Lifetime Achievement Awards | 2018

Tamer Özsu

David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science
University of Waterloo

Tamer Özsu

Professor M. Tamer Özsu, University Professor in the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo, is distinguished for his outstanding and sustained contributions to computing over the course of his career, encompassing not only research but service as well. He has contributed to fundamental advances in the field of databases and data management, provided leadership in professional and academic communities to which he belongs, and mentored countless students, many of whom have become quite accomplished themselves.

Dr. Özsu’s research on data management has two broad themes: distributed data management and application of database technology to interesting application domains with complex data management requirements, with frequent interplay between these themes. He is recognized axs a pioneer in distributed data management, a field he has contributed to and shaped since its early days. Important advances by Dr. Özsu include the earliest understanding of distributed concurrency control algorithms. His book, “Principles of Distributed Database Systems”, is the standard graduate textbook on this topic and is used worldwide. Over the years, Dr. Özsu has examined new application domains and extensions of relational data management techniques, including semi-structured data such as XML and very large graphs, multimedia spatio-temporal data, and stream data. In each of these cases, he is responsible for advances in data modeling, query processing, as well as end-user applications.

Dr. Özsu’s research accomplishments have been widely lauded at the highest levels, including recognition as a Fellow in the Royal Society of Canada, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He is an elected member of the Science Academy, Turkey. He holds the rank of University Professor at the University of Waterloo, the highest distinction awarded to faculty, for exceptional scholarly achievement and international pre-eminence.

Beyond research, Dr. Özsu’s dedication to serving the profession and the community has benefitted countless students and colleagues around him. Among his most notable activities include chairing ACM SIGMOD (the primary professional organization of database professionals) for two terms, representing CACS/AIC on the CRA Board, serving for 15 years on the ACM Publications Board, serving as a trustee of the Endowment for Very Large Databases (VLDB) and as the editor-in-chief of the VLDB journal. He co-edited the “Encyclopedia of Database Systems”, a five volume, 4100-page collection. He currently serves on the Board of CS-Can/Info-Can. Within the University of Waterloo, Dr. Özsu has had a transformative impact on computer science research and education at Waterloo, serving as Director of the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science (2007-2010) and Associate Dean of Research for the Faculty of Mathematics (2014-2017).

For all his accomplishments, Dr. Özsu remains ever accessible to students and colleagues, his office door always open, greeting visitors with a friendly smile and ready to dispense nuggets of wisdom accumulated over his long, illustrious career. His successes serve as an inspiration to all computer scientists, both in Canada and around the world.

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