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David J. Dewitt

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David J. DeWitt’s widespread impact on database technology includes developing new architectures and performance analysis metrics and creating one of the world’s leading academic research groups. Dr. DeWitt led the evolution of database architectures by developing many of the algorithms used in parallel database systems and by building their prototypes. His Gamma database represented a move toward using an array of general-purpose computers working in parallel to process data instead of special-purpose “database machines.” Today’s commercial parallel systems can be traced back to the Gamma database.

He also pioneered the idea of multimedia and object-oriented databases that can handle digital images, audio, video and Internet content. Dr. DeWitt developed the benchmarks that have become the standard performance metrics for the industry. The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s database group of the Computer Science Department was founded by Dr. DeWitt, and the group has produced some of the top names in the field. He is currently a Technical Fellow, Microsoft Jim Gray Systems Lab, Madison, Wisconsin.