBMS, and the object-relational DBMS, POSTGRES. These prototypes were developed at the University of California at Berkeley where Stonebraker was a Professor of Computer Science for twenty five years. More recently at M.I.T. he was a co-architect of the Aurora/Borealis stream processing engine, the C-Store column-oriented DBMS, the H-Store transaction processing engine, the SciDB array DBMS, and the Data Tamer data curation system. Presently he serves as Chief Technology Officer of Paradigm4 and Tamr, Inc.
Professor Stonebraker was awarded the ACM System Software Award in 1992 for his work on INGRES. Additionally, he was awarded the first annual SIGMOD Innovation award in 1994, and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1997. He was awarded the IEEE John Von Neumann award in 2005, and is presently an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at M.I.T, where he is co-director of the Intel Science and Technology Center focused on big data.