Hongjun Lu


     2005 SIGMOD Contributions Award


“For lifetime dedication and service to the database research community, especially the promotion of database research in the Asia-Pacific Region.”

Dr. Hongjun Lu, who passed away on March 6, 2005, made sustained and outstanding service contributions to the database-research community over the past 20 years, in addition to his many contributions to database research. The health of that community today, and especially the in-roads it has made in mainland China, are a testament to his efforts.

His list of notable contributions includes the following:

  1. Dr. Lu had a long history of providing outstanding service to ACM and to the database community. He served as a member of the ACM SIGMOD Advisory Board during the period 1998-2002. He was elected as a Trustee of the VLDB Endowment in 2000 and served as its secretary, one of its executive officers. He has served as an Editor for IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering (2002-2005), an Editor for Knowledge and Information Systems: An international Journal (1998-2001), and an Editor for a Springer-Verlag book series on Database Management and Information Retrieval. He has served on the program committees for almost all important ACM and other international conferences and workshops in database and related areas, including the ACM SIGMOD International Conference on Management of Data, the International Conference on Very Large Databases (VLDB’06 program co-chair), the International Conference on Data Engineering (ICDE’02, ICDE’99: program vice chair, ICDE’05, ICDE’03: panel chair), and the ACM SIKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (SIGKDD). Dr. Lu was the founder and the Steering Committee chair for two regional annual conferences, the Pacific-Asia Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (PAKDD) (started in 1997) and the International Conference on Web-Age Information Management (WAIM) (started in 2000). 
  2. Dr. Lu has devoted a great deal of his time and energy to the promotion of database research in the Asia-Pacific region. He has organized or co-organized many international conferences in that region. He played a major role in proposing and attracting the 2007 ACM SIGMOD International Conference on Management of Data to Beijing, China. His service roles include program co-chair for the 2006 International Conference on Very Large Data Bases (VLDB’06) (Korea), panel co-chair for the 2005 International Conference on Data Engineering (ICDE’05, Japan), conference chair for The Sixth Asia Pacific Web Conference (APWeb 2004, Hangzhou, China), program co-chair for the 23rd International Conference on Conceptual Modeling (ER’04, Shanghai, China), panel co-chair for the 19th IEEE International Conference on Data Engineering (ICDE’03, Bangalore, India), program co-chair for the 3rd International Symposium on Cooperative Database Systems for Advanced Applications (CODAS’01, Beijing, China), conference co-chair for the 2nd International Conference on Web-Age Information Management (WAIM’01, Xi’an, China), program co-chair of the 1st International Conference on Web-Age Information Management (WAIM’00, Shanghai, China), area coordinator and program vice-Chair (Data Mining and Data Warehousing) for the 15th International Conference on Data Engineering (ICDE’99, Sydney, Australia), program co-chair of the 1st Pacific-Asia Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (PAKDD’97, Singapore), and more. 
  3. Dr. Lu worked hard to raise the level and visibility of academic database research in the Asia-Pacific geographic region. His efforts there have included:
    • He joined the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 1987, when database research activities there were just starting. He trained the first database Ph.D. student in the department and dedicated himself to helping to build a strong database group. Today NUS has an internationally known database research group, which is due in no small part to Dr. Lu’s efforts. 
    • He worked to promote quality database research in mainland China, aiming at cultivating a few internationally active database groups there. He devoted time to coaching young faculty and students to conduct quality research and to publish at quality database conferences. The first result of his efforts were two VLDB 2000 papers with all authors from mainland Chinese universities, a historical event since that was the first time that papers with all mainland Chinese authors appeared in a top database conference. 
    • He acted as a bridge between the international and mainland Chinese database communities. He has been serving as a liaison for ACM SIGMOD to the Database Society of the China Computer Federation, and he has been successful in recruiting ACM SIGMOD members from China. In order to provide young faculty and graduate students with more opportunities to participate international conferences, he initiated a China-based International Conference on Web-Age Information Management and has served as the chair of its steering committee since 2000. With the sponsorship of the VLDB Endowment, Dr. Lu organizied the VLDB Database School (China) since 2002 to train young faculty members and senior research students, which has been very well received. 
  4. Dr. Lu has made significant contributions to the database and information technology research fields. He is recognized internationally as a leading database researcher, especially on issues related to database-query processing and optimization, data warehousing, and data mining. He has made many long-term contributions, having produced over 200 research publications in quality scientific journals, conferences, and workshop proceedings. He has maintained a high level of productivity for over 20 years, expanding from VLDB’85, ICDE’86 (best student paper award), and SIGMOD’86, including one SIGMOD’04 paper, three VLDB’04 papers, and two ICDE’05 papers, to name just a few. He also delivered tutorials and giving keynote speeches and invited talks in database-related international and regional conferences over the years. Dr. Lu’s research contributions have spanned a number of topics related to database query processing, including join processing, indexing and query evaluation schemes for object-oriented and XML databases, parallel query processing, transitive closure, cluster/grid query processing, and multi-query optimization. He has also made notable contributions to scalable data mining, including work on classification using neural networks, association rule mining, data cube computation methods, text classification, frequent pattern mining, and learning-based web query processing. Most recently, Dr. Lu has made several contributions to the emerging area of stream data processing. These achievements and level of contribution to the database research community is especially admirable because Dr. Lu has been working in the Far-East region, away from the center of database technology development. Dr. Lu is generally regarded as the most active and prolific database researcher in that region.