Paris Kanellakis

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Paris Christos Kanellakis
Black and white portrait photograph of smiling man in his forties wearing short and sweater.
Born (1953-12-03)December 3, 1953
Athens, Greece
Died December 20, 1995(1995-12-20) (aged 42)
near Buga, Colombia
3°50′45.2″N 76°06′17.1″W / 3.845889°N 76.104750°W / 3.845889; -76.104750
Residence Greece
United States
Citizenship Greece
United States
Fields computer science (theoretical)
Institutions Brown University, MIT, INRIA, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center
Alma mater MIT, National Technical University of Athens
Thesis The complexity of concurrency control for distributed databases (1982)
Doctoral advisor Christos H. Papadimitriou
Known for The eponymous award given annually by the ACM.
Notable awards IBM Associate Professor of Computer Science (Brown University, 1989-90),
Sloan Research Fellowship (Mathematics, 1987-89),
IBM Faculty Development Award (1985-87)
Spouse Maria Teresa Otoya

Paris Christos Kanellakis (Greek: Πάρις Χρήστος Κανελλάκης; December 3, 1953 – December 20, 1995) was a computer scientist.

Life and academic path[edit]

Kanellakis was born on December 3, 1953 in Athens, Greece as the only child of General Eleftherios and Mrs. Argyroula Kanellakis.

Photo of blue book on white library table, with more books on shelves in the background.
A copy of Kanellakis's Ph.D. thesis in a library at MIT.

In 1976, he received a diploma in electrical engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, with a thesis supervised by Emmanuel Protonotarios.[1] He continued his studies at the graduate level in electrical engineering and computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his M.Sc. degree in 1978. His thesis Algorithms for a scheduling application of the Asymmetric Traveling Salesman Problem was supervised by Ron Rivest and Michael Athans, although Christos Papadimitriou (then professor at Harvard) was also involved.[2] He then continued working for his Ph.D. with Papadimitriou (now also at MIT) as advisor. He submitted his thesis The complexity of concurrency control for distributed databases in September 1981.[3] He was awarded the doctorate degree in February 1982.[4]

In 1981, he joined the Computer Science Department at Brown University as assistant professor. He obtained tenure as associate professor in 1986, and became full professor in 1990.[5] [6] He interrupted his stay at Brown in 1984 for a junior sabbatical as visiting assistant professor at the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science, working with Nancy Lynch, and in 1988 for a year at INRIA on special assignment leave, working with Serge Abiteboul. Between 1982 and 1991, he paid several short visits to the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center.[7]

His awards include an IBM Faculty Development Award (1985) and a Sloan Research Fellowship in mathematics (1987-1989). During 1989-90, he was IBM Associate Professor of Computer Science.[4]

He was born a Greek citizen, and obtained U.S. citizenship in 1988.[5]

Kanellakis died on December 20, 1995 together with his wife, Maria Teresa Otoya, and their two children, Alexandra and Stephanos, aboard American Airlines Flight 965 en route from Miami, Florida to Cali, Colombia for an annual holiday reunion with his wife's family.[8][9][10][11]

Research and academic service[edit]

His scientific contributions lie in the fields of database theory—comprising work on deductive databases, object-oriented databases, and constraint databases—as well as in fault-tolerant distributed computation and in type theory.[12] [13]

While at Brown, he supervised seven Ph.D. theses there (Smolka 1985, Revesz 1991, Shvartsman 1992, Mitchell 1993, Hillebrand 1994, Ramaswamy 1995, and Goldin 1997) and one at MIT (Cosmadakis 1985).[14] [15] He participated in the program committees of numerous editions of international meetings, including PODS, VLDB, LICS, STOC, FOCS, STACS, and PODC.[16] He served as editorial advisor to the scientific journals Information and Computation, SIAM Journal on Computing, Theoretical Computer Science, ACM Transactions on Database Systems, Journal of Logic Programming, Chicago Journal of Theoretical Computer Science, and Applied Mathematics Letters.[17] (He was also involved in the first steps of Constraints.[18])

Together with Alex Shvartsman, they co-authored the monograph Fault-Tolerant Parallel Computation.[19] At the time of his death, the book was still incomplete.[20]

His Erdős number is 3.[21]

In memoriam[edit]

Photo of a memorial plaque installed in grass field next to trunk of tree.
Plaque in front of the memorial tree at Brown: In memory of the Kanellakis-Otoya family / December 1995 / from their friends in Computer Science.


In 1996, the Association for Computing Machinery instituted the Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award, which is granted yearly to honor "specific theoretical accomplishments that have had a significant and demonstrable effect on the practice of computing".[22][23][24] Past recipients include Leonard Adleman, Whitfield Diffie, Martin Hellman, Ralph Merkle, Ron Rivest, and Adi Shamir,[25][26] Abraham Lempel and Jacob Ziv,[27] Randy Bryant, Edmund Clarke, E. Allen Emerson, and Ken McMillan,[28][29] Danny Sleator and Robert Tarjan,[30] Narendra Karmarkar,[31] Eugene Myers,[32] Peter Franaszek,[33] Gary Miller, Michael Rabin, Robert Solovay, and Volker Strassen,[34] Yoav Freund and Robert Schapire,[35] Gerard Holzmann, Robert Kurshan, Moshe Vardi, and Pierre Wolper,[36] Robert Brayton,[37] Bruno Buchberger,[38] Corinna Cortes and Vladimir Vapnik,[39] Mihir Bellare and Phillip Rogaway,[40] Kurt Mehlhorn,[41] Hanan Samet,[42] Andrei Broder, Moses Charikar, and Piotr Indyk,[43] and Robert Blumofe and Charles Leiserson.[44]

After donations from Kanellakis's parents, three graduate fellowships and a prize have been established in his memory at the three institutions where he studied and worked: Brown, MIT, and NTUA.

  • Since 1997, the Department of Computer Science at Brown has been offering two Paris Kanellakis Fellowships every year, each of which lasts for one year and is awarded preferably to graduate students from Greece.[45][46][47] Past recipients include Christos Amanatidis, Aris Anagnostopoulos,[48] Alexandru Balan, Foteini Baldimtsi, Glencora L. Borradaile, Costas Busch, Irina Calciu, Daniel Acevedo Feliz, Arjun Guha, Evgenios Kornaropoulos, Michail Michailidis, Tomer Moscovich, Shay Mozes, Olga Ohrimenko, Olga Papaemmanouil, Charalampos (Babis) Papamanthou,[47][49] Alexandra Papoutsaki, Eric Ely Rachlin, Emmanuel (Manos) Renieris,[24][50] Warren Schudy, Nikos Triandopoulos,[48] Ioannis (Yannis) Tsochantaridis,[50] Aggeliki Tsoli, and Ioannis (Yannis) Vergados.[45][51]
  • Since 1999, the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT has been offering one Paris Kanellakis Fellowship every year, which lasts for one year and is awarded to a graduate student who is either Greek or American of Greek descent.[52][53] Past recipients include Nikolaos Andrikogiannopoulos, Georgios Angelopoulos, Christos Mario Christoudias, Apostolos Fertis, Vasileios-Marios Gkortsas, Themistoklis Gouleakis, Manolis Kamvysselis (Kellis), Christos Kapoutsis, Aristeidis Karalis, Georgia-Evangelia (Yola) Katsargyri, Georgios Papachristoudis, Anastasios (Tasos) Sidiropoulos, and Christos Tzamos.[51]
  • Since 2000, NTUA has been offering one Paris Kanellakis Prize every year, which is awarded to the student of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering who earns the greatest GPA over all courses of the third and fourth years of study in the field of Information Technology.[54] Past recipients include Spyridon Antonakopoulos,[citation needed] Georgios Assimenos,[55] Constantinos Daskalakis,[56] Ilias Diakonikolas,[citation needed] Theodoros Kassambalis,[57] Iassonas Kokkinos,[58] Leonidas Lambropoulos,[59] Emmanouel Papadakis,[60] Charalambos Samios,[citation needed] and Charis Volos.[61]
Brown wooden plaque hanged on a wall, bearing an inscription and a black and white photo of man in his forties.
Plaque in the Computer Science library at Brown: Dedicated to the memory of Paris Christos Kanellakis / 1953-1995 / Beloved teacher and outstanding computer scientist at Brown University / 1981-1995.


In 1996, the Computer Science Department at Brown declared its 17th Industrial Partners Program symposium a celebration of Kanellakis's research career, inviting lectures by some of his co-authors.[62] Several meetings scheduled for 1996 and 1997, in some of which Kanellakis had been expected to participate in various roles, modified their programs to honor his memory and/or dedicated their proceedings to it.[63] [64] [65] [66] [67] [68] [69] [70] In 2002, the first Hellenic Data Management Symposium was held in his memory.[71] In 2003, the meeting Principles of Computing & Knowledge: Paris C. Kanellakis Memorial Workshop was organized on the occasion of his 50th birthday.[72] [73]

In 2001, the Computer Science Department at Brown inaugurated the annual Paris Kanellakis Memorial Lecture, which is usually presented late in the fall semester, often by former co-authors and colleagues of Kanellakis.[74][75] Past lectures were given by Mihalis Yannakakis,[75][76] Christos Papadimitriou,[77][78] Nancy Lynch (and Alex Shvartsman),[79] Michael Rabin,[80] Richard Karp,[50][81][82] Eugene Myers,[83] Arvind,[84][85] Anna Karlin,[86][87] John Mitchell,[88][89] Moshe Vardi,[90][91] Andrew Yao,[92][93] Cynthia Dwork,[94] and Jon Kleinberg.[95]


In the few years after Kanellakis's death, several scientific journals published technical obituaries of him and/or dedicated an issue to his memory.[13] [96] [97] [98] [99] [100] [101] [102] Individual authors dedicated their doctorate theses[103] [104] or papers.[105] [106] [107] [108] [109]

In 1996, a Norway maple tree was planted in memory of Kanellakis and his family in Lincoln Field at Brown.[110][111] The following year, the Department of Computer Science renamed its library in his honor.[24][111][112] The sculpture Horizon by Costas Varotsos, commissioned by Kanellakis's parents in their son's and his family's memory, was installed near Liya, Corinthia in Greece, on family-owned land which has been donated to SOS Children's Villages.[111][113][114]


  1. ^ Kanellakis 1976.
  2. ^ Kanellakis 1978, p. 3: "I would like to express my sincere thanks to Prof. Christos H. Papadimitriou for his help and collaboration that made this research possible."
  3. ^ Kanellakis 1981.
  4. ^ a b Last CV, p. 2.
  5. ^ a b Last CV, p. 1.
  6. ^ Obituary (Conduit).
  7. ^ Last CV, p. 1-2.
  8. ^ "Two members of Brown community feared dead in Colombian air crash". The Brown University News Bureau. 21 Dec 1995. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  9. ^ "Brown professor, wife, two children dead in airline crash". Associated Press. 22 Dec 1995. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  10. ^ "University schedules memorial service for two who died in plane crash". The Brown University News Bureau. 10 Jan 1996. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  11. ^ "A common grief". The Brown Daily Herald. 24 Jan 1996. 
  12. ^ PCK's research (Conduit).
  13. ^ a b Abiteboul et al. 1996a.
  14. ^ Last CV, p. 12.
  15. ^ "Brown CS: PhD Theses". Brown CS Dept. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  16. ^ Last CV, p. 9-11.
  17. ^ Last CV, p. 9.
  18. ^ Freuder 1996b, p. 5: "Paris Kanellakis was one of our earliest and most supportive editors."
  19. ^ Kanellakis & Shvartsman 1997.
  20. ^ Kanellakis & Shvartsman 1997, p. xxix: "By December of 1995 we had compiled most of the material and drafted four of the planned seven chapters. We were to complete the remaining work during the winter vacation. It was not to be. [...] I miss you, my brother."
  21. ^ "Co-author path between Paris C. Kanellakis and Paul Erdös". Microsoft Academic Search. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  22. ^ "Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award". ACM. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  23. ^ "ACM Paris Kanellakis Award". Conduit (Brown CS Dept) 5 (1): 4. 1996. 
  24. ^ a b c "-Kanellakis updates-". Conduit (Brown CS Dept) 6 (2): 17. 1997. 
  25. ^ "The first Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award goes to founders of public key cryptography" (Press release). ACM. 12 Feb 1997. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  26. ^ "First Kanellakis Award presented at ACM ′97". Conduit (Brown CS Dept) 6 (1): 11. 1997. 
  27. ^ "The ACM Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award goes to pioneers in data compression" (Press release). ACM. 26 Mar 1998. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  28. ^ "ACM bestows Kanellakis Award for development of 'symbolic model checking,' used in testing computer system designs" (Press release). ACM. 26 Mar 1999. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  29. ^ "From the Chairman". Conduit (Brown CS Dept) 8 (1): 16. 1999. 
  30. ^ "Splay-tree data structure creators win 1999 Paris Kanellakis Award" (Press release). ACM. 26 Apr 2000. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  31. ^ "Interior point" (Press release). ACM. 2000. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  32. ^ "ACM honors developer of key software for sequencing the human genome" (Press release). ACM. 22 Jan 2002. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  33. ^ "ACM honors Peter Franaszek for contributions to data encoding" (Press release). ACM. 21 May 2003. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  34. ^ "ACM honors creators of methods to improve cryptography" (Press release). ACM. 24 May 2004. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  35. ^ "Theory and practice of boosting" (Press release). ACM. 2004. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  36. ^ "ACM honors creators of verification tools for software, hardware" (Press release). ACM. 15 Mar 2006. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  37. ^ "ACM honors electronic design automation technologies pioneer" (Press release). ACM. 29 Mar 2007. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  38. ^ "ACM Kanellakis Award honors innovator of automated tools for mathematics" (Press release). ACM. 13 May 2008. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  39. ^ "ACM awards recognize innovators in computer science" (Press release). ACM. 17 Mar 2009. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  40. ^ "ACM awards recognize computer scientists for innovations that have real world impact" (Press release). ACM. 30 Mar 2010. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  41. ^ "ACM honors computing innovators for advances in research, commerce and education" (Press release). ACM. 6 Apr 2011. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  42. ^ "ACM honors computing innovators for advances in research, education, and industry" (Press release). ACM. 26 Apr 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  43. ^ "Award Winners Made Breakthroughs in Network Efficiency, Data Mining, Education, Game Theory, Programming, and Community Problem-Solving" (Press release). ACM. 9 Apr 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-07. 
  44. ^ "Akamai's Dr. Robert D. Blumofe Receives 2013 Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award from the Association for Computing Machinery" (Press release). WSJ. 19 Jun 2014. Retrieved 2014-07-22. 
  45. ^ a b "Kanellakis Fellowships". Brown CS Dept. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  46. ^ "-President Gordon Gee visits the Kanellakises-". Conduit (Brown CS Dept) 8 (2): 22. 1999. 
  47. ^ a b "A Visit with General and Mrs. Kanellakis". Conduit (Brown CS Dept) 17 (2): 33. 2008. 
  48. ^ a b "-Two Kanellakis Fellows-". Conduit (Brown CS Dept) 9 (2): 14. 2000. 
  49. ^ "Charalampos (Babis) Papamanthou visits Mrs. Kanellakis". Conduit (Brown CS Dept) 20 (1): 18. 2011. 
  50. ^ a b c "Fifth Annual Paris C. Kanellakis Memorial Lecture". Conduit (Brown CS Dept) 14 (2): 40. 2005. 
  51. ^ a b "The Kanellakis legacy lives on". Conduit (Brown CS Dept) 19 (1): 8–9. 2010. 
  52. ^ "Kanellakis Fellowships". MIT EECS Dept. Retrieved 2014-07-22. 
  53. ^ "Kanellakis fellowship fund in EECS established". MIT news. 10 Mar 1999. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  54. ^ NTUA Career Office (2011). Prizes and Fellowships Guide (in Greek). Athens. p. 18. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  55. ^ NTUA Rector's Council (25 Feb 2003). Minutes excerpt: Award of Paris Kanellakis Prize (2000-2002) (in Greek). 
  56. ^ "Constantinos Daskalakis's home page: Honors, Awards and Achievements". Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  57. ^ NTUA Rector's Council (7 Jun 2011). Minutes excerpt: Award of Paris Kanellakis Prize (2008-2010) (in Greek). Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  58. ^ NTUA Rector's Council (19 Apr 2002). Minutes excerpt: Award of Paris Kanellakis Prize (1999-2001) (in Greek). 
  59. ^ NTUA Rector's Council (11 May 2012). Minutes excerpt: Award of Paris Kanellakis Prize (2009-2011) (in Greek). Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  60. ^ NTUA Rector's Council (19 Oct 2010). Minutes excerpt: Award of Paris Kanellakis Prize (2007-2009) (in Greek). §2.4.3. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  61. ^ NTUA Rector's Council (23 Nov 2005). Minutes excerpt: Award of Paris Kanellakis Prize (2002-2004) (in Greek). 
  62. ^ "The 17th IPP Symposium". Conduit (Brown CS Dept) 5 (2): 11–12. 1996. 
  63. ^ "Honouring Paris". Brown CS Dept. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  64. ^ Freuder 1996a, p. VI: "The conference is dedicated to Paris Kanellakis [...]. He was one of the founders of this conference and a pillar of this community. A Kanellakis Prize was awarded to the paper that best exemplifies the interdisciplinary spirit of the conference."
  65. ^ Hull 1996.
  66. ^ Atzeni & Tannen 1996.
  67. ^ Burns & Moses 1996, p. iii.
  68. ^ Immerman & Kolaitis 1997, p. xiv: "We were looking forward to Paris' talk during the workshop and to his survey paper for this volume. Tragically, his life was cut short [...]. In the time slot in which Paris was scheduled to speak a tribute was held to his memory and work. [...] We dedicate this volume to the memory of our colleague and friend Paris C. Kanellakis."
  69. ^ Afrati & Kolaitis 1997, p. IX: "Originally, the ICDT'97 program committee included Paris C. Kanellakis as a member. Paris had a strong presence and involvement in previous ICDT conferences, [as] invited speaker, program co-chair, program committee member, and steering committee member. [...] This volume is dedicated to his memory."
  70. ^ Gaede et al. 1997.
  71. ^ "Electronic proceedings of the first Hellenic Symposium on the Management of Data". Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  72. ^ "PCK50—A tribute to Paris Kanellakis’ 50th birthday". Conduit (Brown CS Dept) 13 (1): 27. 2004. 
  73. ^ Goldin et al. 2003.
  74. ^ "Kanellakis Lecture Series Inaugurated". Brown CS Dept. 21 Nov 2001. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  75. ^ a b "Kanellakis Lecture Series Inaugurated". Conduit (Brown CS Dept) 11 (1): 9. 2002. 
  76. ^ "The Paris Kanellakis Annual Lecture". Brown CS Dept. 29 Nov 2001. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  77. ^ "Second Annual Paris Kanellakis Memorial Lecture". Brown CS Dept. 4 Dec 2002. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  78. ^ "The second Kanellakis Memorial Lecture". Conduit (Brown CS Dept) 12 (1): 10. 2003. 
  79. ^ "Third Annual Paris Kanellakis Memorial Lecture". Brown CS Dept. 11 Dec 2003. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  80. ^ "Fourth Annual Paris Kanellakis Memorial Lecture". Brown CS Dept. 2 Dec 2004. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  81. ^ "Fifth Annual Paris C. Kanellakis Memorial Lecture". Brown CS Dept. 8 Dec 2005. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  82. ^ "Remembering Paris: The Kanellakis Fellowships". Conduit (Brown CS Dept) 15 (1): 22–23. 2006. 
  83. ^ "The Sixth Annual Paris C. Kanellakis Memorial Lecture". Brown CS Dept. 15 Feb 2007. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  84. ^ "The Seventh Annual Paris C. Kanellakis Memorial Lecture". Brown CS Dept. 14 Feb 2008. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  85. ^ "Seventh Annual Paris C. Kanellakis Memorial Lecture". Conduit (Brown CS Dept) 17 (1): 25. 2008. 
  86. ^ "The 8th Annual Paris C. Kanellakis Memorial Lecture". Brown CS Dept. 4 Dec 2008. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  87. ^ "Distinguished Lecture Series". Conduit (Brown CS Dept) 18 (1): 26. 2009. 
  88. ^ "The 9th Annual Paris C. Kanellakis Memorial Lecture". Brown CS Dept. 3 Dec 2009. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  89. ^ "Ninth Annual Paris C. Kanellakis Memorial Lecture". Conduit (Brown CS Dept) 19 (1): 9. 2010. 
  90. ^ "The 10th Annual Paris C. Kanellakis Memorial Lecture". Brown CS Dept. 9 Dec 2010. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  91. ^ "Tenth Annual Paris C. Kanellakis Memorial Lecture". Conduit (Brown CS Dept) 20 (1): 19. 2011. 
  92. ^ "The 11th Annual Paris C. Kanellakis Distinguished Lecture" (with video). Brown CS Dept. 1 Dec 2011. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  93. ^ "The 11th Annual Paris C. Kanellakis Memorial Lecture". Conduit (Brown CS Dept) 21 (1): 14–15. 2012. 
  94. ^ "The 12th Annual Paris C. Kanellakis Distinguished Lecture". Brown CS Dept. 6 Dec 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  95. ^ "The 13th Annual Paris C. Kanellakis Distinguished Lecture". Brown CS Dept. 4 Dec 2013. Retrieved 2014-07-23. 
  96. ^ Abiteboul et al. 1996b.
  97. ^ Van Hentenryck 1996.
  98. ^ Vardi 1996.
  99. ^ "CS community mourns death of Kanellakis". Computing Research News (CRA) 8 (2): 12. 1996. 
  100. ^ Buneman & Zdonik 1997.
  101. ^ Fagin 1997.
  102. ^ Ramakrishnan & Stuckey 1997.
  103. ^ Mayer 1996.
  104. ^ Goldin 1997.
  105. ^ Dwork 1996.
  106. ^ Yannakakis 1996.
  107. ^ Grumbach & Su 1997, p. 151: "This paper is dedicated to Paris Kanellakis who initiated the field of constraint databases, and deeply influenced our work."
  108. ^ Benedikt et al. 1998.
  109. ^ Revesz 1998.
  110. ^ "From the Chairman, Eugene Charniak". Conduit (Brown CS Dept) 5 (2): 14–15. 1996. 
  111. ^ a b c "Paris Kanellakis - in memoriam". Brown CS Dept. 2004. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  112. ^ "-Kanellakis plaque installed in lounge-". Conduit (Brown CS Dept) 7 (2): 7. 1998. 
  113. ^ "Horizon". Conduit (Brown CS Dept) 8 (1): 4. 1999. 
  114. ^ Κυριακοπούλου, Εύη (23 Mar 1999). "Ένα αλλιώτικο έργο τέχνης". Ελευθεροτυπία (in Greek). 


External links[edit]