Last week, IBM honored database giant Pat Selinger by creating a Ph.D. Fellowship in her name. I worked with Pat closely for many years at IBM and much of what I learned about database management systems was from Pat during those years. She was a one of the original members of the IBM System R team and is probably best known as the inventor of the cost based optimizer. Access Path Selection in a Relational Database Management Systems is a paper from that period that I particularly enjoyed.
From the IBM press release:
Pat Selinger IBM Ph.D. Fellowship: awarded to an exceptional female Ph.D. student worldwide with special focus on database design and management
Pat Selinger IBM Ph.D. Fellowship
Dr. Pat Selinger was a leading member of the IBM Research team that produced the world’s first relational database system and established the basic architecture for the highly successful IBM DB2 database product family. Her innovative work on cost-based query optimization for relational databases has been adopted by nearly all relational database vendors and is now taught in virtually every university database course. In 1994, Dr. Selinger was named an IBM Fellow — an honor accorded only to the top 50 technical experts in IBM — and in 2004, she was inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame.
An ACM Queue interview with Pat: A conversation with Pat Selinger.
It’s great to see IBM actively supporting engineering education, particular encouraging female engineers, and recognizing Pat Salinger’s contribution to the commercial and academic database community.