Margo Seltzer

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Margo Seltzer
MargoSeltzer 2012.jpg
Upstate New York
Academic background
Alma materHarvard College
University of California, Berkeley
Thesis"File System Performance and Transaction Support" (1992)
Doctoral advisorMichael Stonebraker
Academic work
DisciplineComputer science
Sub-disciplineComputer systems
InstitutionsHarvard University

Margo Ilene Seltzer (born in upstate New York) is a professor and researcher in computer systems. She is the emeritus Herchel Smith Professor of Computer Science at Harvard University's John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, where she is the director of the Center for Research on Computation and Society.[1]

In December 2017 it was announced that Seltzer will join the faculty at the University of British Columbia as the Canada 150 Research Chair in Computer Systems and the Cheriton Family Chair in Computer Science in September 2018.[2]

Education and academic career[edit]

On Halloween 1982, Harvard professor Harry Lewis' teach­ing assis­tants appeared at his home in "Harry Lewis" costume, includ­ing his then-trademark mus­tache and pipe. Seltzer is at left.[3]

In 1982 Seltzer was a teaching assistant under Harry R. Lewis at Harvard University.[3] In 1983 she received her A.B. in Applied Mathematics from Harvard/Radcliffe College, and in 1992 her Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley,[4] where her dissertation, "File System Performance and Transaction Support", was supervised by Michael Stonebraker.[5] Her work in log-structured file systems, databases, and wide-scale caching is especially well known, and she was lead author of the BSD-LFS paper.[6]

Seltzer became an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Harvard in 1992 and an Associate Professor in 1997, and was named Gordon McKay Professor in 2000[7]; in 2004 she became the Herchel Smith Professor of Computer Science. From 2005 to 2010 she was designated a Harvard College Professor in recognition of "particularly distinguished contributions to undergraduate teaching", and from 2002 to 2006 was Associate Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. She is an advisor to the Harvard Undergraduate Women in Computer Science.[8]


Seltzer was Chief Technical Officer of Sleepycat Software (developers of the Berkeley DB embedded database) from 1996 until that firm's acquisition by Oracle Corporation in 2006. She served as an architect on the Oracle Berkeley DB team for several years before transferring to Oracle Labs where she continues to act as an architect.

Seltzer was a director of USENIX from 2005 to 2014, serving as vice president for one year, and president from 2012-2014.[9] In 2011 she was inducted as a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery.[10]

She is married to software developer Keith Bostic.[11]

In September 2018, she joined the faculty at the University of British Columbia as the Canada 150 Research Chair in Computer Systems and the Cheriton Family Chair in Computer Science.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Margo I. Seltzer". Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Harvard computer scientist recruited to UBC through federal research program". Retrieved 2017-12-21.
  3. ^ a b Lewis, Harry R. (October 4, 2012). "A 30th Anniversary Family Photo". Bits and Pieces.
  4. ^ Seltzer, Margo Ilene (1993). "Margo Seltzer". Harvard University. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  5. ^ Seltzer, Margo Ilene (1993). "File system performance and transaction support". Oskicat. University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  6. ^ Seltzer, Margo; Keith Bostic; Marshall Kirk Mckusick; Carl Staelin (1993). "An implementation of a log-structured file system for UNIX" (PDF). Proceedings of the USENIX Winter 1993 Conference Proceedings on USENIX Winter 1993. USENIX. p. 3. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  7. ^ Newman, David (May 4, 2000). "Defying the Odds, Seltzer Wins CS Tenure". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
  8. ^ Harvard Women in CS Homepage
  9. ^ "2014 USENIX Board of Directors Election Results". USENIX Association. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
  10. ^ ACM: Fellows Award / Margo Seltzer
  11. ^ "Keith Bostic". Informit. Pearson. Retrieved 10 April 2017.

External links[edit]