Dr. Michael Stonebraker

An academic at heart, an entrepreneur with a focused, pragmatic worldview

Staring Into the Abyss

An Evolution of Concurrency Control with One Thousand Cores, a whitepaper from Michael Stonebraker, talks about how computer architectures are moving towards an era dominated by many-core machines with hundreds of cores on a single chip. Read More

Stonebraker Says: Why VoltDB Is 100 Times Faster

This is insight straight from the source! Professor Michael Stonebraker of MIT, co-founder of VoltDB and “father of the modern relational database” explains why traditional database wisdom is outdated. Read More

Stonebraker Says: Traditional Rdbms Wisdom Is All Wrong

The first in a series of educational webcasts presented by Michael Stonebraker. In this session, he takes a critical look at the conventional wisdom behind OLTP RDBMSs and presents the case for modern in-memory architecture. Read More

Bringing Big Thoughts to Market

Some people think big thoughts – Ted Codd’s relational model for database management is an exemplar. Some people make things. But very few people both think big thoughts and make big things – companies, products, and high-value services. Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, and Thomas Edison spring to mind. They created (in some cases, are still creating) value for society, investors and academia.

And then there’s Mike Stonebraker: an academic at heart, an entrepreneur with a focused, pragmatic worldview.

Stonebraker Through the Years

Stonebraker, whose resume includes 29 years at the University of California and 14 years (and counting) at MIT, has launched nine companies in that time. Beginning with Ingres, he moved on to launch Postgres, then on to Streambase (now Tibco) and Vertica (acquired by HP).

From C-Store to H-Store and VoltDB

The research that lead to Vertica (C-Store) was followed by research on H-Store. VoltDB is the commercial version of H-Store; it revolutionized data management with a number of insights: move the application/processing to the data for speed; pair SQL with an ACID relational model to ease application development, improve the results of queries, and provide businesses with operational control; process all data in-memory; and transact on streams of data in memory – during the transaction.

Stonebraker sat down with O’Reilly’s Mike Hendrickson to talk about winning the ACM's A.M. Turing Award; the future of data science; and the importance — and difficulty — of data curation. Listen to the podcast.

ACM A. M. Turing Award

Stonebraker’s continuous stream of ideas, made into commercial products, is un-matched in the data management world. The ACM, on awarding Stonebraker the 2014 A.M. Turing Award, said it best:

"Michael Stonebraker has made fundamental contributions to database systems, which are one of the critical applications of computers today and contain much of the world's important data. He is the inventor of many concepts that were crucial to making databases a reality and that are used in almost all modern database systems."

Stonebraker Says: Pay Attention to the Real World

For those of us who work in Stonebraker companies, there’s much to celebrate about Mike’s Turing award. Integrity of vision, clarity of implementation, ability to move an idea to viable product: Stonebraker has spent his life thinking about things, then making them happen. In his words:

I would encourage academics to pay attention to the real world, at least in those fields where the ultimate arbiter is real-world applications.