I am deeply saddened to inform the database community that Prof. Rajeev Motwani passed away Thursday night in a swimming pool accident at his home. He will be remembered by the large number of professional colleagues, faculty colleagues, and students whose education and lives have been enriched tremendously by his.
A tremendous loss for the theory community as well. Rajeev Motwani had an incredible publication record particularly in algorithms, wrote major textbooks, served our community well and was a true bridge between theory and practice. He received the Gödel prize in 2001 for the PCP paper. We lost one of the great ones.
Update: Suresh, one of Rajeev's former students, writes a very nice personal remembrance.