• ? -
    Jun 16, 1974
    (d.)

Bio/Description

An American computer scientist, he was known for his research in relational databases. He is most known for his work co-developing the SQL database language and Boyce-Codd normal form. He grew up in New York, and went to college in Providence, Rhode Island. He earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science in 1971 at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. During his time at Purdue, he met his wife Sandy who was a nursing student. After leaving Purdue he worked on database projects for IBM in Yorktown Heights, New York. In the early 1970’s, together with Donald D. Chamberlin he co-developed Structured Query Language (SQL) while managing the Relation Database development group for IBM in San Jose, California. Initially called SEQUEL (Structured English Query Language) and based on their original language called SQUARE (Specifying Queries As Relational Expressions). SEQUEL was designed to manipulate and retrieve data in relational databases. By 1974, he and Chamberlin published “SEQUEL: A Structured English Query Language” which detailed their refinements to SQUARE and introduced us to the data retrieval aspects of SEQUEL. It was one of the first languages to use Edgar F. Codd's relational model. SEQUEL was later renamed to SQL by dropping the vowels, because SEQUEL was a trademark registered by the Hawker Siddeley aircraft company. Today, SQL has been generally established as the standard relational databases language. In 1974, he and Edgar F. Codd, co-developed the Boyce–Codd normal form (or BCNF). It is a type of normal form that is used in database normalization. The goal of relational database design is to generate a set of database schemas that store information without unnecessary redundancy. Boyce-Codd accomplishes this and allows users to retrieve information easily. Using BCNF, databases will have all redundancy removed based on functional dependencies. It is a slightly stronger version of the third normal form. He died in 1974 as a result of an aneurysm of the brain, leaving behind his wife of almost five years, Sandy, and his daughter Kristin, who was just ten months old.
  • Date of Death:

    Jun 16, 1974
  • Noted For:

    Co-developer of the SQL database language, the first commercially successful language for relational databases, and is still today generally established as the standard relational databases language
  • Category of Achievement:

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