Michael Stonebraker


Michael Stonebraker
Associated organizations
Fields of study


A founder and chief technology officer of several successful corporations and an adjunct professor at MIT, Dr. Michael Stonebraker made critically important contributions to relational database software, inventing many of the architectures and strategies that are the foundation of today's multi-billion-dollar-a-year database software industry. Virtually all business computing applications - from accounting, inventory and shipping to point- of-sale, online commerce, human resources and computer-aided design - manage data using relational database systems that can be traced to his work.

His earliest contributions were as the leader of the groundbreaking INGRES project. It applied relational theory to high-performance, data management software systems by allowing users to specify queries that describe desired data without specifying programs to find it. The relational systems he developed,along with those of the System R project from IBM, revolutionized database systems.

His next creation, POSTGRES, was an object-relational database that extended the relational model with abstract data types,including user-defined operators and procedures. It also allowed database systems to provide significantly better intelligence and efficiency in commercial, administrative and scientific applications. The types of functionality that Dr. Stonebraker pioneered in POSTGRES are now used in database systems worldwide.

In recent years, Dr.Stonebraker applied economic computing paradigms to federated data management. Currently, he is applying database concepts to high performance stream processing applications. In addition to his current role at MIT, Dr. Stonebraker founded StreamBase Systems in 2003 and serves as the company's chief technology officer. StreamBase has developed a new software platform designed to process real-time streaming data.