Needham Award to Edinburgh livewire for advances in database management technology

Sunday 16th November 2008
Needham award winner: Professor Wenfei Fan

Edinburgh University's specialist database researchers have used the latest innovations in data strategy to develop a solution to data inaccuracies that could save businesses, particularly for those that use direct marketing, substantial amounts of money. The team of pioneering data scientists is led by Professor Wenfei Fan considered a leader in his field and who won the prestigious BCS Roger Needham Award, putting the UK at the forefront of database management technology.

Professor Wenfei Fan of Web Data Management in the School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh, is a research scientist at Bell Laboratories, Alcatel-Lucent. He received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, and his MS and BS from Peking University.

He is a recipient of the:  * Roger Needham Award (2008)
    * Chang Jiang Scholar Award (2007)
    * Outstanding Overseas Young Scholar Award (2003)
    * Career Award in 2001, the ICDE Best Paper Award (2007)
    * Best Paper of the Year Award from Computer Networks (2002)

He joins that august body of Roger Needham winners: Professor Mark Handley ('Evolving the Internet: Challenges, Opportunities and Consequences');  Dr Andrew Fitzgibbon (computer vision and machine learning); Professor Ian Horrocks (the Semantic Web ); and (when women were into computing) Dr Jane Hillston (new software modelling language that predicts performance related problems at software design stage).

Receiving the award at the Royal Society where the Roger Needham lecture was held, Professor Wenfei said: "On behalf of the database research group at Edinburgh, I would like to thank the School of Informatics and the university for unfailing support."

Roger Needham headed the Computer Laboratory at Cambridge University and left to join Microsoft Research as its first director until his death in 2003.


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