Person: Motwani, Rajeev
Rajeev Motwani was an Indian-born American computer scientist whose research focused on theoretical computer science and is known for his contribution to the Google search engine.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Rajeev would read books of all types, including novels, comics, autobiographies and scientific books.
- The principal, Brother J N Foley, was so impressed with Rajeev's performance, particularly in mathematics, that he admitted all three Motwani boys to the High School.
- Motwani began studying for his B.Tech.
- Motwani enjoyed himself at the Indian Institute of Technology.
- Motwani was awarded a Ph.D. in 1988 by Berkeley for his thesis Probabilistic Analysis of Matching and network flow Algorithms.
- Donald Knuth visited Berkeley around the time that Motwani was completing his thesis.
- After taking advice from Richard Karp, Knuth offered Motwani a one-year position at Stanford University.
- Motwani accepted and began teaching at Stanford in the autumn of 1988.
- We were both young researchers and Rajeev struck me from the beginning as brilliant, very knowledgeable, and having broad interests.
- Soon after arriving in Stanford, Motwani met Asha Jadeja who had moved to the San Francisco Bay area after graduating from the University of Southern California.
- Motwani was happy at Stanford and the University was very pleased with his work during the year, so when they offered him a permanent position he was happy to accept.
- But whereas there have been several books on parallel computation (though fewer good ones), Motwani and Raghavan's is the first textbook, to the best of the reviewer's knowledge, devoted to randomised algorithms.
- Motwani used this book in courses he taught at Stanford and he had made such excellent contributions to the areas that he was invited to join the two original authors in a rewritten second edition of the book.
- Motwani was an inspiring lecturer.
- Rajeev could be covering the contents of a few serious research papers in one lecture but in his presentation, understanding them was both effortless and insightful.
- Perhaps Motwani is most famous for the contributions he made to developing the search engine Google.
- Motwani, together with Sergey Brin, Larry Page and Terry Winograd, published the paper The PageRank Citation Ranking: Bringing Order to the Web in 1998.
- Google was certainly not the only highly successful startup that Motwani assisted, with his technical skills, with his encouragement, and often with his financial support.
- Motwani died in a tragic drowning accident in the swimming pool at his home.
- Motwani received many honours for his outstanding contribution and it is clear that, but for his premature death, he would have received many more.
Born 26 March 1962, Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir, India. Died 5 June 2009, Atherton, San Mateo County, California, USA.
View full biography at MacTutor
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Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive