Eugene Wong

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Eugene Wong (born December 24, 1934 in Nanking, China) is a Chinese-American computer scientist and mathematician. Wong's career has spanned academia, university administration, government and the private sector. Together with Michael Stonebraker and a group of scientists at IBM, Wong is credited with pioneering database research in the 1970s from which software developed by IBM, Microsoft and Oracle descends.[1]

The IEEE, as part of an award citation, wrote that Wong "is known for the extraordinary breadth of his accomplishments" [2] and "for leadership in national and international engineering research and technology policy, for pioneering contributions in relational databases."[3]


In 1973, Michael Stonebraker and his colleague Eugene Wong, having read Edgar F. Codd's work regarding the relational data model,[4] began their own research into the topic.

When "The Design and Implementation of INGRES" (INteractive Graphics and REtrieval System) was published in 1976,[5] [6] two other names, Peter Kreps and Gerald Held, were listed as authors. As algorithms were defined and implemented, the list grew: "the Wong-Youssefi algorithm."[7][8]


After escaping war-torn mainland China in 1947, Wong and his family settled in New York City. After graduating from Forest Hills High School with highest Honors, Wong enrolled at Princeton University where he received his B.S. (1955), Master's (1958) and PhD (1959) in Electrical Engineering.[9] He was a post-doctoral student at the University of Cambridge until 1960 and from 1960 to 1962 a researcher at IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Center. He joined the faculty of the University of California at Berkeley in 1962, where he later served as Chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. His research interests are in stochastic systems and database management. With the late Moshe Zakai, he originated a line of study in stochastic calculus now known as the Wong-Zakai Theorem. Wong was a co-designer of INGRES, one of the first modern database systems and the author of a major text on stochastic processes.

From 1990 to 1993, Wong served as Associate Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and from 1998 to 2000 he headed the Engineering Directorate of the National Science Foundation. He chaired the Council of Advisors on Innovation and Technology in Hong Kong (2002-2004) and was a long-time International Advisor on Science and Technology to the Prime Minister of Taiwan (2002-2011) where he led a major science policy study, Foresight Taiwan (2007-2010).

He was a co-founder of INGRES Corporation and a former President and CEO of Versata, Inc. Currently, he is a member of the Board of Directors of Hyster-Yale, Inc.

Wong received the ACM System Prize in 1988 for his work on INGRES and the IEEE Founders Medal in 2005 for career long contributions. He is a Fellow of IEEE, a member and former Councilor of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an Academician of Academia Sinica, and a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering (IVA).

Personal Life[edit]

Wong was married to the former Joan Chang from 1956 until her passing in 2006. He has 2 surviving grown children, 6 grandchildren and 1 great-grandson. Wong resides in Berkeley, CA.


  • 1988: The ACM Software System Award for Ingres (together with Stonebraker).
  • 1999: American Academy of Arts and Sciences Fellowship
  • 2005: IEEE Fellow
  • National Academy of Engineering Fellowship


  1. ^ Steve Lohrsept (September 9, 2012). "Tech's New Wave, Driven by Data". The New York Times.
  2. ^ "IEEE Founders Medal Recipients". Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  3. ^ Pérez, Lance C., ed. (March 2005). "IT Members Win Several IEEE Awards" (PDF). IEEE Information Theory Society Newsletter. IEEE. 55 (1): 10. ISSN 1059-2362 Check |issn= value (help). Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  4. ^ E. F.Codd (1970). "A relational model of data for large shared data banks" (PDF). Communications of the ACM. 13 (6): 377. doi:10.1145/362384.362685. S2CID 207549016.
  5. ^ "The design and implementation of INGRES". (ACM Digital Library). 1976.
  6. ^ Stonebraker, Michael; Held, Gerald; Wong, Eugene; Kreps, Peter (1976). "The Design and Implementation of INGRES". ACM Transactions on Database Systems. 1 (3): 189–222. doi:10.1145/320473.320476. S2CID 1514658.
  7. ^ "Arranging the Join Order: the Wong-Youssefi algorithm (INGRES)".
  8. ^ M. Tamer Özsu; Patrick Valduriez (2011). Principles of Distributed Database Systems. ISBN 978-1441988348. optimization ... algorithm of INGRES [Wong and Youssefi, 1976]
  9. ^ "Eugene Wong - Convocation".

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