University Professor M. Tamer Özsu receives 2024 IEEE TCDE Education Award

Thursday, March 14, 2024

University Professor M. Tamer Özsu has received the 2024 IEEE Technical Committee on Data Engineering Education Award for his fundamental contributions to data management and data science pedagogy. One of four prestigious annual awards conferred by IEEE TCDE, the Education Award recognizes database researchers who have made an impact on data engineering education, including impact on the next generation of data engineering practitioners and researchers.

“I am pleased to extend my congratulations to Tamer on his receiving the 2024 IEEE TCDE Education Award,” said Raouf Boutaba, Professor and Director of the Cheriton School of Computer Science. “His scholarly and pedagogic contributions to distributed data management in particular and computer science in general over his career have inspired countless colleagues and students alike.” 

University Professor Özsu’s award will be presented at ICDE 2024, the 40th IEEE International Conference on Data Engineering, which will be held in Utrecht, Netherlands from May 13 to 17.

photo of University Professor M. Tamer Özsu

M. Tamer Özsu, a University Professor at the Cheriton School of Computer Science, has received many prestigious awards and international academic acclaim over his career. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Asia-Pacific Artificial Intelligence Association (AAIA), and the Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA). He is also a Life Fellow of Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He is an elected member of the Science Academy, Türkiye, and a member of Sigma Xi.

He received the 2022 IEEE Innovation in Societal Infrastructure Award, 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award from CS Can | Info Can, and in 2020 was named a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Tsinghua University, a title awarded to scholars of the highest international reputation. In 2021, he was named a Cheriton Faculty Fellow for the third time.

About University Professor Öszu’s research and teaching

University Professor Özsu is an academic polymath, an accomplished researcher and dedicated teacher who has shaped the field of databases, data management and data science. He is a pioneer and world leader in distributed data management, a field he has contributed to, analyzed and elucidated to generations of computer science students and researchers since its early days. 

The consummate academician, University Professor Öszu has merged his research on database systems with computer science education. Perhaps the most poignant examples of this fusion are his textbooks, his leadership as editor for several educational series, and most recently his role in articulating and defining data science as a newly emerging discipline. 

The Principles of Distributed Database Systems, a textbook he coauthored with Patrick Valduriez and now in its fourth edition, has received more than 5,100 citations to date according to Google Scholar. The book, which covers fundamental theories and techniques and algorithms of distributed database systems, continues to play a critical role in educating generations of database students. With each revision, the content is updated to reflect the latest innovations in databases and computer science. The latest version includes material on NoSQL, MapReduce, Spark and blockchains, and covers the breadth and depth of the field from a modern perspective. The pedagogical impact of this textbook on students all over the world cannot be overstated.

University Professor Özsu has served as founding editor-in-chief of two book series. He founded the Synthesis Lectures on Data Management in 2009 as a major outlet for short manuscripts that discuss important emerging topics. During his tenure, the series published more than 45 books. He stepped down from his position with this series in 2013 to start the ACM Books series, which he built into a major operation. By 2019, the series had published 28 major books with another 30 under contract. These manuscripts and books have educated young and veteran researchers on the latest emerging topics. Computer science is a rapidly evolving field, where students and researchers alike need to understand the latest innovations. University Professor Özsu understands this need and has been instrumental in identifying emerging topics as well as the most relevant experts who are knowledgeable to articulate the foundations of these topics in monographs that are deep, concise and informative.

With Ling Lui, University Professor Özsu edited the Encyclopedia of Database Systems, now in its second edition, which provides easy access to crucial concepts relevant to all aspects of very large databases, data management, and database systems, including areas of current interest and research results of historical significance. This encyclopedia meets the needs of researchers, professors, graduate and undergraduate students in computer science and engineering. This valuable reference also benefits those in industry, from database specialists to software developers, in understanding and appreciating the latest innovations that will directly impact their designs and innovations.

University Professor Özsu’s latest pedagogical endeavour is to define and scope the emerging field of data science. He recently articulated the foundations of his vision in a 2023 Communications of the ACM article titled Data Science: A Systematic Treatment, where he defines the foundations and scope of data science as a scientific field. His presentation is systematic and pedagogical with the goal of helping institutions and governments understand this new and emergingly critical field. He emphasizes the technical aspects of data engineering and analytics while bringing much needed attention to data privacy and data ethics. The presentation is comprehensive, defines the field and elicits further discussions among educators and researchers at this critical time when many universities are exploring new data science majors.

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