Google guru Rajeev Motwani dead

June 7th, 2009 - 8:42 pm ICT by John Le Fevre  

Rajeev Motwani Rajeev Motwani Stanford professor who worked with Google search engine founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin has been found dead in the swimming pool of his home in Atherton, California, on Friday.

Born in Jammu, India, Motwani was grew up in New Delhi before traveling to the United States for his doctorate in computer science at the University of California, Berkeley.

On his blog, Brin led tributes to Motwani as the inspiration behind a number of computing advances. “Today, whenever you use a piece of technology, there is a good chance a little bit of Rajeev Motwani is behind it,” he wrote.

“When Larry and I began to work together on the research that would lead to Google, Rajeev was there to support us and guide us through challenges, both technical and organisational.”

Stanford said Rajeev Motwani’s work on data mining influenced the way algorithms are used in Google searches. It pointed out that he was also an influential investor who backed the initial development of what turned out to be a number of successful hi-tech companies and initiatives, including the internet payment giant PayPal.

A spokesman for the university said the cause of death was unclear. Friends said he could not swim, but was planning to learn.

The 47-year-old Motwani is survived by his wife, Asha Jadeja, and two daughters.

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