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ACM SIGKDD Innovation Award Honors Yahoo!’s Ramakrishnan

Highest Technical Award Recognizes Pioneering Research in Data Mining

The Association for Computing Machinery
Advancing Computing as a Science & Profession

Contact: Virginia Gold

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Las Vegas, NV, August 20, 2008 -- ACM SIGKDD announced today that Raghu Ramakrishnan of Yahoo! Research is the recipient of its 2008 Innovation Award. Ramakrishnan is recognized for his seminal research on techniques for scaling data mining algorithms to large datasets, and on mining ordered and streaming data. The award will be presented at KDD-2008, the conference hosted by ACM's Special Interest Group on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (SIGKDD) in Las Vegas August 24-27. Following the award presentation on August 24, Ramakrishnan will present the Innovation Award Lecture.

Ramakrishnan's contributions span technical innovation on algorithmic and systems aspects of data mining. His work on scalable data mining algorithms started with BIRCH, which introduced the groundbreaking idea of a cluster feature, a concise summary of a cluster, which became an integral component of further research. Its novelty and importance has made the paper that presented this research one of the highest cited data mining papers in the last decade. He also worked on scalable algorithms for decision tree construction that are still considered state-of-the-art. He developed a general framework for incrementally mining evolving data and measuring change in data streams. His work has introduced a new construct for analysis of ordered data, reflected in the inclusion of WINDOW functions in the SQL language.

In addition to his academic research as Professor of Computer Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ramakrishnan was CTO and Chairman of QUIQ, a company that developed technology for mass collaboration, from 2000 to 2003. With the arrival of Web 2.0, his visionary concept has gained wide acceptance; the QUIQ-powered Ask Jeeves AnswerPoint question-answering portal was the forerunner of similar portals from Amazon, LinkedIn and Yahoo!.

As Chief Scientist for Audience and Cloud Computing at Yahoo!, Ramakrishnan has led research efforts on content optimization, a task that involves selecting the right content to display on a page when a user visits a web portal. He is also leading a project in cloud computing to develop a family of data hosting and analysis services, which will make it easier to conduct data mining on the massive datasets encountered at web-scale.
Ramakrishnan received a bachelor's degree from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras, and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. He was Program Co-Chair of KDD-2000 hosted by ACM's SIGKDD. He served as an Editor-in-Chief of the primary technical journal in the field, Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery, and is an associate editor of ACM Transactions on Database Systems (TODS). He chairs ACM's Special Interest Group on Management of Data (SIGMOD), and sits on the Board of Directors of ACM SIGKDD, and the Board of Trustees of the Very Large Data Base (VLDB) Endowment, which promotes and exchanges scholarly work in databases and related fields throughout the world.

Ramakrishnan is a Fellow of ACM and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He received the ACM SIGMOD Contributions Award, a Distinguished Alumnus Award from IIT Madras, and a Packard Foundation Fellowship in Science and Engineering. He is a recipient of the Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation.


SIGKDD ACM’s Special Interest Group on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining, is the major professional organization for data mining and knowledge discovery researchers and professionals, focusing on the advancement of the science and practice of knowledge discovery and data mining.

About ACM

ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession’s collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.

About the KDD Innovation Award

This award is given to one individual or one group of collaborators who has made significant technical innovations in the field of Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery that have been transferred to practice in significant ways, or that have significantly influenced direction of research and development in the field. The award includes a financial prize of $2,500.

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