Michael Stonebraker. Photo: M. Scott Brauer/MIT News
Michael Stonebraker. Photo: M. Scott Brauer/MIT News

Michael Stonebraker started working with big data long before anyone called it that. Now the MIT adjunct professor is receiving what’s known in the field as the “Nobel Prize in Computing,” the Association for Computing Machinery’s (ACM) A. M. Turing Award, for his career of “fundamental contributions to the concepts and practices underlying modern database systems.”

In the 1970s, Stonebreaker developed one of the first relational database management systems, called Ingres (Interactive Graphics Retrieval System). He introduced an object-relational database system, known as Postgres, in the 1980s. Although Stonebraker commercialized some of his work, he also released open source versions, allowing others to build upon them.

“Michael Stonebraker’s work is an integral part of how business gets done today,” ACM president Alexander L. Wolf said in a press release. “Moreover, through practical application of his innovative database management technologies and numerous business start-ups, he has continually demonstrated the role of the research university in driving economic development.”

Stonebraker has been involved in the creation of nine companies, including Tamr, which he cofounded in 2013. Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Tamr offers solutions for cataloguing, connecting, and curating data from a range of sources.

Stonebraker will accept the Turing Award—which he calls “every computer scientist’s dream”—at the ACM’s annual banquet on June 20 in San Francisco.

Read more at MIT News.

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