University Professor M. Tamer Özsu receives 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award in Computer Science

Friday, February 15, 2019

University Professor M. Tamer Özsu has received the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award in Computer Science from CS-Can/Info-Can. Conferred annually since 2014, these prestigious national awards recognize faculty members in departments, schools and faculties of computer science who have made outstanding and sustained achievement in research, teaching and service. 

photo of University Professor M. Tamer Özsu

“Congratulations on your tremendous recognition and achievement of a CS-Can/Info-Can Lifetime Achievement Award,” wrote Hausi Muller and Carey Williamson, Co-Chairs 2018 CS-Can/Info-Can Awards Committee in their letter. “You are joining an illustrious group of previous Lifetime Achievement Award winners.”

“Congratulations to Tamer,” said Mark Giesbrecht, Director of the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science. “This prestigious recognition by his peers is richly deserved for the many research contributions Tamer has made to computer science in general and data management systems in particular, as well as his countless contributions to the Cheriton School of Computer Science and the university community.”

The 2018 awards will be presented at the annual CS-Can/Info-Can Awards Dinner, which will be held on June 3, 2019 at McGill University as part of group’s annual meeting. 

Professor Özsu is the seventh faculty member in the Cheriton School of Computer Science to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from CS-Can/Info-Can, following Distinguished Professor Emeritus Don Cowan (2017 recipient), Professor Emeritus Ric Holt (2017 recipient), Distinguished Professor Emeritus Janusz (John) Brzozowski (2016 recipient), University Professor J. Ian Munro (2016 recipient), Distinguished Professor Emeritus Alan George (2015 recipient), and Distinguished Professor Emeritus Frank Tompa (2015 recipient).

About University Professor M. Tamer Özsu

Professor M. Tamer Özsu, University Professor in the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, 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 accomplished researchers and industry leaders.

Professor 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 as a pioneer in distributed data management, a field he has contributed to and shaped since its early days. Important advances 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, Professor 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 modelling, query processing, and end-user applications.

Professor Özsu’s research accomplishments have been lauded at the highest levels, including recognition as a Fellow in the Royal Society of Canada, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association for Computing Machinery, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He is an elected member of the Science Academy in 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, Professor Özsu’s dedication to serving the profession and the community has benefitted countless students and colleagues. 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, 4,100-page collection. Within the University of Waterloo, Professor Özsu has had a transformative impact on computer science research and education, serving as Director of the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science (2007–10) and Associate Dean of Research for the Faculty of Mathematics (2014–17).

Professor 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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