Google’s Mentor found dead. Tribute to innovation.

Rajeev Motwani, a Stanford University computer science professor, who played a mentor to Google founders’ Sergey Brin and Larry Page, died in a swimming accident at his home in Palo Alto, California on June 5.
Stanford University said the 47-year-old professor apparently drowned on Friday at his home in Atherton, and his friends told the school news service he did not know how to swim.

Motwani’s work using algorithms to search vast computer databases, like the Internet, is celebrated in Silicon Valley.
Hats off to all the mentors of innovators of the industry. We cannot forget the effort they made towards getting things simpler for us.

Sergey Brin wrote in his recent post, “In addition to being a brilliant computer scientist, Rajeev was a very kind and amicable person and his door was always open. No matter what was going on with my life or work, I could always stop by his office for an interesting conversation and a friendly smile.” He added, “Even though I was just one of hundreds of graduate students in the department, he always made the time and effort to help. Later, when Larry and I began to work together on the research that would lead to Google, Rajeev was there to support us and guide us through challenges, both technical and organizational.”

Condolences from common people as well as those who knew Motwani personally have been pouring on the web. Rajeev Motwani was born in Jammu & Kashmir, India. According to Stanford University website, Motwani completed his B.Tech in Computer Science from IIT Kanpur and then achieved a Ph.D. in Computer Science from U.C. Berkeley.

“Officially, Rajeev was not my advisor, and yet he played just as big a role in my research, education, and professional development,” Brin wrote on his blog. “In addition to being a brilliant computer scientist, Rajeev was a very kind and amicable person and his door was always open. No matter what was going on with my life or work, I could always stop by his office for an interesting conversation and a friendly smile.”

When Brin’s research turned to data mining, Motwani helped coordinate regular meeting groups, Brin said.

“Later, when Larry and I began to work together on the research that would lead to Google, Rajeev was there to support us and guide us through challenges, both technical and organizational,” he wrote.

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

Dave Morin, a senior platform manager at Facebook, also blogged about Motwani.

“Rajeev was a heralded mentor, advisor and investor to countless startups in Silicon Valley and many related to the work we do at Facebook with Facebook Platform. Not to mention his inspiration in the beginnings of Google,” Morin wrote.

David Hornik, a partner at August Capital, wrote in his own blog post that you “would be hard pressed to find a more connected or more informed professor, technologist or investor than Rajeev Motwani. He worked tirelessly, meeting anyone and everyone who requested an audience with him.”

Long live innovation and inspirers. It’s a Big loss for the innovation in the industry, unfortunately, theres no Undo here.

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