Google Honors Late Valley Mentor, Stanford Professor

Rajeev Motwani guided many, including Google's founders

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    stanford.edu
    Rajeev Motwani served as an adviser to Sergey Brin and Larry Page during the early days of Google.

    Google Inc. has given Stanford University $2.5 million to create an endowed chair in honor of a computer science professor who mentored Google's founders and died in a swimming accident in June, according to the university.

    Rajeev Motwani, who was 47 when he died, researched data mining with Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page when they were graduate students at Stanford.

    "The breadth and depth of Rajeev's contributions in academia and industry are unparalleled in computer science," Brin said. " Yet they pale in comparison to the impact he had through the many researchers and entrepreneurs whom he taught and mentored."

    The gift was announced Friday during a service for Motwani Friday, where more than 800 students, venture capitalists, faculty members and family gathered in his memory. The university will contribute $1.5 million to help fund it.

    A spokesman for the university said the new position is one of 10 endowed chairs that have been added to expand the computer science department and meet growing interest in the field.

    Enrollment in the computer science program grew 12 percent last year, department chair Jennifer Widom said.

    She also said she hopes the additional faculty will also foster more collaboration with other departments, including biology, linguistics, education and various engineering programs.