Saturday, June 06, 2009

Rajeev Motwani

Tragic news from Jennifer Widom via Paul Beame.
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


  1. This is a huge loss. Though I never worked with him, I admired Rajeev immensely. He brought a great perspective to TCS and broadly to all of computer science. Even beyond his own outstanding research contributions and the pedagogy he has left us in his textbooks, Rajeev has left behind an enormous legacy as an outstanding research advisor. Though he is gone, Rajeev's perspective and passion live on in his many superb PhD students who will carry on his influence to future generations of researchers. These students include many of today's leaders in the field and together form one of the most outstanding groups of advisees in the entire history of TCS.

  2. This is surely a great loss, as very few theoreticians can bridge theory with practice like him. His books will be treasured by future generation of computer scientists. It is baffling though, a man so young and at the prime of his career is lost like this.

  3. Sad news. Such a prolific talent and promise taken away so early.Huge loss.

  4. I could not believe the email I received today with this news. Its just extremely sad. Rajeev always had sound and interesting advice for me, whenever I ran into him at a conference. Not only was he a brilliant researcher, he was a great role model for many of us.

    However, the loss is surely devastating for his family. I hope they can find the strength to cope with this tragic loss.

  5. does anybody know what happened?

  6. he drowned in his swimming pool (don't ask me how that's possible)