Martin Kersten

2016 SIGMOD Systems Award

Professor Martin Kersten is the recipient of the 2016 SIGMOD Systems Award for the design and implementation of MonetDB, a pioneering main-memory database system based on a columnar data organization.

Details: Professor Martin Kersten (http:// is a CWI Research Fellow (the Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science Research of the Netherlands), professor at the University of Amsterdam, and co-founder of several database companies. The latest MonetDB Solutions company was established in 2013 to support commercial exploitation and driving the open-source product technology.

He has dedicated his scientific career to the development and dissemination of database systems and technology. Since the early nineties, he and his team developed MonetDB, an open source high-performance columnar database system. MonetDB contains innovations at all layers of a DBMS: a storage model based on vertical fragmentation, in-memory self-tuning indices, just-in-time query optimization, hardware aware database structures, and a modern CPU-tuned vectorized query execution architecture. The technology received its recognition in the VLDB 10-year Best Paper Award in 2009, the SIGMOD Best Paper runner up award in 2009, and the VLDB Best Vision paper award in 2011. Professor Martin Kersten is the recipient of the 2014 SIGMOD Edgar F. Codd Innovation Award for his influential contributions to advanced database architectures, most notably his pioneering work on columnar, in-memory, and hardware-conscious database technologies and their realization in the MonetDB system.

In the last decade, Martin Kersten shifted his focus towards the requirements of scientific databases. Input from astronomy, seismology, and remote sensing applications lead to enrichments of relational database technology with just-in-time access to scientific file repositories, a symbiosis between the relational query model and array-based processing, and the support for statistics within a database kernel.