Sanjay Ghemawat

Sanjay Ghemawat
Born 1966 (age 5152)
Known for
Scientific career
Thesis The Modified Object Buffer: A Storage Management Technique for Object-Oriented Databases (1995)
Doctoral advisors

Sanjay Ghemawat (born 1966) is an Indian American[1] computer scientist and software engineer. He is currently a Senior Fellow at Google in the Systems Infrastructure Group.[2][3] Ghemawat's work at Google, much of it in close collaboration with Jeff Dean,[4] 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".[4]

Education and early career

Ghemawat studied at Cornell University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).[2] 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.[5]

Before joining Google, Ghemawat worked at the DEC Systems Research Center. There he began his longtime 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.[4]

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.[4]

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,[1] and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016.[6] In 2012, he and Dean received the ACM Prize in Computing for their work on internet infrastructure.[1][2][3]

Selected publications


  1. 1 2 3 "Google's Sanjay Ghemawat Co-Winner of Computer Award". India West. 2013-04-09. Retrieved 2017-12-16.
  2. 1 2 3 "Sanjay Ghemawat – ACM Prize in Computing". Award Winners. Association for Computing Machinery. Retrieved 2017-12-16.
  3. 1 2 "ACM And Infosys Foundation Honor Google Developers For Innovations That Transformed Internet-Scale Computing". Infosys. Retrieved 2017-12-16.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Metz, Cade (2012-08-08). "If Xerox PARC Invented the PC, Google Invented the Internet". WIRED. Retrieved 2017-12-16.
  5. "Sanjay Ghemawat". The Mathematics Genealogy Project. Department of Mathematics, North Dakota State University. Retrieved 2017-12-16.
  6. "Membership". American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 2017-12-16.
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