Jim Gray

Jim Gray (James Nicholas Gray) was born January 12, 1944, and was lost at sea off the northern California coast while sailing on January 28, 2007. Jim was one of world’s most distinguished computer scientists. His numerous contributions to the field of database systems were recognized with membership in the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the European Academy of Science. He was also a fellow of both the ACM and IEEE. In 1999 Jim was awarded the ACM A.M. Turing Award for his seminal contributions to our understanding of the concept of transactions and their implementation.

Jim’s pioneering research on transactions at IBM in the 1970s provides the foundation for today’s world of electronic commerce. Every time someone uses an ATM, reserves a seat on an airplane, or purchases an item on the web, they are relying on the mechanisms that Jim first developed. These techniques insure that the “right” thing always happens – even in the presence of software and hardware failures. While they seem second nature to us today, when Jim conceived of them they required very deep insight into the complexities of concurrently executing queries against a shared database system.

This scholarship is available only to those students currently enrolled as a Computer Science or Computer Engineering major here at the University of Washington.