C. Mohan

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C. Mohan
Native name சி. மோஹன்
Born (1955-08-03) August 3, 1955 (age 61)
Tamil Nadu, India
Residence Saratoga, California
Citizenship United States
Fields Computer Science
Institutions IBM 1981-
INRIA 1998-1999
Alma mater Indian Institute of Technology, Madras 1972-1977
University of Texas, Austin 1977-1981
Thesis Strategies for Enhancing Concurrency and Managing Deadlocks in Data Base Locking Protocols
Doctoral advisor Abraham Silberschatz
Known for ARIES
Database systems
Transaction processing
Workflow management
Notable awards US National Academy of Engineering 2009
ACM SIGMOD Edgar F. Codd Innovations Award 1996
IBM Fellow 1997
IEEE Fellow 2002
ACM Fellow 2002
Indian National Academy of Engineering 2009
Distinguished Visiting Professor, Tsinghua University 2016
Spouse Kalpana Mohan
Children Pavithra Mohan
Parthiv Mohan

C. Mohan is an Indo-American computer scientist. He was born on 3 August 1955 in Tamil Nadu, India.[1] After growing up there and finishing his undergraduate studies in Chennai, he moved to the United States in 1977 for graduate studies. After having been an Indian citizen from birth, since 2007 he has been an American citizen and an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI). Currently, he is an IBM Fellow based at the IBM Almaden Research Center (San Jose, California).[2] He is also a Distinguished Visiting Professor at China's Tsinghua University.[3]

In this Tamil Indian name, the initial C. stands for Chandrasekaran, his father's name. In this patronymic naming scheme, where the concept of family name doesn't exist, the person is referred to by the given name, Mohan.


Mohan received his PhD in computer science from the University of Texas at Austin in 1981. He received a B.Tech. in chemical engineering from IIT Madras in 1977. He had his pre-college education in Vellore, Tamil Nadu.


Immediately after finishing his PhD in the database area in December 1981, Mohan joined the birthplace of relational databases and SQL, namely IBM Research in San Jose, as a Research Staff Member, and worked on projects like R*, Starburst, Exotica, and DBCache.[4]

15 years after he joined IBM, in June 1997, IBM CEO Louis V. Gerstner Jr. named him an IBM Fellow, IBM's highest technical position for being recognized worldwide as a leading innovator in transaction management.[5] During June 1998 to July 1999, while being on an IBM sabbatical, he worked as a Visiting Scientist at France's premier computer science research institute INRIA Rocquencourt, in the suburbs of Paris. It is the same place where, while being a PhD student at UT Austin, he had done an internship in the SIRIUS project during the summer of 1979.

From June 2006 until January 2009, he worked as the IBM India Chief Scientist, based in Bangalore.[6]

Since his return to IBM Almaden Research Center at the end of his India assignment, Mohan has worked on projects relating to Storage Class Memories,[7] and Big Data and Hybrid Transactional/Analytical Processing (HTAP) enhancements to DB2 and Apache Spark. He has been giving numerous keynote and other talks on NoSQL, NewSQL, modern enhancements to classic RDBMSs and Big Data.[8]

In August 2016, Mohan was named a Distinguished Visiting Professor of China's prestigious Tsinghua University.

Mohan has published numerous conference and journal papers in the areas of database, workflow and transaction management.[9][10][11][12] According to Google Scholar, his h-index is 54 and his i10-index is 85.[12] He is the primary inventor of the ARIES family of recovery and concurrency control methods,[13] and the industry-standard (e.g., X/Open XA) Presumed Abort commit protocol.[14][15] His journal papers on ARIES[16] and Presumed Abort[17] are by now considered classic papers in the areas of transactions, recovery, distributed commit and locking,[18] and are included in a collection[19] of database papers, informally called the "Red Book", edited by ACM Turing Award winner Prof. Michael Stonebraker and others under a section titled Techniques Everyone Should Know. In the introduction to that section, one of the editors of the Red Book, Peter Bailis, while discussing the ARIES paper, has said "In graduate database courses, this paper is a rite of passage. However, this material is fundamental, so it is important to understand." In the ACM SIGMOD Record series called Reminiscences on Influential Papers, with reference to the ARIES paper, Prof. Betty Salzberg of Northeastern University has said: "The ARIES paper was important for me because it enabled me to envision the mechanisms of recovery in database systems clearly. ... Reading the ARIES paper influenced much of my subsequent research. ... Now it is almost impossible for me to imagine thinking of a database system without ARIES style recovery."[20] Prof. Alan Fekete of University of Sydney, as part of the abstract of a keynote talk by him in February 1993 said the following: "In the past few years, there have been several exciting advances in transaction management that seem certain to influence future commercial systems. One is the invention and publication of improved techniques for implementation of transaction management. In particular, an exciting series of papers have come from the ARIES project led by C. Mohan at IBM Almaden Research Laboratory. There are new algorithms which provide concurrency control for B-tree indices, recovery compatible with fine-grained locking, and concurrency control allowing long-running audits."[21]

Mohan has worked closely with many IBM product groups worldwide and his research results have been implemented in numerous IBM and non-IBM prototypes, and products like IBM DB2, MQSeries,[22] IBM WebSphere, Informix, Cloudscape, IBM Notes, Microsoft SQL Server and IBM System z Parallel Sysplex.[23]

In a 2003 interview conducted by Marianne Winslett as part of the ACM SIGMOD "Distinguished Database Profiles"[24] series, Mohan has discussed the first 20 years of his IBM career. Video and audio recordings, and the textual transcript of that interview were published.[4][25][26] That interview provides a historical perspective on the state of the database research and products landscape then and also on Computer Science work in India. It also discusses Mohan's most important research results and how they came about. A Chinese translation of this interview's transcript is also available.[27]

Mohan has stayed a technologist during his entire 34 years professional career and has avoided becoming a manager! He often talks about the importance of long-term technical careers with sustained focus in one area to attain excellence and to be effective in innovation.[28][29] Especially in a developing country like India, during his IBM India Chief Scientist assignment as well as at other times, he has often emphasized the need for good technical people to stay technical and not be too attracted by a management career path.[30] In a front-page story back in August 2007, Business Standard, one of India's leading newspapers, discussed Mohan's senior most technical position at IBM and elaborated on his patenting activities.[31]


Mohan's research, publications, inventions and technology transfer contributions have been well appreciated both inside and outside IBM over the decades via numerous awards and other recognition.

In February 2009, Mohan was elected to the United States National Academy of Engineering (NAE) "for contributions to locking and recovery algorithms for database systems".[32][33][34] During the same year, he was also elected as a Foreign Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE).[35] He received the 1996 Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) SIGMOD Edgar F. Codd Innovations Award in recognition of his innovative contributions to the development and use of database systems. In 2002, he was named an ACM Fellow and an IEEE Fellow. At the 1999 International Conference on Very Large Data Bases (VLDB), he was honored with the 10 Year Best Paper Award[36][37] for the widespread commercial and research impact of his ARIES work which has been widely covered in textbooks[38][39] and university courses.

In 2003, Mohan was named a Distinguished Alumnus of his undergraduate alma mater IIT Madras.[40] In discussing Mohan's accomplishments, that award citation[41] says: "He has played a key role in establishing the foundations of database systems, which are at the core of modern information infrastructure, that support modern society. His work is among the lessons taught to students of database systems across the world. He has won numerous awards and holds key patents. It is rare for the work of one person to have had such a significant research, commercial and societal impact."

From IBM, Mohan has received 2 Corporate and 8 Outstanding Innovation/Technical Achievement Awards. He is an inventor on 47 issued/pending patents[42][43][44] and was named an IBM Master Inventor in 1997.

Professional Contributions[edit]

Mohan has discussed his IBM and non-IBM professional activities in and outside Silicon Valley in a short video.[45] He is a frequent speaker in North America, Western Europe and India, and has given talks in 40 countries.[46][47][48][49][50][51][52][53]

Mohan has been on the advisory board of IEEE Spectrum and an editor of VLDB Journal, and Distributed and Parallel Databases. Currently, he is a Steering Council member of IBM's Software Group Architecture Board, and a member of IBM's Technical Leadership Team (TLT), IBM Academy of Technology, and Information Management Architecture Board. In the past, he has been a member of IBM's Research Management Council (RMC), IBM India's Senior Leadership Team, the IBM Asset Architecture Board, and the Bharti and Vodafone Technical Advisory Councils. He has also served on the Academic Senate of the International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) at Bangalore.



  1. ^ "Life Events". Facebook. Retrieved 17 June 2016. 
  2. ^ "Biodata of Dr. C. Mohan". IBM Almaden Research Center. IBM. Retrieved 17 June 2016. 
  3. ^ "School of Software, Tsinghua University". thss.tsinghua.edu.cn. Retrieved 2016-08-16. 
  4. ^ a b Winslett, Marianne (December 2004). "C. Mohan Speaks Out on R*, Message Queues, Computer Science in India, How ARIES Came About, Life as an IBM Fellow, and More" (PDF). SIGMOD Record. 33 (4): 77–84. Retrieved 19 June 2016. 
  5. ^ "IBM Fellows Directory". IBM. Retrieved 17 June 2016. 
  6. ^ "Dr. C. Mohan appointed as IBM India's Chief Scientist". CNBC TV18 MoneyControl. Retrieved 17 June 2016. 
  7. ^ "Implications of Storage Class Memories (SCMs) on Software Architecture - Video of Keynote Talk by Dr. C. Mohan". Non-Volatile Memories Workshop, March 2011. University of California at San Diego (UCSD). Retrieved 24 June 2016. 
  8. ^ "C. Mohan's "An In-Depth Look at Modern Database Systems" & "Big Data: Hype and Reality"". Retrieved 24 June 2016. 
  9. ^ "List of computer science publications by C. Mohan". Universitat Trier. Retrieved 17 June 2016. 
  10. ^ "Research papers by C. Mohan and citations". Microsoft. Retrieved 17 June 2016. 
  11. ^ "ResearchGate Profile - C. Mohan". ResearchGate. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  12. ^ a b "C. Mohan's Google Scholar Profile". Google Scholar. Google. Retrieved 3 July 2016. 
  13. ^ "Repeating History Beyond ARIES" (PDF). C. Mohan, Proceedings of the 25th International Conference on Very Large Data Bases, Edinburgh, UK, September 1999. 
  14. ^ Mohan, C.; Lindsay, Bruce. "Efficient Commit Protocols for the Tree of Processes Model of Distributed Transactions". Proc. 2nd ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing (PODC), Montreal, Canada, August 1983. ACM. 
  15. ^ Bernstein, Philip; Newcomer, Eric (2009). Principles of Transaction Processing (2nd ed.). Morgan Kaufmann. 
  16. ^ Mohan, C.; Haderle, Donald; Lindsay, Bruce; Pirahesh, Hamid; Schwarz, Peter (March 1992). "ARIES: A Transaction Recovery Method Supporting Fine-Granularity Locking and Partial Rollbacks Using Write-Ahead Logging". ACM Transactions on Database Systems. 17 (1): 94–162. 
  17. ^ Mohan, C.; Lindsay, Bruce; Obermarck, Ron (December 1986). "Transaction Management in the R* Distributed Database Management System". ACM Transactions on Database Systems. 11 (4): 378–396. 
  18. ^ "ARIES Family of Locking and Recovery Algorithms". Archived from the original on August 19, 2012. Retrieved 21 June 2016. 
  19. ^ Bailis, Peter; Hellerstein, Joseph; Stonebraker, Michael (2015). Readings in Database Systems (PDF) (5th ed.). Retrieved 20 June 2016. 
  20. ^ Snodgrass, Richard (March 1998). "Reminiscences on Influential Papers" (PDF). ACM SIGMOD Record. 27 (1). Retrieved 21 June 2016. 
  21. ^ Fekete, Alan. "Recent Advances in Transaction Management - Keynote". Google Groups: comp.databases.theory. ADC '93: Fourth Australian Database Conference. Retrieved 21 June 2016. 
  22. ^ "WebSphere MQ: A 15-Year Evolution to Today’s System z". Enterprise Systems z/Journal, 19 August 2008. Retrieved 23 June 2016. 
  23. ^ "Innovation Runs Deep in IBM Fellows". IBM Building a Smarter Planet - Smarter Planet Blog, 15 April 2015. Retrieved 18 June 2016. 
  24. ^ "Distinguished Profiles in Databases Interview". Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group on Management of Data (SIGMOD). Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  25. ^ "Video Recording of C. Mohan's Distinguished Profiles in Databases Interview by Marianne Winslett". Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group on Management of Data (SIGMOD). Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  26. ^ "Audio Recording of C. Mohan's Distinguished Profiles in Databases Interview by Marianne Winslett". Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group on Management of Data (SIGMOD). Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  27. ^ "C.Mohan 访谈录 本专访主要介绍了关于 R*系统和消息队列的技术,印度计算机科学发展状况,ARIES 的由来,以及 IBM 院士 C.Mohan 的研究生涯,等等" (PDF). Retrieved 23 June 2016. 
  28. ^ ooNee Studios (2016-05-17), C Mohan Interview at TiETV Lounge #ooneeapp @TiEcon 2016 @SeeMohan #DataEconomy, retrieved 2016-06-19 
  29. ^ Can Turkey transform into an innovative economy?, Ismet Berkan, Hurriyet Daily News, 1 August 2015, retrieved 2016-06-18 
  30. ^ India yet to reach the height of technical work, The Hindu, 29 December 2009, retrieved 2016-06-21 
  31. ^ "Indian techies log in to elite global R&D". Business Standard, 3 August 2007. Retrieved 18 June 2016. 
  32. ^ National Academy of Engineering Elects 65 Members and Nine Foreign Associates, National Academy of Engineering, 6 February 2009, retrieved 2016-06-18 
  33. ^ "10 Indians in elite US engineering body". Rediff India Abroad. 17 March 2009. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  34. ^ "NAE Members Directory - Dr. C. Mohan". National Academy of Engineering. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  35. ^ "Engineering Section - II (Computer and Information Technology)". Indian National Academy of Engineering. Retrieved 21 June 2016. 
  36. ^ "VLDB 1999: 10-Year Award". Universitat Trier. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  37. ^ "VLDB 1999". Universitat Trier. Retrieved 17 June 2016. 
  38. ^ Ramakrishnan, Raghu; Gehrke, Johannes (2003). Database Management Systems (3rd ed.). United States: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 978-0072465631. 
  39. ^ Elmasri, Ramez; Navathe, Shamkant (2010). Fundamentals of Database Systems (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson. ISBN 978-0136086208. 
  40. ^ A happy homecoming for IIT alumni, The Hindu, 31 December 2003, retrieved 2016-06-18 
  41. ^ "Distinguished Alumnus Awardees - 2003". IIT Madras Office of Alumni Relations. Retrieved 17 June 2016. 
  42. ^ "Results of Search in US Patent Collection db for: IN/mohan-chandrasekaran". USPTO Patent Full-Text and Image Database. United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Archived from the original on 10 January 2011. Retrieved 23 June 2016. 
  43. ^ "Results of Search in AppFT Database for: IN/mohan-chandrasekaran". Patent Application Full Text and Image Database. United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Archived from the original on 11 January 2017. Retrieved 23 June 2016. 
  44. ^ "IBM as the applicant AND Chandrasekaran Mohan as the inventor - Results List". EspaceNet Patent Search. European Patent Office. Retrieved 23 June 2016. 
  45. ^ "Dr. C. Mohan, IBM Almaden Research Center Fellow, talks about his passion for the real-world impact of IBM research". EdCast 2.5 Minutes Video. Retrieved 19 June 2016. 
  46. ^ "List of 50+ seminars given by C. Mohan in 18 countries during his sabbatical (6/98-7/99) at INRIA (Rocquencourt)". IBM. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  47. ^ "Dr. C. Mohan to give Keynote Address at FOMAA’s Science and Technology Seminar". India Tribune. 30 June 2010. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  48. ^ "CEMSE Dean’s Distinguished Lecture: IBM Global Technology Outlook (GTO) 2014 by Dr. C. Mohan". King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  49. ^ "AMW 2014 - Alberto Mendelzon International Workshop on Foundations of Data Management: Invited Speakers". Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  50. ^ "Modern Data Management Systems Summit at Tsinghua University". Institute of Data Science, Tsinghua University. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  51. ^ "WSO2Con 2011, Colombo, Sri Lanka: IBM Global Technology Outlook (GTO) 2011 By Dr. C Mohan". WSO2. Retrieved 23 June 2016. 
  52. ^ "Big Data: Hype and Reality, Keynote Speaker Dr. C. Mohan". Big Data Analytics and Education Conference, July 2015. İstanbul Şehir University, Istanbul, Turkey. Retrieved 23 June 2016. 
  53. ^ "Valorar la educación, el secreto del éxito en la India: Mohan". Noticias UAG, 14 November 2013. Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara (UAG). Retrieved 23 June 2016. 

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