Database expert honored for contributions to field

Associate dean named fellow of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

Tuesday, Dec 03, 2019 • Herb Booth : UT Arlington Media Relations

Gautam Das, a professor in UTA’s Computer Science and Engineering Department
Gautam Das

Gautam Das, associate dean for research in the College of Engineering at The University of Texas at Arlington, has been named a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Das, who also is the Distinguished University Chair Professor in the Computer Science and Engineering Department, has been at UTA since 2004. He was cited for his contributions to search and ranking in databases and to deep web querying.

“I’m elated at this honor,” said Das, who previously worked at Microsoft Research. “It’s really a recognition of not just me, but my mentors at Microsoft and here at UTA, and of course my collaborators and students.

“I feel good that our work has led to many more people looking at the problems of data management, and I’m proud that as my students worked alongside me, they gained knowledge and skills that allowed them to get great jobs after graduation.”

Das has worked extensively on DBXplorer, a software system that has defined the modern approach to keyword searches in databases. His paper on DBXplorer received the IEEE International Conference on Data Engineering’s 10 Most Influential Papers Award in 2012 and has been widely cited by researchers worldwide.

A second major thrust of his research is the use of statistical sampling and approximation techniques in databases. This allows researchers to get an overview of trends or issues within data sets in a short amount of time, instead of the enormous amount needed to fully scan massive databases for exact figures.

In 2018, Das was one of two general chairs of the Association of Computing Machinery SIGMOD Conference, the annual flagship international forum for database researchers, practitioners, developers and users. Since arriving at UTA, he has helped author more than 50 published studies.

“Gautam has long been recognized as one of the brightest minds in database research, and being named an IEEE fellow is a well-deserved achievement,” said Peter Crouch, dean of the College of Engineering. “The importance of big data analysis is clear from the sheer volume of information that is being generated and collected every minute, and Gautam’s efforts are making it faster and more efficient.”

Das is the 15th current College of Engineering professor to be honored as an IEEE fellow. The others are Zeynep Çelik-Butler, Catrina Coleman, James Coleman, Crouch, George Kondraske, Wei-Jen Lee, Frank Lewis, Qilian Liang, Robert Magnusson and K.R. Rao in electrical engineering; Ishfaq Ahmad, Bill Carroll and Hong Jiang in computer science and engineering; and Khosrow Behbehani in bioengineering. Purnendu “Sandy” Dasgupta, UTA’s Jenkins Garrett Professor of Chemistry, is also an IEEE fellow.

IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. It has more than 421,000 members in over 160 countries and is a leading developer of international standards that are the basis of many telecommunications, information technology, and power-generation products and services. IEEE and its members inspire a global community through its highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards and professional and educational activities.

Fewer than one-tenth of 1% of IEEE members worldwide are selected as fellows in any year. Fellow status is awarded to individuals who have “an extraordinary record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest.”

Written by Jeremy Agor, College of Engineering