The named fellow of Association of Computing

Gautam Das

image: Gautam Das
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Credit: UT Arlington

The Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) has named Gautam Das, associate dean for research in the College of Engineering at The University of Texas at Arlington, as a fellow of the ACM.

The organization selected Das for his contributions to database search and graph algorithms, according to the citation accompanying the honor. Das is the first faculty member at UTA to be named a fellow of ACM and is one of only three ACM fellows on the faculty of universities in North Texas.

“I’m elated at this honor as it’s really a recognition of not just me, but my advisors and teachers, colleagues and collaborators, and most importantly, my students,” he said. “I have been fortunate to have spent significant time doing research at wonderful places, including the University of Wisconsin, University of Memphis, Microsoft Research, and for the past 16 years at UTA. I feel good that my work has led to many more people looking at the problems of graph algorithms and database search.”

Das, who is also the Distinguished University Chair Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE), joined the College of Engineering in 2004. He was named a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in 2019.

His early research made important contributions to graph and network algorithms, in particular to “graph spanners,” which have use in map route planning, efficient communications in computer networks and compression of large-scale networks. His doctoral thesis made a seminal contribution, an elegant greedy graph spanner algorithm that is now considered a classic and cited by almost all research papers on graph spanners.

A second major thrust of his research has been on innovative approaches to search and analytics in databases. Das has worked extensively on DBXplorer, a software system that has defined the modern approach to keyword searches in databases. His paper on DBXplorer received the IEEE International Conference on Data Engineering’s 10 Most Influential Papers Award in 2012 and has been widely cited by researchers worldwide.

He has also made important research contributions to statistical sampling and approximation techniques in databases. This allows researchers to get an overview of trends or issues within data sets in a short amount of time, instead of the amount needed to fully scan massive databases for exact figures.

In 2018, Das was one of two general chairs of the ACM SIGMOD Conference, the annual flagship international forum for database researchers, practitioners, developers and users. Since arriving at UTA, he has helped author more than 100 published studies and received more than $7.5 million in grant funding, including 12 grants from the National Science Foundation.

“ACM Fellow is the organization’s most prestigious member grade,” said Hong Jiang, chair of the Computer Science and Engineering Department. “As the first full-time faculty at UTA and one of only a handful in the DFW area to attain this member grade, Dr. Das not only is recognized for his extraordinary accomplishments and leadership in database research but also brings prestige and visibility to the University and the CSE department.”

ACM is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges. ACM Fellows are among the top 1% of ACM members, recognized for their outstanding accomplishments in computing and information technology and/or outstanding service to ACM and the larger computing community.

  • Written by Jeremy Agor, College of Engineering

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