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One year ago: Rajeev Motwani

June 5, 2010 |  6:45 am

Motwani One year ago, on June 5, 2009, the world lost a father of modern technology. Rajeev Motwani, a computer scientist and Stanford University professor, developed new ways to search enormous databases and was a mentor to the founders of Google. He died by drowning in the pool at his Atherton, Calif., home. Friends said he did not know how to swim and suspected that he slipped and fell into the pool.

After learning of Motwani's death, Google co-founder Sergey Brin wrote on his blog:

"Today, whenever you use a piece of technology, there is a good chance a little bit of Rajeev Motwani is behind it."

Motwani, who grew up in New Delhi, was a specialist in developing ways to filter and organize the endless sea of information on the Internet. His work in the field of algorithms -- the sets of instructions that computers follow to solve a specific problem -- was considered groundbreaking.

Click here to read the obituary Valerie J. Nelson wrote for The Times.

-- Michael Farr

Photo: Rajeev Motwani. Credit: Stanford University