Sanjay Ghemawat

Sanjay Ghemawat (born 1966 in West Lafayette, Indiana)[1] is an Indian American[2] computer scientist and software engineer. He is currently a Senior Fellow at Google in the Systems Infrastructure Group.[3][4] Ghemawat's work at Google, much of it in close collaboration with Jeff Dean,[5] has included big data processing model MapReduce, the Google File System, and databases Bigtable and Spanner. Wired have described him as one of the "most important software engineers of the internet age".[5]

Sanjay Ghemawat
Born1966 (age 52–53)
Known for
Scientific career
ThesisThe Modified Object Buffer: A Storage Management Technique for Object-Oriented Databases (1995)
Doctoral advisors

Education and early career

Ghemawat studied at Cornell University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).[3] He obtained a PhD from MIT in 1995, with a dissertation titled, The Modified Object Buffer: A Storage Management Technique for Object-Oriented Databases. His advisors were Barbara Liskov and Frans Kaashoek.[6]

Before joining Google, Ghemawat worked at the DEC Systems Research Center. There he began his long-time collaboration with Jeff Dean, who worked at another DEC research lab nearby. Their work at DEC included a Java compiler and a system profiling tool.[5]

Career at Google

After DEC was acquired by Compaq, many of its researchers left the company. Dean took a position at the newly founded search engine company Google, and was joined by Ghemawat in 1999. The two began working on Google's core infrastructure, which was having to deal with the search engine's rapid growth in popularity in the early 2000s.[5]

Among others, the projects he's worked on include:

  • MapReduce, a system for large-scale data processing applications.
  • Google File System, is a proprietary distributed file system developed to provide efficient, reliable access to data using large clusters of commodity hardware.
  • Spanner, a scalable, multi-version, globally distributed, and synchronously replicated database
  • Bigtable, a large-scale semi-structured storage system.
  • TensorFlow, an open-source machine-learning software library.

Awards and honors

Ghemawat was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2009,[2] and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016.[7] In 2012, he and Dean received the ACM Prize in Computing for their work on internet infrastructure.[2][3][4]

Selected publications

  • Ghemawat, Sanjay; Gobioff, Howard; Leung, Shun-Tak (2003). "The Google File System". Proceedings of the Nineteenth ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles. SOSP '03. New York, NY, USA: ACM: 29–43. doi:10.1145/945445.945450. ISBN 1581137575.
  • Dean, Jeffrey; Ghemawat, Sanjay (January 2008). "MapReduce: Simplified Data Processing on Large Clusters". Commun. ACM. 51 (1): 107–113. doi:10.1145/1327452.1327492. ISSN 0001-0782.
  • Chang, Fay; Dean, Jeffrey; Ghemawat, Sanjay; Hsieh, Wilson C.; Wallach, Deborah A.; Burrows, Mike; Chandra, Tushar; Fikes, Andrew; Gruber, Robert E. (June 2008). "Bigtable: A Distributed Storage System for Structured Data". ACM Trans. Comput. Syst. 26 (2): 4:1–4:26. doi:10.1145/1365815.1365816. ISSN 0734-2071.
  • Dean, Jeffrey; Ghemawat, Sanjay (January 2010). "MapReduce: A Flexible Data Processing Tool". Commun. ACM. 53 (1): 72–77. doi:10.1145/1629175.1629198. ISSN 0001-0782.
  • Corbett, James C.; Dean, Jeffrey; Epstein, Michael; Fikes, Andrew; Frost, Christopher; Furman, J. J.; Ghemawat, Sanjay; Gubarev, Andrey; Heiser, Christopher (August 2013). "Spanner: Google's Globally Distributed Database". ACM Trans. Comput. Syst. 31 (3): 8:1–8:22. doi:10.1145/2491245 (inactive 2018-01-26). ISSN 0734-2071.
  • Abadi, Martín; Agarwal, Ashish; Barham, Paul; Brevdo, Eugene; Chen, Zhifeng; Citro, Craig; Corrado, Greg S.; Davis, Andy; Dean, Jeffrey (2016-03-14). "TensorFlow: Large-Scale Machine Learning on Heterogeneous Distributed Systems". arXiv:1603.04467 [cs.DC].


  1. ^ "The Friendship That Made Google Huge". New Yorker. 2018-12-10. Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  2. ^ a b c "Google's Sanjay Ghemawat Co-Winner of Computer Award". India West. 2013-04-09. Retrieved 2017-12-16.
  3. ^ a b c "Sanjay Ghemawat – ACM Prize in Computing". Award Winners. Association for Computing Machinery. Retrieved 2017-12-16.
  4. ^ a b "ACM And Infosys Foundation Honor Google Developers For Innovations That Transformed Internet-Scale Computing". Infosys. Retrieved 2017-12-16.
  5. ^ a b c d Metz, Cade (2012-08-08). "If Xerox PARC Invented the PC, Google Invented the Internet". WIRED. Archived from the original on 2017-12-07. Retrieved 2017-12-16.
  6. ^ "Sanjay Ghemawat". The Mathematics Genealogy Project. Department of Mathematics, North Dakota State University. Retrieved 2017-12-16.
  7. ^ "Membership". American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 2017-12-16.
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2017: Nickolai Zeldovich, MIT

2016: Antony Rowstron, Microsoft Research (Cambridge)

2015: Yuanyuan Zhou, UCSD

2014: Eddie Kohler, Harvard University

2013: Stefan Savage, UCSD

2012: Jeff Dean and Sanjay Ghemawat, Google

2011: Miguel Castro, Microsoft Research

2010: Robert Tappan Morris, MIT

2009: Eric Brewer, UC Berkeley/Google

2008: Peter Druschel, MPI

2007: Peter M. Chen, University of Michigan

2006: Dawson Engler, Stanford University

2005: Thomas E. Anderson, University of Washington

2004: Brian N. Bershad, University of Washington/Google

2003: Mike Burrows, Google

2002: Mendel Rosenblum, Stanford University

2001: Frans Kaashoek, MIT

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